Lower-Body Workout to Survive a Gym-less Holiday Break

Single-Leg Squat Exercise

When college and high school athletes go home or on vacation during a holiday break, they often find themselves without a weight room for training. Never fear: You can still get a quality workout. (See STACK's Guide to Working Out on Vacation.) The following lower body routine requires just a chair, a towel and your body weight.

Bodyweight Jump Squat

  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Jump straight up into air by extending at the ankles, knees and hips while swinging your arms forward
  • Land in an athletic stance with your arms back, and start sinking into your next rep

Sets/Reps: 4x10

Perform with a barbell for an additional challenge

Plyometric Split Squat

  • Stand with one foot forward and one foot back
  • Lower yourself until you have a 90-degree bend in both knees
  • Jump up, switching position of feet in mid-air
  • Land with soft knees and begin lowering yourself into your next rep

Sets/Reps: 4x20

Single Leg Squat

  • Stand on one foot, then squat down until your butt hits a chair
  • Stand back up
  • Use a chair that lets your thighs be parallel to the ground when you squat down
  • If the move seems too easy, remove the chair

Sets/Reps: 4x6-10 each leg

Slide Curl

  • Lay on a wood or tile floor with your heels on a towel
  • Pull your heels toward your body while simultaneously raising your hips in the air
  • Hold at the top for a second, then slowly straighten your legs while simultaneously lowering your hips back to the ground

Sets/Reps: 3x12

Single-Leg Hip Extension

  • Lie on your back and bend one knee so that your heel is about 6 inches from your butt
  • Drive off heel of planted leg to raise both hips into the air
  • Hold at the top for two seconds, then slowly return back to starting position
  • Progress to placing your foot on a sturdy object like a chair. Eventually you'll be able to use an unstable surface, like a medicine ball or a stability ball

Sets/Reps: 3x12 each leg


Bill DeLongis Bill DeLongis - Bill DeLongis, CSCS, is the assistant director of speed, strength and conditioning at Stony Brook University, where he works with baseball, volleyball, men's lacrosse, women's basketball and football. He is the former head strength and conditioning coach at Converse College (Spartanburg, S.C.), where
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