If you’ve made it to the gym a few times this week before they shut, pat yourself on the back. As of today, though, our living rooms, bedrooms and garages are going to be our arena again for a while.
But Men’s Health fitness editor Andrew Tracey is here to save you from fitness stagnation, with a four-week functional fitness programme, with three sessions a week released on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays for you to follow along, and flip lockdown into the perfect excuse to bulk up and lean out.
A pair of dumbbells is the dream, though all workouts can be performed with a single dumbbell or even a kettlebell, so look out for any movement tweaks at the end of each exercise description.
This leg-day workout follows the same format as Monday’s shoulder and back session. It consists of two ‘blocks’. To kick off, work on your ‘AMRAP’, short for ‘as many rounds as possible’. Make your way around the listed moves on a running countdown, clocking up as many reps as you can muster in 15 minutes, resting only as necessary to catch your breath.
Missed Monday’s first session? You can find it here!
Pay close attention to nailing your form and tempo on each rep, and don’t be afraid to drop reps as the fatigue creeps up. Make a note of your total reps for future reference.
Then move onto your ‘EMOM’, which stands for ‘every minute on the minute. Start a stopwatch and at the start of each minute perform the prescribed reps of each movement, then rest for the remaining time. You’re going to alternate between three exercises. So in the first minute do the split squat jumps, goblets squats in the second minute and jump squats in the third minute. Repeat for a total of 4 rounds for 12 minutes of work.
There are, it’s fair to say, quite a few squats. So push through and share your jelly legs: @menshealthuk @andrewtracey
1) Dumbbell Front Rack Squat x 5-10
Clean your dumbbells onto your shoulders explosively and take a deep breath (A). Now, drive your hips back and sink down into a squat, your thighs parallel to the floor (B). Drive upward, and go again. I
NOTE: If you only have one weight, perform all reps of a movement on one side, and alternate each round.
2) Dumbbell Deadlift x 5-10
With your dumbbells on the floor just outside your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, ‘pushing the ground away’ with your feet, squeezing your glutes at the top (B). Your arms should be hanging straight throughout this movement, think of them as hooks.
NOTE: If you only have one weight, deadlift to the outside of your foot and focus on keeping your torso upright. Squeeze your opposite hand to help create tension. Alternate each round.
4-5 minutes rest, then…
Min 1) Alternating Split Squat Jump x 20
Either hold your dumbbells at your sides if they’re light or go weightless for this one. Step one foot backward sinking into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, switching legs mid-air (B) to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each time. (left leg+right leg equals one rep)
Min 2) Goblet squat x 15
Hold your dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest (A). Sink your hips back and descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up, tensing your glutes at the top. Repeat.
Min 3) Jump Squat With Tuck x 10
From standing, with your feet at shoulder width, bend your knees slowly to drop into a full squat (A). Try to keep your lower back flat at the bottom. Now, jump up and tuck your knees towards your chest (B). As you land, control your descent and slowly return to the squat position over a count of three.
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