The Strength: Lower Body and Body Control

Two sets of 20 reps for each exercise. Complete each exercise before moving on to the next. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

    Photo: Photograph by Mike McGregor; Illustrations by Mckibillo

LOWER BODY
Two sets of 20 reps for each exercise. Complete each exercise before moving on to the next. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Romanian Dead Lifts
Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, arms hanging with the dumbbells touching your thighs. Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward. The dumbbells should travel down beside your legs. Return to standing and repeat.

Lunge
Grasp two dumbbells at your sides and stand with feet shoulder width apart. Take an exaggerated step forward and bend your front knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Your back knee should be almost touching the floor. Push off forcefully with your front leg to return to standing. Do two sets for each leg.

Sumo Squat
Stand with feet pointed out, knees slightly bent, and feet far apart. Hold a dumbbell by the end and squat down until it touches the floor, then stand back up.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Lie on your back with your heels on a stability ball. Arch your hips up so that your body is straight and only your head and shoulders are on the floor. Press down on the ball with your heels and roll the ball toward you until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, then roll it back to the start position.

Heel Raises
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand on a step or platform, with the balls of your feet on the platform and your heels hanging off. Lock your legs and let your heels drop until you feel a good stretch in your calves, then rise up as far as you can on your toes.

BODY CONTROL
One set of 20 reps for each exercise, unless otherwise noted. Complete each exercise before moving on to the next. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Stability Ball Bridge
Sit on a ball with your feet hip width apart. Walk your feet forward and keep your hips up, while leaning backwards to keep your upper body in contact with the ball. Continue until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, only your upper back and head are touching the ball, and your body, from knees to shoulders, is parallel to the floor. Hold for 60 seconds. Do two of these.

Push-up
Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart. Straighten your body to plank position and lower slowly. Stop one inch from the floor, hold for a beat, and push back up slowly until your arms are fully extended.

Push-up Row
Get into a push-up position, but with your hands on dumbbells instead of the floor. As you push off, explode up and bring one dumbbell up to your side. Immediately repeat on the other side. A set of 20 will alternate to each side 10 times.

Push-up with Rotation
This is similar to the push-up row but performed with lighter dumbbells—or no weights at all if the exercise is too hard. As you come out of the arm-extension phase of the push-up, rotate your trunk and extend one arm toward the ceiling. Alternate reps between sides.

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