Get Your Lower Body In Shape With This Routine You Can Do Anywhere

Health & Fitness
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Javarre Glanton

While serving in the military, you don’t always have access to a full range of fitness equipment, or even a gym. But that shouldn’t stop you from reaching your strength and conditioning goals.

With a little creative thinking, you can adapt to any situation. Next time you’re in a pinch, try this circuit to keep your lower body and core strong and healthy

Lateral lunges x 20

Lateral lunges are lunges performed side to side. Start with your feet wide apart and your toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle. Now “squat” down to one side, while pushing your hips back and bending your knee as much as you can. Then come back up and lunge to the other side for a total of 20.

Make sure you do not round your back and get a good forward lean while doing these to increase the depth of the movement. This will also increase the muscle activation of your quads.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Front Squatting »

Jump Squats x 20

With no rest after lunges, launch into 20 jump squats. The goal for this exercise is power and speed. You don’t have to squat all the way down. Think of yourself as a spring, go into a half squat and launch yourself up.

Use your arms to build momentum and jump as high as you can, reaching for the sky. Land softly, without your knees going forward past your toes. Once you land, perform the next jump squat immediately after.

Plank x 30 seconds

Next up is a plank for 30 seconds, again with no rest after jump squats. Focus on keeping your glutes tight and your back straight. Don’t let your midsection sink down to the floor.

Single-leg glute bridges x 15 per side

Up next are the single leg glute bridges. To do this exercise, lay down on your back and bring your legs in toward you like you’re doing a crunch. Then put one of your legs over the other as seen in the video. In this position, drive your hips up as high as you can while pushing through your heels. Squeeze your glute muscles at the top and come back down slowly. Do 15 reps per side.

Burpees x 20

Hang in there, we’re close to the finish! To do a proper burpee, squat down and plant your hands firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs back into a pushup position and do a full pushup. Jump back to the squatting position and keep your knees on the outside of your elbows.

From here you need to do a jump squat, just like you did earlier. I like to clap my hands at the top of each jump to keep me mentally focused and to help me count the reps. You need to do a total of 20.

Reverse crunches x 20

The last exercise in this circuit is the reverse crunch. You can either keep your hands behind your head, grab a stable object behind you or put your arms out to the sides like I did in the video. With your legs together, bring your hips and knees toward your chest.

Do not just flail your legs up. Focus on contracting your abs and try to get those knees as close to your chest as possible.

You should perform all of the above exercises in order with no rest in between, unless you absolutely need to catch your breath. After one round of the circuit, rest one to two minutes and repeat four more times, for a total of five rounds.

And that’s it. It’s a relatively quick lower body workout that you can do anywhere. Who says you need a gym to stay fit?

Check out the video below for examples of how to do each exercise.

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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