If you really want to pulverize your lower body, introduce a little chaos and instability into your workout to finish off your next leg day.
This tough squat finisher from Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. builds up a ton of tension to absolutely light up your quads, glutes, and core. “You’re attacking a mechanically taxing position,” says Samuel. “This drill will force you to find thighs-parallel-to-ground, meaning it’s going to make you a stronger squatter in the long term, because you’ll develop strength in that position.”
That position will inherently be one of good form too, according to Samuel, because of the kettlebell’s design. “You can’t let your torso fall forward and sag in the core, as many people do at first, because if you do, the kettlebell will tip you forward,” he says.
To perform the chaos band squat finisher, you’ll need an exercise band and a kettlebell. You can pull off the move with just the weight if you don’t have a band handy.
- Wrap the exercise band around the kettlebell’s handle.
- Hold the ends of the band in a racked position, with your hands facing in toward your body at chest height and your elbows bent. Brace your core to keep the weight steady as it hangs; avoid bending your spine or bowing your shoulders.
- Squat down past parallel, then rise up slightly to parallel. Pause for 1 second and hold, then stand straight up.
- Repeat the deep squat, then hold the parallel position for 2 seconds.
- Keep climbing the ladder until you get to 6 or 7 seconds.
The real challenge comes with the infusion of chaos from the band. “By adding the band, we’re ratcheting up the intensity even more, adding great instability to the movement,” says Samuel. “Even if you’re not lazy, it’s going to rock a little, which will force your core, from abs through lower back muscles through glutes, to constantly compensate and adjust to ever-changing balance demands.”
Try adding this to your leg day as a finisher with 3 sets of squats ramping up to that 6 or 7-second hold.
By Brett Williams