Lower Body

This page offers a brief overview of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that can be done at home that focus on the lower body. These workouts are here to inspire you to be active when you are interested and try something new. Therefore you should never feel obligated or pressured to exercise, please listen to what your mind and body are asking of you. We have tried to make each of these workouts accessible and scalable to any level, if you are unsure of a movement please google it as we have not yet had time to make tutorials for all movements. If you have any questions or comments please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you. 

Modifying Movements 

We all have different physical skills, experiences, and previous injuries. Therefore it is imperative that you adapt each movement to fit your needs and desires. You can modify these movements in any way, but we suggest a few possible ways below. Squats: We all have different levels of flexibility and range of motion, so please listen to your body on how low you can go and how much weight you should put on your back. You can make squats easier by putting a chair behind you to see how deep to go, and harder by adding more weight or jumping. Please see this video on how to squat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_VtOYc6j5c

Making at Home Weights 

If you do not have weights or stretch bands, here are a few ways to make weights at home. You can fill up any bag (hand bags, backpacks, suitcases) with heavy items (filled water bottles, books, canned food) from around your house. Get creative! If you do have weights or resistance bands, please make sure they are appropriate and safe to use. 


Build a Bear

This workout is another one inspired by our favorite furry forest friend. You will move through a number of dynamic movements meant to give you the strength and speed of any bear. If you choose to use a weight, you will need one backpack or bag that will be worn on your back throughout the work out, please drop if whenever you want. Hope you are ready to hibernate after! 

  • Start in a plank or push-up position, and do 10 knees to elbow 
  • 10 Squats 
  • 10 Jumping Squats 
  • 10 Forward Lunges each leg 
  • 10 High Knees each leg (running in place)
  • 1 loud growl

Repeat for 8 minutes or until you feel grizzly.

Lunge O’ Clock

It’s quitting time, time to hit the bar(bell)! The name has it all, nothing beats the rewarding burn of a good lunge. During this workout you will lunge in all directions, following the numbers on a clock. If it is useful, you can lay out markers at each of the 12 positions.  Please make sure you spend more energy focusing on form and quality over speed. This includes not letting your knees hit the ground between lunges, making sure you do not extend your knee over your toes, and moving as deep as you can into each lunge. If you would like to make this workout more challenging, feel free to wear a backpack. 

  • 12 Lunges each leg at 12
  • 6 Lunges at 11 and 1
  • 6 Lunges at 10 and 2
  • 6 Lunges at 9 and 3
  • 6 Lunges at 8 and 4
  • 6 Lunges at 7 and 5 
  • 12 Lunges each leg at 6 

Once at 6 walk your way back to 12:00!

Saddle up!

Get ready to run so fast in place you can almost feel the wind in your hair! This workout has a stronger focus on speed and getting your heart rate up to where it almost feels like you are galloping across the plains. For this workout you will need to find a step, or build a step out of a stack of books!

  • 10 High Knees (running in place) 
  • 10 Jumping Jacks 
  • 10 Toe Touches to the step  or books
  • 10 Jump Squats onto the step, or over the books
  • 10 Toe Touches to the step or books
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 High Knees (running in place) 

As fast as you can for one round, break for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times! 

Pirate’s Glute-y

We’re going to focus on the body’s LARGEST muscle today: THE GLUTES. While the G maximus gets the most publicity, your glutes are actually composed of two more muscles, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. These three muscles work in tandem to extend your hip joint (think standing up) and keep your legs stable. Not only do they look good but they help prevent injuries from sports including running! Let’s get it

Warm up: 30 sec each jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, high kicks

4 rounds, 1 minute rest between each

  • 10x jump lunges (10 each side)
  • 15x air squats
  • 20x glute med squeeze
    • Start on all fours, raise one leg out to your side like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant
    • Squeeze and hold at the very top before bringing your leg back down
  • 30 sec jumping jacks
Jump, Jump, Jump Around!

This plyometric (jumping) based workout will help build your explosive strength. It may also may annoy your downstairs neighbors…

Warm up – jumping jacks

4 rounds, 1 minute rest between rounds

  • 15x Jump squats
    • Make sure to get proper depth on your squats! Thighs should be parallel with the ground
    • To increase difficulty hold weights (or textbooks)
  • 20x mountain climber
  • 10x jump lunges
    • That’s 10 per leg!

Finisher: burpees for time –

  • Beginner – 15x burpees
  • Intermediate – 30x burpees
  • Advanced – 60x burpees

Get ready to Jump, Jump, Jump around! This workout focuses on moving fast and getting your heart rate up, so compete all three rounds with speed in mind! Please be safe and careful with the box jumps, and if you do not have stairs or a box to use, you can do tuck jumps.

3 Sets of…
– 20 high knees
– 20 tuck jumps or box jumps (can use stairs instead of a box)
– 20 jumping lunges
– 20 push ups (add clap if you can!)

Chris Lites
Chris is a second year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. After graduating from Columbia University in 2016 with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior he worked in consulting and then managed a private practice for a cardiologist. Currently obsessed with boxing, calisthenics and functional strength training, Chris has always been a fitness fanatic. Since becoming a NASM certified personal trainer in 2018 he has been committed to promoting exercise and general wellness within each of his communities.
Jacob Klickstein
Jacob is a 4th year MD/PhD student at Tufts University School of Medicine working on his PhD in neuroscience. He currently works to create motor neurons from human stem cells, but when he isn’t in the lab, he can be found running down the esplanade, practicing handstands or tending to his indoor forest. Before joining Tufts, he worked as a clinical research assistant creating and maintaining a patient tissue bank for Alzheimer’s disease research. While at MGH, he helped establish the MGH running club and ran the 2017 Boston marathon. He continues his obsession with running as the leader of the TUSM running club and now as the COO at Medicine in Motion.
Amanda Cao
Amanda is a 2nd year student at Harvard Medical School. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri before attending college at MIT, where she graduated in 2019 with a degree in Biology. Amanda has always enjoyed playing sports and keeping active, and her favorite forms of exercise include swimming and boxing. Amanda is excited to work with Medicine in Motion to combine her interest in physical activity with her passion for building community within her profession.
Michael Duggan
Mike is a second year medical student at the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School in Brisbane, Australia. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 2016 with a BS in Biology, he worked as a clinical research coordinator on childhood obesity focused research projects at Massachusetts General Hospital. His biggest fitness accomplishments to date are running the Boston Marathon and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He is looking forward towards utilizing fitness to create and develop a sense of community among medical students.
Shani Aharon
Shani Aharon is a 4th year medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. She considers herself adventurous, and would try any sport once: she grew up figure skating, rowed crew in college, played ultimate frisbee while working, and now runs in her free time in medical school. Having a few years of work-life balance as a healthcare consultant prior to medical school, Shani is passionate about maintaining mind-body wellness and helping do the same. She’s excited to put her past experience to good use as the CFO of Medicine in Motion.
Logan Briggs
Logan Briggs is a 4th year Harvard Medical Student. He swam for, and captained, the Dartmouth swim team and graduated in 2016. During a gap year before medical school, he worked as a wilderness guide in Tanzania and biked across the US to raise money for medical service work that he later performed in Nepal. Having been a lifelong swimmer, transitioned to triathlete, Logan strongly believes that regular exercise and social connection is the key to balance and happiness. He helped found Medicine in Motion to extend those benefits to others.
Chase Marso
Chase is a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical school and co-founder of Medicine in Motion. A former Augustana University quarterback and basketball coach in his hometown of Brandon, SD, he has always had a passion for physical fitness and a desire to encourage others in athletic achievement. Chase sees Medicine in Motion’s mission of inspiring others towards their physical fitness goals while promoting philanthropy as Medicine in Motion’s most unique and worthwhile endeavor.
Cray Noah
Cray is an engineer and doctor-in-training dedicated to innovating ways to increase access to preventative medicine and health technology. As a fourth-year student in Harvard’s MD/MBA program, he brings experience working at the nexus of biomedicine and business in the medical device startup space during his time at Georgia Tech and now in Boston. While passionate about innovative biotechnology, Cray believes creating community through exercise and fitness is the best form of preventative medicine to date and is dedicated to furthering that mission through Medicine in Motion. A native Texan, Cray has transitioned from football to triathlons, tennis and sailing since moving northeast.
Michael Seward
Mike is a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical School (HMS) where he co-founded Medicine in Motion in 2017 with Chase, Logan, and Derek. As a varsity ice hockey player at Harvard College, he became interested in nutrition and for his senior thesis implemented a traffic-light food labeling study in the college dining halls to encourage healthy eating choices. After graduating, he worked for two years in clinical research at an Obesity Prevention Program at HMS and worked at the Hospital for Special Surgery where he saw the alarming rise in knee replacements mirror national trends in obesity. This sparked his interest in the intersection of orthopaedic surgery, nutrition, and fitness, and his medical school thesis investigates a pre-operative remote weight loss intervention and mobile app for patients anticipating total joint replacement surgery.
Derek Soled
Derek is a fourth-year MD/MBA candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School. He serves as the student council co-president at the medical school. Derek graduated from Yale University in 2016 as a double major in biology and sociology and was the captain of the Yale fencing team. He then pursued a MSc in medical anthropology from the University of Oxford where he set an all-time record in the pole vault. A recipient of the Walter Byers Scholarship, an honor bestowed by the NCAA to the country's best overall male and female student-athlete each year, and a current member of Team USA for fencing, Derek is passionate about sport and continues to compete at a professional level as well as coach low-income children in Boston. As a first-year medical student, Derek co-founded Medicine in Motion.
Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH
Cross-Fit Extraordinaire
Frank McGovern, MD
Collegiate Swimmer, Triathlete
Noelle Saillant, MD
Runner, Cyclist
Dana Stearns, MD
Professional Cyclist
Jennifer Tan, MD
Bootcamp, Cyclist
Grant Riew
Grant is a first year medical student at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Harvard College in 2019 with a degree in Human Evolutionary Biology and Economics. He is interested in the effects of modern environments (low activity, lots of sitting, and lots of calories!) on human health and disease and has previously researched the effects of exercise on joint health. Grant is now excited to be involved in MiM research and and can’t wait to get active with others to promote healthy lifestyles. In his spare time, Grant enjoys hanging with friends, going on long walks, and playing the cello.
Sara Rubin
Sara is a 6th year MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School and is currently in her 4th year of the Immunology PhD Program studying blood cell development in zebrafish. After graduating from Princeton University in 2014 with a degree in Chemistry, she spent one year conducting research that the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. In addition to her passion for medicine and science, Sara is an avid athlete who over the years has participated and competed in many different sports including gymnastics, softball, tennis, and pole vaulting. She was introduced to CrossFit and weightlifting in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since, always looking for opportunities to train and compete with friends and to share her love and knowledge of the sport of fitness with others. She is eager to bring her passion for fitness and community building to Medicine in Motion.
Jenny Sullivan
Jenny is a second-year medical student at UMass Medical School. She received her undergraduate degree in Global Health at Georgetown University in 2018, where she was also a diver on the Swim and Dive team for four years. Jenny is excited to find the same sense of community, support, and passion for fitness that she had during college athletics as a member of Medicine in Motion.
Erica Lee
Erica is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland - College Park in the Integrated Life Sciences Honors College. She is pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in business. She is interested in the effects of burnout in the medical field as well as how action can be taken to mitigate this growing issue. Erica has been swimming and playing soccer since she was six years old and looks forward to being able to combine her love of sports and science!
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