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11 Unique LBT Class Ideas Designed to Challenge

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Implementing some challenging LBT class ideas into your sessions is crucial for keeping your class members motivated.

In this article, we’ve come up with 11 ideas designed to push your class members, keep them engaged, and ensure that they want to keep participating in your LBT classes!

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11 Creative Legs, Bums And Tums Class Ideas

#1 - Include Jumping Squats In Your LBT Class Plan

jumping squat lbt class ideas graphic

As a variation on conventional squats, jumping squats are one of the best legs, bums and tums class ideas for increasing the intensity of your sessions.

Performing a jumping squat targets the same muscles as a regular squat, which includes the:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Calves

However, there’s more jumping squat benefits than the regular squat because it has a ‘plyometric’ element.

This means that the speed and force of the muscle contractions is increased adding an extra level of difficulty for your class members.

Over time, this means that jumping squats can improve functional movement patterns, helping members to develop more power and speed, making it one of the best LBT class ideas.

This also improves lower body strength and endurance, so that your members can sustain exercise for longer periods of time. 

 

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Retaining balance upon landing also engages the core muscles, so is a great exercise to add to your LBT class ideas to cover the ‘tums’ element of the session too!

To perform jumping squats:

  1. Keeping feet shoulder width apart and the back straight, ask class members to deeply inhale and squat down until their legs are parallel with the floor, at a 90-degree angle.
  2. As they exhale, push through the balls of the feet and up into the air, keeping the core muscles engaged.
  3. Land as gently as possible in the squat position, keeping the knees soft to provide a cushion for the landing.

A great way of including jumping squats into your session is to combine the movement with regular squats. We’d recommend programming 10 regular reps, followed by 10 jumping reps, to really push the quads at the end of the session.

If you want LBT class ideas to really increase the heart rate of class members, you could include Tabata style jumping squats, with 20 seconds on the exercise and 10 seconds off.

#2 - Add A Resistance Band To Some Legs, Bums, And Tums Class Exercises

resistance bands lbt class ideas graphic

Including resistance bands in your class is a great way of increasing the difficulty of certain exercises, without the need for free weights. 

Compared to dumbbells and barbells, they’re portable, inexpensive, and easy to use. Resistance bands also come in different lengths and tensions, from light to extra heavy.

This makes including resistance bands one of the best LBT class ideas for both beginners and those with more experience, as well as being extremely cost effective.

Resistance bands can be used to increase the difficulty of many different lower body exercises, including squats.

Not only do they add extra resistance to squats, but they also protect the knees whilst members perform the movement, helping to prevent injury.

Here’s a few legs, bums and tums class exercises that you could add a resistance band with:

Include Banded Lateral Squat Walks

lateral squat lbt class ideas graphic

Using a resistance band to perform lateral squat walks will allow your class members to recruit the hip abductors and the gluteus medius more effectively within the movement.

Using a resistance band to perform lateral squat walks will help exercise the hip and glute muscles more effectively!

Lateral squat walks are a great exercises for your fitness class warm up ideas because they improve stabilisation of muscles in the:

  • Hips
  • Feet
  • Ankles
  • Knees

This will help to improve overall movement efficiency for the rest of the workout.

Ask members to perform lateral squats by:

  1. Wrapping the resistance band around the legs, just above the ankles. Placing the feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees and lower into a half-squat position. 
  2. They should then shift their weight over one leg, taking a step sideways with the other leg.
  3. Then, ask members to shift their weight into the other leg and take a step to the other side, maintaining the half squat position. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Incorporate Glute Bridges

glute bridge lbt class ideas image

Adding extra resistance to a glute bridge forces the glutes to work even harder, in order to complete the movement.

It also targets other muscles including the hamstrings and lower back, as well as the hip abductors and muscles within the core.

To perform a banded glute bridge:

  1. Put the resistance band on just above the knee.
  2. Lying flat on their backs, with hands by their sides, ask members to lift their hips up until their bodies are at a 45-degree angle to the floor. 
  3. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, before returning to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps, or 20 reps for an end-of-class burn out exercise.

Whilst performing this movement, ensure that your class members are fully pressing their heels into the floor to fully engage the glutes.

When coming up with LBT class ideas, you could include this exercise in the warm-up. It warms up muscles in the back and legs along the posterior chain to ensure these muscles are engaged throughout the session.

#3 - Focusing On Time Under Tension Is One Of The Best LBT Class Ideas

TUT lbt class ideas image

Time under tension (TUT) is training where the amount of time a muscle is held in tension or strain is increased steadily to lengthen each part of the movement.

This technique keeps the recruited muscles under tension for longer, which causes microscopic tears in the muscle tissue.

As the body repairs these tears, the muscles adapt, causing them to grow. This also creates a greater mind to muscle connection, as the performer really focuses on feeling the muscle move whilst slowing the movement down.

Focusing on time under tension benefits your class members, as it means that they’re more likely to engage the correct muscles effectively, and work on improving their technique.

Our recommendations for including this in your LBT class ideas is by using the TUT method with flutter kicks.

flutter kicks lbt class ideas image

Flutter kicks primarily work the rectus abdominis, which is the muscle covering the stomach area.

By slowing the movement down and focusing on short, controlled repetitions, this forces the muscle to work harder to keep the legs in the air and provide sufficient support for the torso.

The movement also activates the hip flexors, which help to keep the legs moving up and down, as well as engaging the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps too. 

To perform flutter kicks using the TUT technique:

  1. Ask class members to lie back and extend their legs to a 45-degree angle. They should keep their arms on the floor, with hands beneath the hips for lower back support, and palms facing down.
  2. They should then lift their head, neck, and shoulders slightly off the floor. 
  3. Keeping the legs straight and toes pointed, lower one leg, raising the other. Repeat this movement slowly, alternating between both legs.

Rather than performing a specific number of reps, ask members to perform for a set amount of time, such as 30 seconds. This means that they’re more likely to focus on time under tension, keeping the legs moving in the air for the allotted period. 

#4 - Include One and a Half-Rep Squats to Increase the Intensity of Your LBT Class Exercises

squat 2 lbt class ideas graphic

One and half-rep squats are a variation that involves lowering to the bottom of the movement, then coming back up only half way, before lowering back down again. 

This is one of the best legs, bums and tums class ideas as it increases the tension for the muscles used at the bottom of the squats.

This doubles the resistance on muscles recruited within the movement, which includes the:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Erectors (lower back)
  • Adductors
  • Calves

As well as increasing the strength of these bigger muscles, the 1.5 rep squat also helps to strengthen the stabiliser muscles that are used in the exercise.

For instance, the core muscles prevent the upper body from falling forwards or backwards when members are at the bottom part of the squat.

Emphasising the bottom portion of the squat continually uses these muscles, so repeating this movement over time will help to improve their stabilising strength.

When it comes to the conventional squat, most people are able to perform the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement in a slow and controlled manner.

However, you may find that some members of your class struggle to push up out of the bottom of the lift due to weak quadriceps, glutes, and erectors.

So, by helping to improve strength within these muscles, placing repeated emphasis on the bottom part of the movement also helps to improve general squat technique.

When performing a one and a half rep squat:

  1. Ask class members to place their feet approximately shoulder-width apart, with the toes turned out slightly.
  2. As they lower down, they should bend the knees and drop the hips, keeping the back straight.
  3. Begin to return to the starting position, but instead of going all the way up, stop halfway and perform the squat again.
  4. Finally, return to the starting position, and repeat for 8 to 10 reps.

To include this squat variation in your class, we’d recommend starting out with normal squats, to demonstrate the correct form and technique to beginners.

You can then add the 1.5 squat as a progression, to increase the intensity of your LBT class plan.

#5 - Pulsing Exercises Are Another Of The Best Legs, Bums & Tums Class Ideas

squat lbt class ideas graphic

Pulsing exercises are those which include moving a part of the body up and down in very small, repetitive motions.

Using these in your LBT class ideas is a great way of maximising muscle fatigue by isolating the active muscles.

This not only increases muscle endurance but helps to build mass too by bringing more blood to them during training!

If you’re looking for some legs, bums and tums class ideas that involve pulsing movements, here are some that we’d recommend including:

Squat Pulses

squat lbt class ideas graphic

Squat pulses are a bodyweight squat variation that use a shorter range of motion than conventional squats.

Although they target the glutes and hamstrings, the pulsing motion is particularly effective for isolating and activating the quadricep muscles, which are closest to the knee.

The quads play a key role in stabilisation within the squat movement.

To perform a squat pulse:

  1. Ask members to place their feet approximately shoulder-width apart, with the toes turned out slightly.
  2. With bent knees, lower down until the hips are parallel with the ground.
  3. To perform the pulsing movement, lift the body up a couple of inches without fully extending the legs, keeping a slight bend in the knee.
  4. Then, return back down to a full squat position, quickly bending the knees again to continue pulsing up and down.

The squat pulse should be performed for at least 30 seconds, ensuring that reps are small and controlled, with muscles in the lower body contracted throughout.

Alternatively, you could add 2 to 3 pulses at the bottom of your normal squat movement, before returning to the starting position, and repeating again. 

Reverse Leg Lifts

reverse leg lift lbt class ideas image

Adding 2 to 3 pulse movements at the top of a reverse leg lift places a higher level of resistance onto the glute muscles.

This exercise is therefore a great option for including in your warm up, to help activate the glute muscles.

It also works well as a finisher, as the added pulse will help to fatigue the glute muscles at the end of your LBT class.

Here’s how to include a pulsing movement in your reverse leg lifts:

  1. Ask class members to kneel down on all fours, placing their forearms on the floor with the elbows under the shoulders, and the knees under the hips.
  2. Squeezing the glutes, raise one leg up and bend the knee so the leg it at a right angle.
  3. Push the sole of the foot towards the ceiling, then perform 2 to 3 pulsing movements whilst keeping the leg in that position.
  4. Lower the leg slowly and repeat for 8 to 10 reps, before switching to the other leg. 

If you’re finding this article helpful, why not get more tips on training and teaching fitness classes with our others below?

#6 Integrate Plank Variations into Your LBT Class Ideas

plank lbt class ideas graphic

Planks are one of the best legs, bums and tums class exercises to actively engage your core

However, they also require the use of muscles throughout the whole body in order to keep you balanced. 

Strengthening these areas also makes it easier to maintain a neutral position in the lower back and prevents shoulders from hunching, improving the posture of your class members.

However, planks can be boring for members if you include them in every session, so we’d suggest incorporating some variations into your class to keep them engaged.

Plank variations add an extra stability challenge, including movements such as:

  • Plank pulse
  • Reverse plank
  • Slow mountain climber

reverse plank lbt class ideas image

If you’re looking for effective, impactful LBT class ideas, we’d particularly recommend including the side plank variation, which targets the side abdominals and helps to strengthen the spine.

Performing them often can also help to rectify muscular imbalances, where one side is weaker than the other and the stronger muscles have to overcompensate as a result.

Here’s how to demonstrate a side plank to your class members:

  1. Lie on your right side and put your right arm on the floor. Shift your weight onto the right forearm and use it to prop yourself up, ensuring that your elbow is in line with your shoulder.
  2. Raise the hips up so that your body forms a straight line to the ground. You should form a triangle shape with the floor.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to the other side.

You could also try variations that incorporate some simple dynamic movement, to increase the heart rates of your members alongside challenging their strength. Some ideas include:

  • Plank jacks
  • Plank with shoulder tap
  • Mountain climbers
  • See-saw planks

#7 - Single Leg RDLs Are One Of The Best LBT Class Exercises For Improving Stability

deadlift lbt class ideas image

Single leg Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) are a vertical hip-hinge exercise which is one of the best deadlift variations to target muscles in the:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Back
  • Calves

Similarly, to side planks, the single leg RDL is a unilateral (one-sided) exercise. This movement will therefore help your class members tackle any muscular imbalances in the glutes and hamstrings on each leg.

Bilateral exercises, such as the standard Romanian deadlift, can often mask these imbalances, which is why we'd suggest including the single leg variation in your LBT class plan.

Practising on just one leg is a great method of increasing the difficulty of a conventional RDL, as it requires members to keep their balance whilst they perform the movement.

The more that they practice the movement, the more it will help to improve stability within the ankles, knees, and hips, protecting the lower body from injury.

 

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It also targets the core muscles, as they work to help members maintain a neutral spine position and keep them balanced on one leg. Ask your class to perform single leg RDLs by:

  1. Standing in a staggered stance, with one foot in front of the other. They should then shift all of their weight into the front foot.
  2. With a slight bend in the knees, push the hips back so that the torso tilts forward. As they do so, allow the back foot to lift off the floor, lowering the arm on the same side down simultaneously.
  3. Lift back up to the starting position, and perform 8 to 10 reps on each leg.

Ensure that class members maintain a neutral spine position and do not round the back, as this can cause pain in the lower back.

Beginners can use props such as a chair or wall for balance, and for those who have nailed the basic movement, you could recommend using a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand to increase the difficulty.

#8 - Try An Elevated Single Leg Glute Bridge If You’re Looking for Challenging LBT Class Ideas

single leg glute bridge lbt class ideas image

The elevated single leg glute bridge combines two glute bridge variations together.

Regular glute bridges target the muscles within both the glutes and the hamstrings.

However, adding an elevation increases the distance that the hips have to travel, and therefore the work that has to be completed, pushing the muscles more and developing strength and endurance. 

Elevating the feet also means that the knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, whereas in a classic glute bridge the knees are placed at approximately 70 degrees.

The single leg movement allows class members to work on the individual strength of each leg, forcing muscles within the posterior chain to work even harder to complete the movement.

This also makes it a great exercise for addressing any muscular imbalances or weaknesses on one side. 

Here’s how to demonstrate an elevated single leg glute bridge to your class:

  1. Lie on your back, with the knees bent and heels close to the glutes.
  2. Place both heels onto a box or bench, keeping the knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Pushing the hips high, take one foot from the bench and straighten the leg towards the ceiling, keeping the other leg in the same position.
  4. Driving through the heel of the foot on the box, raise the hips, squeezing the glutes and keeping the core tight. Hold for a second, and then lower back to the starting position.
  5. Perform this for 8-10 reps, then repeat with the other leg.

It’s important to remind your class members that the glutes should drive the movement, rather than the lower back. 

To prevent hyperextension of the back, you should also remind them not to arch their backs, and maintain a neutral spine position.

You could include the elevated single leg glute bridge into your LBT class plan as a warm-up movement, to stretch out the hips and really fire up the glutes and hamstrings for the main session. 

Alternatively, you may choose to include it as part of a superset, with exercises such as squats or lunges, to push the muscles to fatigue.

#9 - Walking Lunges Are Another Of The Most Challenging Legs, Bums And Tums Class Exercises

lunge lbt class ideas image

Whilst conventional lunges challenge class members’ coordination skills and balance, remaining upright whilst moving on one leg independently, walking lunges are a further challenge.

Not only will your members have to balance in one place, but walking adds a dynamic element to the exercise.

This is one of the best LBT class exercises because they exercise muscles in all of the targeted areas of the class:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Abdominals

Practising walking lunges instead of regular lunges can also help to increase your members’ range of motion and improve flexibility, loosening up the hamstrings and hips. 

Alongside the benefits to your coordination, the walking movement also helps to increase the heart rate of your members during the session.

This makes walking lunges the perfect exercise for a blast of strength and conditioning at the end of a session.

To perform walking lunges:

  1. Starting with the feet approximately shoulder width apart, take a step forward with the right leg, pushing through the heel.
  2. Next, bend the left knee, lowering down until it is in a lunge position parallel to the floor.
  3. Then put the weight on to the right leg and straighten it, stepping forward with the left foot performing the whole movement on the left leg.
  4. Repeat this movement for 20 reps, 10 on each leg, walking forward and alternating legs whilst lunging forward.

#10 Include Side Planks with Hip Dips in Your LBT Class Ideas 

side plank lbt class ideas image

A standard side plank is great for building muscle endurance and strengthening the oblique muscles (those on the sides of the torso).

This is one of the best LBT class ideas for making sure your classes target all of the core rather than just the abdominus muscles. 

The oblique muscles are also important for supporting the spine as well as the core so this is a great one for building strength and stability in your class members, especially those with any back issues!

Adding a hip dip in adds an extra level of intensity and an increased level of contraction in the oblique muscles with the range of motion.

Class members will also have to engage the glute muscles to remain stable and make sure that the spine remains neutral and the hips don’t jut outwards during the dip.

To perform this exercise, class members should:

1) Have the arm at a 90 degree angle supporting the weight of the body lying sideways.

2) Lift the hips off the ground with a neutral spin with the other hand on the hip, the body in a straight line leaning on the arm against the floor

3) Slowly lower the hip to the ground and touch the floor lightly before immediately lifting back up to a neutral position

4) Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps per side 

You can do this exercise with beginners or regular class members but make sure you offer a modification for stability of staggering the legs so that both feet are touching the ground.

You should also make sure to tell class members not to stick their hips out and push out the glutes whilst dipping.

This will stop the obliques being engaged properly and put pressure on muscles in the lower back.

#11 - Add Supersets to Your LBT Class Plan to Challenge Endurance

supersets lbt class ideas graphic

Combining two exercises into a superset is a great way of maximising your LBT class ideas, as it allows you to skip the break time between exercises. This means that you can pack much more into your class!

It also adds variety into the session, helping to keep your class members engaged and coming back for more.

Having less downtime between exercises means that the heart doesn’t have a chance to return to a resting state, improving cardiovascular endurance.

It’s important to remember that just because you’re targeting certain muscles in an LBT class this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include cardio and aerobic exercises. This way you’ll help a wider variety of people with different goals!

We’d recommend not including too many back-to-back muscle group supersets in your LBT class plan, as this will lead to class members becoming too fatigued to complete the whole workout.

Therefore, we’d suggest including these supersets towards the end of the class, to act as a burn out for your class members.

If you’re looking for some LBT class exercises to create a superset with, you could combine some of the other ideas we’ve explored in this article.

For example, you could superset a regular squat with jumping squats. This will provide your class members with all of the strength benefits of squats, as well as improving power, speed and balance with the jumping variation.

Before You Go!

We hope that this article has provided you with all of the LBT class ideas that you need to switch up your usual session.

Incorporating multiple ideas into your class plan will provide a challenge for your class members, as well as help set your classes apart from the competition.

Don’t forget you can enhance your expertise and career by earning a qualification to become a Level 3 personal trainer.

Alternatively, you can find out more by downloading our free course prospectus!

Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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