Today I’m sharing a lower body and core circuit workout just in case you’re in need of some workout inspiration for your next trip to the gym.

this workout combines both lower body exercises with some core work. The dumbbell deadlifts are the only things that are weighted, but if you want to make this workout tougher, you can also add weight to the step ups, squats and lunges. If you’re new to fitness though, I would just complete it as is. It’ll still be a tough workout and make you work hard!

As always, you top priority throughout this workout should be form. If it starts to go, take a rest and begin again once you can complete the exercises with good form. If that means you have to rest after every 2 or 3 exercises, then do it. There’s no time limit for this workout. Good form prevents injuries, so make sure you’re being safe. Below the graphic I’ve listed descriptions of all the exercises I’ve included in this workout just in case you’re unsure of any of them. The trainers at your gym are always a good resource to ask about any form questions you may have. I’m sure they’ll be happy to answer a question or two for you.

New to fitness and wondering what equipment I recommend for this workout? If you’re doing this workout at home, these are my go to Dumbbells (affiliate link), Manduka yoga mat (affiliate link) for the crunches and anything else on the floor, and Gymboss Timer (affiliate link) for timing exercises like the core work in this workout. The Gymboss timer can also be used at the gym as well as at home.

If you’re looking for more workouts to try, check out my workouts page. I have everything from cardio to strength training to full body workouts over there.

Lower Body and Core Circuit Workout

Dumbbell deadlifts

With a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position.

Side plank

To perform a side plank, lay on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder and your forearm on the ground. With your top foot stacked on top of your bottom foot, lift your hips off the floor so that your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet are in a straight line. Hold and then repeat on the other side.

Step ups

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Bodyweight squats

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Bicycle crunches

Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.


The plank is very similar to the starting position of a pushup. Your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, to your heels. Just like with the pushup, if you need an easier modification, use your knees instead of your toes.


Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot.


Lie on your back with your knees bent and feel flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Make sure your neck stays in a neutral position. The upper back should be moving, not the neck. Slowly lay back down on the floor.

As always, remember to check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you. 

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What’s your favorite lower body exercise? One you absolutely hate doing?

I think my favorite lower body exercise are deadlifts. I always feel so strong when I do them – whether or not I’m actually lifting a lot of weight or not. I really don’t enjoy doing lunges. I think part of it is because my balance isn’t very good, so I always feel a bit unstable. I still do them though, because I know that the more I do them, the better I’ll get. They’re also a really great lower body exercise.

Lower Body and Core Circuit Workout