15 Minute Lower Body Workout: The Pyramid

We all have them: Those days when you can only spare 15 minutes to exercise. You might ask yourself, “Is it even worth it?” Every time, the answer will be “YES! A resounding YES!”

This is one of my favorite super-speedy lower body workouts. Use this routine when you’re short on time, or tack it onto the end of a cardio or upper body workout if you have a few minutes to spare.

15 Minute Lower Body Workout: The Pyramid

Complete the full sequence in the order listed below, moving up the pyramid and then back down. Because this is a quick workout, try not to rest between exercises. As the reps increase, you can adjust your weights as needed to maintain proper form.

Workout Summary

  • Warm-Up: 2 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching
  • Exercise 1: Forward Hinge – 10 reps each leg
  • Exercise 2: Curtsy Lunge – 20 reps each leg
  • Exercise 3: Plié Squat – 30 reps
  • Exercise 4: Deadlift – 40 reps
  • Exercise 5: Squat – 50 reps
  • Exercise 6: Deadlift – 40 reps
  • Exercise 7: Plié Squat – 30 reps
  • Exercise 8: Curtsy Lunge – 20 reps each leg
  • Exercise 9: Forward Hinge – 10 reps each leg
  • Stretch: 2 minutes

Detailed Workout Description

Exercise 1: Forward Hinge – 10 reps each leg

  • With a dumbbell in each hand and feet hip-width apart, shift your weight to your left leg
  • Slowly lift the right leg off the floor behind you, hinging your upper body forward while keeping your hips level, your back straight, and your gaze on the floor slightly in front of you. Raise your right leg as high as possible while maintaining your form (even a few inches off the floor works perfectly)
  • Slowly reverse the motion, using your left glutes and hamstrings to pull yourself back up to standing. That’s 1 rep on 1 side

Exercise 2: Curtsy Lunge – 20 reps each leg

  • With a dumbbell in each hand and feet hip-width apart, shift your weight to the left leg
  • Lunge back with the right leg and land in a curtsy position, keeping your weight pressed into the left (front) heel, with the right toe resting lightly on the floor behind you
  • Squeezing the left glutes and quadriceps, press back up to standing to complete 1 rep on 1 side

Exercise 3: Plié Squat – 30 reps

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with your toes turned out between 45-90°
  • Slowly bend your knees, lowering your glutes towards the floor while keeping your back straight and your gaze forwards
  • Take a quick look at your knees to make sure they’re not rocking inwards or jutting out past your toes (it helps to squeeze your glutes, which automatically pulls the inner thighs back and prevents the knees from rolling in)
  • Push through your heels to rise back up to standing. That’s 1 rep

Exercise 4: Deadlift – 40 reps

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, back straight, knees soft (slightly bent), with a dumbbell in each hand. Rotate your wrists inwards so the dumbbells are lightly touching the fronts of your thighs
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards slightly, then hinge forwards from the hips, lowering the dumbbells along the fronts of your legs until you’ve stretched as far as you can go while maintaining a straight back (imagine that you’re trying to close a door with your behind)
  • Pause, then engage your hamstrings and glutes to pull yourself back up to standing, maintaining a straight back throughout the full movement. That’s 1 rep

Exercise 5: Squat – 50 reps

  • Stand with a weight in each hand, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing forwards or slightly turned out
  • Slowly bend your knees, lowering the glutes towards the ground. Focus on pressing your weight into your heels rather than your toes
  • Squat down as far as you can go while maintaining a straight spine, weight in the heels, and knees behind the fronts of the toes
  • Engage the lower body as you return to standing. That’s 1 rep

Now, reverse back down to the pyramid.

Exercise 4: Deadlift – 40 reps

Exercise 3: Plié Squat – 30 reps

Exercise 2: Curtsy Lunge – 20 reps each leg

Exercise 1: Forward Hinge – 10 reps each leg

 

 

Please note: I am not a licensed personal trainer or medical professional. Training plans, exercises, and related content on this website were derived from my own personal research and experience. While these routines have proven to be effective for me, you should always listen to your body and seek guidance from a medical professional before beginning a new exercise routine. 

What did you think? Feeling inspired?