We don’t always have time to get to the gym to hit the weights. That doesn’t mean your gains need to suffer though, that’s why I’m doing this Quick Home Workout series. You can check out the other two series at the links below.
These are all workouts that can be done at home in 10 to 15 minutes and will still give you the results you are looking for. You could also do a couple of these workouts back-to-back if you have a little more time and want to utilize it to the best of your abilities.
This is a high intensity quick home workout, so remember to follow the guidelines and put in as much effort as you can. Do that and you will see the results you are after without having to spend 45 minutes working out.
The squat is a compound movement that serves as a full body exercise, the major muscles worked are the gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius (buttocks), quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), adductor (groin), hip flexors and calves. These are all lower body muscles and are not the only muscles worked by doing squats, you also in a small way target your back muscles, rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae.
To perform a back squat you will need a barbell or if that is not an option check out my Barbell Substitutes to see how you can emulate this exercise with dumbbells or resistance bands.
- Stand under the bar in the rack and position it on your scapula on your upper back.
- Lift the weight off of the supports and take a step back.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, toes pointed slightly out. Keep your back neutral and your head up looking straight ahead.
- Keep your core tight, take a deep breath in and push your hips back as your knees begin to bend. Focus on keeping your knees inline with your feet and drop down until your hips are lower than your knees.
- Breathe out as you drive through your heels and push back up to a standing position. Do not allow your knees to move inward toward each other and squeeze your glutes as you reach the top.
Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg, unilateral squat, that places a greater focus on the quadriceps. It will also improve your balance and coordination.
- To perform this barbell substitute you stand on one foot with your other foot elevated laces down on a bench or chair behind your body.
- Squat with your front leg until your trailing knee almost touches the ground.
- Now push through your planted foot to return to a standing position. Be sure you do not push with your trailing leg as this can cause knee pain, this leg is just for balance.
Any leg workout should contain specific exercises to target the posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes) and my quick home workout is no different. The Hip Thrust is the perfect workout to do that since you can load it up with heavy weight, and we know this is required to hit one of the methods of hypertrophy (muscle growth). If you haven’t read my post on Weight Training Tips for Beginners I suggest you check it out to learn the 3 methods for hypertrophy.
To do a hip thrust you will need a bench and barbell; or dumbbell, to place across your lap.
- Sit on the floor with your back against the weight bench and the weight across your lap.
- With your knees bent and feet flat on the floor drive your hips up as high as you can push while contracting your glutes and hamstrings. Imagine you are trying to pull your feet in toward yourself to get a good contraction.
- Hold the squeeze for a second and then slowly lower your butt back to the floor.
Through the Leg Cable / Resistance Band Pulls
If you have a cable machine with a low pulley then you can utilize that for this workout. If not a resistance band works pretty good, my favourite resistance bands are the Fusion Cables which are going for half price right now, if using resistance bands you will need a low anchor point.
- Stand facing away from the pulley while holding the cable between your legs with the backs of your hands touching the inside of your thighs.
- With a slight lean forward squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to reach back toward the pulley as you squat down.
- While keeping the slight lean forward in your torso return to a standing position and squeeze your glutes tightly at the top.
This quick home workout should take 10 to 15 minutes so to achieve that you will need to keep the intensity up by taking short breaks between sets and transition between supersets quickly.
Back Squat Superset with Bulgarian Split Squat
Pick a weight for the squats that will have you fail in the 8-10 rep range, then go straight to the split squat, using a weight that will allow you to do 12 reps per leg before failing. Do 3 sets of this superset with a 30 to 60 second rest between them before moving on to the next superset.
Hip Thrusts superset with Through the Leg Cable / Resistance Band Pulls
Again pick a weight for the hip thrusts that will have you fail in the 8-10 rep range, then go straight to the through the leg cable pull, using a weight that will allow you to do 15 reps before failing. Do 3 sets of this superset with a 30 to 60 second rest between them.
This can now be the end of your quick home workout or you can grab one of the other muscle groups from this Quick Home Workout Series and double down.
What do you think about the through the leg cable pull? I would love to hear in the comments below your favourite posterior chain leg exercise.
Stay tuned for the next series in the Quick Home Workout.