4-Move Lower-Body and Cardio Workout Copy

Today you’ll focus on building endurance and working your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Today’s exercises might look simple enough—but we promise if you do them quickly you’ll have a serious leg and cardio workout. You’ll kick things off with the side shuffle to floor tap. The focus of this move is speed and accuracy—not distance. If you don’t have a big space, you can side shuffle nearly in place by moving your feet fast and tapping the floor after 4 or 8 counts.

Next you’ll move on to reverse lunges. Most people find reverse lunges easier than forward lunges because they put less strain on your knees and shins. However, if lunges hurt your knees, you can also do lateral lunges, donkey kicks, or hip openers (directions on how to do those here).

You’ll finish this leg-and-cardio workout with squat thrusts, and then a pop squat as your bonus move. Both of these will work your entire lower body and really get your heart pumping. If you need low-impact alternatives, you can always step back (instead of jumping back) in your squat thrust; and do bodyweight squats as quickly as possible (instead of hopping) for your pop squat.

The leg-and-cardio workout below is for Day 5 of the SELF Better Together Challenge. Check out the full month of workouts right here. Or go to the workout calendar here. If you haven’t signed up to receive daily emails, do that here.WORKOUT DIRECTIONS

Do each move below for your selected period of time. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 seconds. Do the entire circuit 3–5 times.

  • Option 1: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
  • Option 2: 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest
  • Option 3: 50 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest


  • Side Shuffle With Floor Tap
  • Reverse Lunge (Alternating Sides)
  • Glute Bridge
  • Squat Thrust


After your last circuit, try the bonus move for 60 seconds.

  • Pop Squat
  • Person doing a side shuffle exerciseKatie Thompson1Side Shuffle With Floor Tap
    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, core engaged, and hands clasped at chest height.
    • Come into a half squat by bending your knees a little and sending your butt back.
    • From that position, shuffle to the right as quickly as possible for 4 to 5 feet (or as space allows). Move your feet fast, going for speed rather than how big of a step you can take.
    • When you reach the end, tap the floor with your right hand.
    • Shuffle to the left and tap your left hand to the floor.
    • Continue to move back and forth as quickly as possible.
  • reverse lungeKatie Thompson2Reverse Lunge (Alternating Sides)
    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged.
    • Step back with your right foot and bend both knees to sink into a lunge. Keep your core engaged, hips tucked, and back straight.
    • Return to your starting position by pushing off your right foot and stepping forward.
    • Repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate sides.
    • Make it harder: Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Woman doing glute bridge exerciseKatie Thompson3Glute Bridge
    • Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and heels a few inches away from your butt so that your fingertips graze your heels when arms are at your sides.
    • Squeeze your glutes and abs and push through your heels to lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
    • Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top, then slowly lower your hips to return to the starting position.

WATCH20-Minute Total Arms Workout

  • squat thrustKatie Thompson4Squat Thrust
    • Think of this move as a modified burpee without the jump or push-up. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, core engaged, and hands at sides.
    • Squat and place your hands on the floor, making sure they are between your feet (not outside them).
    • Jump your feet back to come into a high plank position and pause.
    • Jump your feet forward so they land outside your hands, and stand, squeezing your core as you come up.
    • Make it easier: You can modify this move by skipping the jump into high plank and instead stepping your feet back one at a time into a high plank.
    • Make it harder: Add a vertical jump as you stand.
  • squat jackKatie Thompson5Pop Squat
    • Start with your feet wider than hip-width and do a squat by sending your hips back and bending both knees. Keep your core engaged and push through your glutes to stand.
    • As you stand, jump and bring both feet together, taking a hop in place.
    • Immediately jump feet apart and sink into a squat again. Repeat, hopping once in place between each squat.