If you could use a new core and lower body workout routine and partner to help you get ready for summer, look no further than Erik Bartell (@realerikbartell). The celebrity trainer has helped numerous people blast fat, build muscle, and get into their best shape. His mission is to help redefine what a “dad bod” is, and you can join him for workouts every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 a.m. EST on the Muscle & Fitness Instagram page.

One recent workout that Bartell shared is a core and lower body workout session. The premise of this core and lower body workout is to make every minute of training count. That is why this workout is focused on alternating one minute of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with another minute of strength training focused exercises. You have 10 seconds to transition from one movement to the next. There are a few benefits that come with this type of training.

Focus on These Types of Training Techniques

Unilateral Training – “We’re going to find imbalances in your body because we’re going to do a lot of unilateral movements,” Bartell explains. Improving these imbalances can help maximize your potential for function and looks.

Cardio Training – Bartell also wants to “make your doctor happy,” and that is why this workout will have a lot of cardio. You will notice an increase in your heart rate. You’ll sweat and burn a lot of calories as well.

Mental Resilience – The trainer wants to help you become stronger mentally as well as physically. “That all starts right here, zero excuses. That’s your mantra for the day.”

Erik Bartell’s  ‘Zero Excuses’ Lower-Body Warmup

Perform each of these exercises with the goal of preparing for the workout to come. Don’t go all-out yet. Gradually increase your effort until you finish all of these exercises. Once you complete them, follow Bartell as he does some stretching before things get serious.

  • Jog in Place – 1 min.
  • Bodyweight Squats – 25 reps
  • High Kicks – Alternating right leg with left arm and left leg with right arm. Continue until your hamstrings feel warm and loose.
  • Stretching

The Workout

Every exercise here is to be performed for one minute. Special instructions for each exercise is included if needed. You have no more than 10 seconds to transition from one exercise to the next. Bartell recommends that you go at your own pace and to slow down or take a few deep breaths if necessary. His only rule is pretty simple to follow. “Just don’t stop.”

Perform each lower body exercise for one minute and transition into the next lower body exercise within 10 seconds.

 “Zero Excuses”
Exercise Duration Transition
Half-Jacks 1 min.
Goblet Squat 1 min. 10 sec.
Curtsy Lunge 1 min. 10 sec.
Stationary Lunge Hold (Switch legs at 30-second mark) 1 min. 10 sec.
Dive Bomber Pushups 1 min. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Row (Use both dumbbells at the same time) 1 min. 10 sec.
Alternating Split Squats 1 min. 10 sec.
Goblet Squat 1 min. 10 sec.
Tuck Jump 1 min. 10 sec.
Lateral Lunge (Alternate 5 reps for each side) 1 min. 10 sec.
Fast Feet Sprawl 1 min. 10 sec.
Jump Rope (Hop if you don’t have a rope) 1 min. 10 sec.
Wall Sit (Go down into a squat position and hold it if you don’t have access to a wall) 1 min. 10 sec.
Single-arm Clean and Press (Alternate arms on clean and press) 1 min. 10 sec.
Water Break (Take one minute to drink water, use a towel, and catch your breath. Don’t skip this.) 1 min. 10 sec.
Alternating Pushup (Perform a pushup, move your arms to another side, and repeat) 1 min. 10 sec.
Pushup with Dumbbell Row 9Alternate arms) 1 min. 10 sec.
Reverse Lunge with Dumbbells 1 min. 10 sec.
Bulgarian Split Squat (If possible, place one foot on a dumbbell behind you) 1 min. 10 sec.
Animal Flo 1 min. 10 sec.
Single-leg Hip Thrust 1 min. 10 sec.
Pausing High Knees 1 min. 10 sec.
Single-leg Deadlift (Alternate legs) 1 min. 10 sec.
Single-arm Dumbbell Snatch (Alternate arms on snatches) 1 min. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Stiff-leg Deadlift 1 min. 10 sec.
Water Break (This break is also for one minute. Don’t try to power through.) 1 min. 10 sec.

Core Complex Workout

The final phase of the workout is devoted to the midsection. Aside from helping develop that six-pack, these movements can help strengthen your core.

  • Side Bend with Dumbbell – Switch sides after 30 seconds.
  • Alternating Lying Leg Raise – Alternate which leg goes up while maintaining a tight core.
  • Bird Dog
  • Kneeling Overhead Dumbbell Extension – Perform 10 reps with control.
  • Lying Knee Ins with Single Dumbbell Press – Alternate the press with the knee-ins.


  • Lateral Lunge – Perform at least 10 reps.
  • Reverse Lunge – Perform at least 10 reps.

Bartell acknowledges that most people skip the cooldown portion of the workout due to “not having time.” This is what he calls an “excuse.” “You have five minutes to do a cooldown. What you’re doing when you cool down is you’re dropping your heart rate. You’re allowing your body to exit fight or flight…and then start recovery.”

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