I’m gong to explain very simply how to safely perform the squat and walking lunge with a barbell, and the lying hamstring curl. I’m a certified personal trainer. All of my clients do some version of a squat. Adding a walking lunge to the squat adds dimension.

Squat & Walking Barbell Lunge

With a fixed-weight barbell across your back, execute a clean half squat. With bar still across back, take a step forward into a lunge stance, drop to a lunge, then return to start position.

Take another lunge step but with the other foot this time, lunge, return, then position for another squat.

So it’s squat, right walking lunge, left walking lunge (or left and then right), squat, and so on. This exercise can be conveniently performed in an empty fitness class studio if your gym doesn’t have ample room.

After all, the goal is to perform this routine over a distance; the length of a typical fitness class studio would be ideal.

The barbell should be light enough to allow you to do this, while heavy enough to make the journey grueling. Pay very close attention to form throughout.

Lying Hamstring Curl

There’s a twist on this very common exercise: You must squeeze the pad to your butt for a two-count before releasing it. This means for two seconds, the pad is maintaining contact with your butt.

Usually, people briefly bounce the pad to their butt before lowering, or maybe after it bounces, it hovers a second several inches away from their butt.

Bring it to your glutes and squeeze. Have a partner observe to tell you whether or not you let the pad bounce off prematurely.

Squeezing it to your glutes maximizes recruitment of the targeted muscles, plus strengthens the lower back.

If you can’t hold the pad to your butt for a two-count on the first rep, then try again with a reduced load. Aim for 8-12 reps. If you can’t squeeze the pad to your butt for the last several reps, that’s fine.

But most of the set should utilize the squeezing technique. Remember, jerking the pad to your butt and hitting it for a fraction of a second, then letting it hover a few inches away for a two-count, is not the correct way to do this exercise.

The barbell squat and lunge, and the lying hamstring curl, target all the muscles in the lower extremities.