Struggling to get your daily step count in during lockdown? Maintain leg strength by swapping steps for these lower body exercises that you can do at home.
Once upon a time, it was pretty easy to hit 10,000 steps in a day. All you had to do was walk to the bus stop, stroll to get your lunch and offer to make a few rounds of tea (before updating everyone on your step progress, obviously). But lockdown laps of the sofa, fridge and desk don’t quite cut it in this strange new world - so we’ve got the antidote.
This quick 10-minute workout strengthens all the leg muscles and from the comfort of your own living room.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
You’ll need a bench or chair to prop your leg on. Grab your dumbbells (wine/water bottles or pints of milk) in each hand and keep your arms down by your side. With your back towards the chair, place one foot in front of you and the toes of your opposite foot resting on top of the chair. Lower down into a one-legged lunge. Your shins should be relatively upright and the knee should not reach too far over the toes. Drive through your front foot to return to standing position. You can make this move more challenging by lowering down slowly.
Do 10 reps each side
SINGLE-LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
Holding a dumbbell in each hand (or using whatever you have at home – two tins, bottles of wine or heavy books), stand with a slight bend in the knees. Keeping your back straight, place your right foot behind you and raise your opposite foot off the floor. Hinging forward at the hips, lower the weights down slowly, until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your standing leg’s thigh. The weight should come down to just below the knees. Push your hips forward and use your hamstrings to pull back up to standing position.
Do 10 reps each side
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SHINBOX WITH HIP EXTENSION
Sitting on the floor, place the soles of your feet on the ground in front of you (feet slightly wider than hip-width apart). While holding your kettlebell up to your chest (elbows resting on the inside of your thighs), slowly lower both knees toward the ground to one side (keeping your spine as straight as possible). Engage your core and tuck the hips under to raise yourself up onto both knees. Sit back down and repeat the same on the opposite side.
Do 20 reps (alternating on each side). Complete 3 rounds of entire set.
Want more at-home workouts? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.
Miranda Larbi is a freelance fitness and wellness journalist, and qualified personal trainer. When she’s not finding new vegan places to eat, she can be found training for the next marathon or cycling across London on an old Dutchie.