Why are you training your legs?
If the goal is to get a stronger and better looking behind, more power to you. You’ll accomplish that goal with plenty of basic squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusters. If you’re hitting leg day hard for your athletic performance, however, you’ll want to get even more dynamic with your movements.
Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. takes on lower body workouts with an eye on performance—which is why he mixes in moves like the hover to drive lunge along with the core exercises.
“This move is about two things: First, you have to be in complete control in the bottom of that reverse lunge (which is harder than you may think),” says Samuel. “Then, you have to explosively drive that knee up. That knee drive is the best part here, because there’s direct carryover to your sprint stride. If you play flag football, aim to run fast, or even play full court basketball, this move will make you faster in the long run, teaching you how to aggressively drive your knee high without any momentum.”
You’ll also be challenging your core with the killer load positioning. By holding the two kettlebells (you can also use dumbbells in a pinch, or even try it unloaded) at uneven levels in racked and overhead positions, you’ll have to really focus to stay controlled.
To perform the hover to drive lunge, you’ll need a pair of kettlebells. Check out this option from Yes4All if you don’t have a set handy.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Start by grabbing the kettlebells and raising one into a racked position and the other in an overhead position.
- Shift into a rear hover lunge position with the leg holding the kettlebell overhead, making sure to keep the knee from touching the ground. Here’s where the move really starts.
- Hold the hover lunge for a two count, cancelling any elastic energy from the backward step.
- From a dead stop position, push off your rear foot to drive your knee up with power and aggression.
- Hold the knee up for a count, bracing your core to keep your body in control.
- Return to the starting position.
This move is all about explosion. “When you drive up, your goal is to do so with power and aggression,” Samuel says. “Partly because of the uneven load (via kettlebells or dumbbells), that means you have to minimize rotational action at the hip, not letting your knee pop outwards. Instead, you have to rise up on that front leg quickly (a lot of quad explosion), then drive that back leg up and forward, relying on hip flexor, ab, and quad explosion again. When you get to the top, maintain control. Own this position; you’re training the rigidity you want your body to have to be explosive when you sprint, and working your core more than you think.”
When you add the hover to drive lunge to your workout, keep the volume low at 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps so you can focus on owning both the start and finish positions. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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