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My #1 Lower Body Exercise {and how to make it a circuit workout}

what’s my absolute, number one favorite exercise? well i’m glad you asked, it’s the squat jump.


i love working the legs, and the squat jump is the most effective and efficient lower body exercise, in my opinion. added bonus, it requires zero equipment and you can do it anywhere!

not only does the squat jump engage the entire lower body, including the core, but it also gets your heart rate up for an effective cardio workout too.

how i incorporate the squat jump into my workouts

  • at home – it’s included in every lower body or total body circuit I do. if you’ve tried my move 20 minute home workout video series you’re well aware of my love for squat jumps.
  • at the gym – i start most leg workouts with squat jumps to increase muscle motor recruitment and enhance the lower body strength work that follows. i’m also a huge fan of super-setting strength work with plyometrics {for specifics check out this leg day superset workout and this one too}.
  • on the road – whether you’re at a work conference or on vacation at the family cabin you can do equipment-free squat jumps and work the glutes, hamstrings, abs, quads and calves all at the same time.
  • in a pinch – when i can’t fit in a full workout i do jump squats; 20 reps for as many rounds as my time allows. or i create a quick squat jump variations circuit workout like the one in the video above. {then freshen up with a quick spritz of dry shampoo and perfume and you’re good to go}.

whether your home for the upcoming holidays or on the road, we are all in a pinch to fit in workouts over the holiday season. so when in doubt, jump squat it out!

squat jump variations and circuit workout

jump squat 101

start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. come down into a squatting position, striving to get your hip crease in line with your knee. then explode up leaving the ground with maximum effort. land softly on your toes in the squat position and repeat.

complete each exercise for 30 seconds: 
standard squat jump – 30 seconds
hop scotch squat jumps – 30 seconds
burpee + plyo tuck jump – 30 seconds
repeat x 4 sets


if you like this workout, you’ll enjoy these lower body workouts too – lean legs + tight tushplyometric power + isometric burn, stability ball lower body, leg day at the gym, 5 moves to leaner legs, 3 moves for your bikini bum, 3 moves to a better booty, lazy sunday booty special.

**for more home workouts you can do anywhere check out my move training program — 6 easy to follow, 20 minute home workout videos — get the details here.

  1. First, love the leggings w/the mesh cutout. Lululemon? Very nice. And yes, I love the jump squat too. It’s the kind of move that you really feel quickly and can do it anywhere and go all out or take it easy and modify. I do BODYCOMBAT at my gym and right now there’s a jump squat sequence in one of the tracks. Killer!

    • Yes, naturally the leggings are lulu — wish I could say otherwise, but I do love them! Yes the jump squat is a staple you can amp it up or tone it down to your level…best booty lift there is! Thanks for the comment, just found your blog today via The Blogger Project — so fun to follow along!