Bellevue Club personal trainer Mary Ann Carpenter recommends a simple split squat for effective leg, hip and core strengthening. Below, she demonstrates the starting position. Once you feel stable, bend through the front leg, dropping the back knee close to the ground. Return to the start position, and repeat eight to 10 times. Switch leg position and repeat on the other side.
Feet—The front foot is firmly grounded on the floor. The top of the back foot rests on a step stool, bench or box (depending on your height), with the foot a little closer than leg length from the body.
Knees—Start with both knees at roughly 90 degrees, but they will adjust throughout the movement.
Hips—The hips remain square and facing forward, and they should not change throughout the movement.
Back—Your back should remain stable and as straight as possible.
Hands—Rest your hands on your hips. They can remain passive but not completely limp.
Path to Progression
Once you’ve got the hang of the split squat, you can add weight. Hold a kettlebell or medicine ball in your hands instead of resting them on the hips.