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Whether your trying to improve lower body strength or just want to tone the legs up, the Split-Squat or Split-Lunge is a great exercise for it.
Split your feet one in front of the other. Get a wide enough stance so that when you squat your knees can stay over top of your ankles. With your weight on the balls of your feet with your back leg, drop your knee down stopping it just before you hit the floor and pushing your weight up using the heel of the front foot.
Keep your chest out and shoulders pulled back to maintain good posture. This move works nearly every lower body muscle group.
Once you've mastered the stationary Split-Squat you can advance this exercise by performing a forward lunge, which is essentially stepping into a Split-Squat. You can do these by alternating right and left leg lunges for a set of 24 reps or 12 reps on each leg. As with most exercises, start with just body weight before adding extra resistance. Once you feel your ready, you can add a set of dumbells to the move. Always keep the same form as you would on the stationary Split-Squat.
To advance this move even further, add a lateral raise as you squat. This will work the shoulders and arms in addition to all the lower body muscle groups, making this a great total body exercise. Work up until you can do 24 reps before increasing your weight.
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