Hate squats? No problem! We get it: There are some exercises you simply don't enjoy doing. That doesn't mean you can't achieve the same benefits or reach your desired end goal by taking an alternate route. We spoke with Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, who breaks down a 10-minute legs workout to do if you hate squats.
Beyond getting your legs into great shape to succeed in some of your favorite outdoor activities such as swimming, running, hiking, and biking, strong leg muscles can boost your endurance, power, and flexibility, Harvard Health Publishing reports. Preserving and building up strength in your lower body keeps you in good overall health, helps you avoid imbalances in your muscles, and ensures you stay limber while going about daily tasks and activities, Physiomed explains. In order to achieve the strong, fit, and toned lower body you seek, you'll want to get on board with this expert-approved legs routine pronto.
"The great thing about these movements is that build a lot of strength in your lower body one leg at a time. That way, you reduce any imbalances, improve your balance and stability, and take pressure off your joints," Yeung explains. "Also, these are designed to target the backside of your legs—your hamstrings and glutes—more because most people have weaker muscles there."
Leg day just got a major upgrade with this 10-minute legs workout on deck. Set your timer, and complete the below circuit as many times as you can within 10 minutes.
1. Reverse Lunges
Reverse lunges begin with you taking a big stride back with one leg. Your stance should be long enough so that both knees are able to form 90-degree angles when you descend into a lunge. Press through your front leg in order to return to the starting position. Yeung notes you can begin with dumbbells and make this exercise more challenging by adding a barbell in the front squat or back squat position. Complete five reps.
2. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
The single-leg Romanian deadlift begins with you holding a dumbbell in each hand. Gradually hinge forward, and bring one leg behind you. When the dumbbells come below both knees, drive yourself back up, and squeeze your glutes. Avoid twisting your hips to the side; they should remain square and forward. Complete five reps for each leg.
3. Hip/Thigh Extension
Last but not least, it's time to for the hip/thigh extension. Lie down flat on your back. Bend one knee to 90 degrees, and extend the opposite leg out straight. Squeeze the glute of your bent leg, press through your heel, and press your hips upward, making sure your hips stay level as you come up. Your straight leg should remain extended during the exercise and aligned with your torso. Complete eight reps.