In order to ensure your lower body resistance training workouts are truly comprehensive, you not only want to do lower body exercises that primarily involve movement at the hip joint (e.g., deadlifts, but you also want to include lower body exercises that emphasize movement at the knee joint (e.g., squats and lunges), otherwise known as leg-oriented exercises. The five lower body exercises I’m highlighting below combine hip-oriented exercise and a leg-oriented exercise into one single, effective and efficient combination exercise.

This is your strategically placed reminder to reserve your spot for the live event (taught by myself and Alan Aragon) that promises to be one of the best events of 2017!

^ This is your strategically placed reminder to reserve your spot to attend the unique live event (taught by myself and Alan Aragon) that promises to be one of the best events of 2017!

Combination lower-body exercises, like the following five lower body combo moves, are not only a great way to get more done in less time, but they are also a great way to boost the metabolic effect of your workouts, since the metabolic cost of a given exercise relates directly to the amount of muscle worked (1). 

As long as you bring the intensity by using challenging loads, these five combination exercises are a great way to spice up your workouts and give your legs and glutes a new challenge that can spark new gains.

1. Dumbbell Squat + Romanian Deadlift Combo

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Coaching Tips:

  • As you hinge forward, drive your hips backward and do not allow your back to round out.
  • Do not allow your knees to move inward toward the midline of your body. Keep your knees inline with your toes throughout.

2. Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat + Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Combo

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-40-14-pm

Coaching Tips:

  • Keep your weight on your front foot throughout the exercise.
  • Do not allow your back to round out at any point.

3. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge + Anterior Lunge Combo

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-46-15-pm

Coaching Tips:

  • One rep = reverse lunge left, reverse lunge right, anterior lunge left, anterior lunge right.
  • Do not let the dumbbells touch the floor at any point during this exercise.
  • Do not allow your back to round out at the bottom of each lunge.

4. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge + Step-up Combo

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-26-52-pm

Coaching Tips:

  • Lean your torso slightly forward throughout the exercise to keep most of your weight on the front leg.
  • This exercise can also perform this exercise using only body weight by placing the hands either on the hips or behind the head.

5. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge + Single-leg Romanian Deadlift Combo

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-33-15-pm

Coaching Tips:

  • One rep = reverse lunge left, reverse lunge right, single leg Romanian Deadlift left, single leg Romanian Deadlift right.
  • Keep your back straight as you hinge at your hips and lean your torso forward to better recruit the glute musculature and make the exercise more knee friendly.
  • At the bottom position of the single-leg RDL (when your torso is roughly parallel to the ground), keep your 
hips and shoulders flat and do not allow them to rotate.

Final Programming Advice for Using these Exercises

It’s important to note that these lower-body exercises are not necessarily designed to replace classic leg and hips exercises such as barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, etc. Since exercises are not mutually-exclusive, these moves can and should be used along with conventional lower body strength training exercises to make lower-body workouts more comprehensive and interesting.

Nick’s Upcoming Live Events

In Albany, NY teaching a full day of training workshops at Real [Fit] Life studio  on January 15th, 2017.

In Sacramento, CA teaching at the NSCA Southwest Regional Conference on January 27-28, 2017.

In Orlando, FL co-teaching the 2-Day Workshop Brolando Experience with Alan Aragon on February 4-5, 2017.

In San Diego, CA serving as an expert panelist at the San Diego Pain Summit on February 7-13, 2017.

In Cyprus, Nicosia teaching at the Professional Fitness Systems Convention on March 24-26, 2017.

In Toronto, ON, Canada teaching a PreCon and conference class at the Annual CPTN Conference on June 2-3, 2017.

Reference:

1. Ratamess NA, et al. Comparison of the acute metabolic responses to traditional resistance, body-weight, and battling rope exercises. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):47-57.