Winter Workout Challenge with Kayla Itsines: 15-minute lower body

·Features and Health Editor
·7-min read

Welcome to the last week of Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive Winter Workout Challenge with fitness queen Kayla Itsines and her incredible team of Sweat trainers. If you're struggling with the motivation to stick to your workout routine in winter, we've got you covered, with a new workout and recovery session to try each week, as well as plenty of tips and tricks from the experts.

kayla itsines
Try this no-equipment workout from Kayla Itsines. Photo: Yahoo

This quick 15-Minute Bodyweight, Lower Body Workout from Sweat Trainer Kayla Itsines includes seven exercises that can challenge and strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings and core. 

The circuit includes a combination of dynamic movements and stabilisation exercises that help build coordination and stability. 

Movement quality is especially important in high intensity workouts to ensure you are maintaining control and reducing your risk of injury. 

Complete each exercise in the order provided and transition between movements with minimal rest. Complete 4 laps and rest for 30 seconds between each lap.

Winter Workout Challenge week 4: Kayla Itsines Lower Body

Warm Up

Sweat and Kayla recommend taking a few minutes to warm-up prior to working out. 3-5 minutes of cardio, such as jogging in place or skipping, will help increase your heart rate and help warm up your muscles for your session.

Pop Squat & Twist - 30 seconds

Step 1: Plant both feet together on the floor. This is your starting position.

Bending slightly as your hips and knees, push evenly through your feet and propel your body upwards into the air, extending your legs beneath you. Reposition your legs to land in a sumo squat position with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart, ensuring that you maintain ‘soft’ knees to prevent injury.

Bend your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor, ensuring that your torso remains as upright as possible.

Step 2: Push evenly through your feet and propel your body upwards into the air, extending your legs beneath you. At the same time, rotate your hips and lower body to the right and rotate your arms in the opposite direction to land with your torso facing forwards and your hips twisted to the right.

Step 3: With a slight jump, unravel your torso to reposition your legs to land in a sumo squat position with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart, ensuring that you maintain ‘soft’ knees to prevent injury.

Step 4: Push evenly through your feet and propel your body upwards into the air, extending your legs beneath you. At the same time, rotate your hips and lower body to the left and rotate your arms in the opposite direction to land with your torso facing forwards and your hips twisted to the left.

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Alternating Lateral Lunge - 30 seconds

Step 1: Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Keeping your right foot on the floor, release your left foot and take a big step to your left. As you plant your foot on the floor, bend your left knee, ensuring that your right leg remains straight.

Step 3: Exhale. Extend your left knee and transfer your weight onto your right foot. Step your left foot inwards to return to the starting position.

Step 4: Inhale. Keeping your left foot on the floor, release your right foot and take a big step to your right. As you plant your foot on the floor, bend your right knee, ensuring that your left leg remains straight.

Step 5: Exhale. Extend your right knee and transfer your weight onto your left foot. Step your right foot inwards to return to the starting position.

Alternating Lateral Lunge
Alternating Lateral Lunge. Photo: Yahoo

Mountain Climber - 30 seconds

Step 1: Place both hands on the yoga mat shoulder-width apart and both feet together behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Keeping your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee and bring it in towards your chest.

Step 3: Extend your right leg to return to the starting position.

Step 4: Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and bring it in towards your chest.

Step 5: Extend your left leg to return to the starting position. Continue alternating between right and left for the specified number of repetitions, inhaling for four mountain climbers and exhaling for four mountain climbers.

Burpee - 30 seconds

Step 1: Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Bend at both the hips and knees to place your hands on the mat on either side of your feet, ensuring that your spine remains in a neutral position.

Step 3: Inhale. Jump both of your feet backwards so that your legs are completely extended behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Your body should be in one straight line from your head to your heels.

Step 4: Jump both of your feet forwards in between your hands, once again, ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width apart.

Step 5: Exhale. Propel your body upwards into the air. Extend your legs below you and your arms above your head.

Step 6: Inhale. Land in the starting position, ensuring that you maintain ‘soft’ knees to prevent injury.

Squat Pulse - 30 seconds

Step 1: Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains within a 45- to 90-degree angle to your hips. This is called full squat position.

Step 3: Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your legs slightly.

Step 4: Bend your knees again to return to full squat position.

Squat Pulse
Squat Pulse. Photo: Yahoo

Alternating Reverse Lunge - 30 seconds

Step 1: Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Gently draw your pubic bone to your belly button (engage pelvic floor). This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Carefully take a big step backwards with your right foot. As you plant your right foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90-degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor

Step 3: Exhale. Extend both knees and transfer your weight completely onto your left foot. Step your right foot forward to return to the starting position.

Step 4: Inhale. Carefully take a big step backwards with your left foot. As you plant your left foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90-degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor.

Step 5: Exhale. Extend both knees and transfer your weight completely onto your right foot. Step your left foot forward to return to the starting position.

Glute Bridge Walkout - 30 seconds

Step 1: Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position. Allow your arms to rest by your sides on the mat. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Exhale, gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. Press your heels into the mat, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting on your shoulders.

Step 3: Inhale. While keeping your hips as still as possible, extend your left leg to step your left foot out, followed by your right foot, so that your feet are hip-width apart and your hips remain elevated off the floor. You should feel tension in your glutes and hamstrings.

Step 4: Exhale. While keeping your hips as still as possible, bend your left knee to step your left foot in, followed by your right foot, to return to the glute bridge position.

Cool Down

Sweat and Kayla recommend completing a cool down session after your workout. 3-5 minutes of walking will help to slowly lower your heart rate to normal levels and help your body to cool down after a workout. You might also like to complete some static stretching as part of your cool down, where you hold a single position for twenty seconds or longer.

Stay tuned for a recovery session from Kayla Itsines on Friday!

If you missed any of our previous Winter Workout challenges with Sweat you can catch up here:

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