Iskra Lawrence's Lower Body Workout Is Tough, TBH, But Here's How You Can Copy Her Moves
I've been following model and activist Iskra Lawrence ever since one of her posts appeared in my Instagram recommended feed. Truthfully, I don't follow many models, but I was instantly attracted to her advocacy for body positivity and inclusion in advertising, and her openness about her own journey to becoming more confident. Just when I thought she couldn't get any cooler, I watched Iskra Lawrence's lower body workout video on Instagram and was, yet again, in awe of just how strong this woman really is.
The video, which Lawrence posted on her Instagram on Saturday, Jan. 26, shows the #AerieReal model going through four different exercises, which are all great for strengthening your lower body muscles (more on those deets in a bit).
Generally speaking, Lawrence's relationship with exercise has definitely been a journey. In a 2016 Instagram post, she described how she works out not out of some sense of obligation, but as a way to love her body and have fun.
It's taken me 5 years of consistently working out no matter where I am (you can exercise anywhere at anytime esp when traveling) trying all sorts of PTs, classes & YouTubes to get to the point where I LOVE working out because I want to be healthy and strong for life.
Even on the days when she might not have wanted to move her body at the start of a workout, the endorphins have always seemed to kick in just in time, Lawrence wrote in the 2016 post. “I have never regretted a workout and when I struggle for motivation I just remember how good I felt after the last time," she explained in the caption of the post. "No one can hand you motivation but you and your body deserve it. You only have one body this lifetime so why not look after it.”
If you're just as here for this balanced approach to fitness as I am, try following along during your own workout with some of the below tips and tricks.
Barbell back squats
"A squat really works your whole body and it works your core if you're engaging it properly, so it's a really dynamic exercise that's great," Lawrence told POPSUGAR UK back in January 2018. "For me, it's the basis of strong legs and glutes, and it's the go-to."
Squats are also great because the variations are endless, so you can tailor the movement to your specific routine and capabilities. You can do jump squats, single leg squats, plié squats, or a barbell back squat, as Lawrence is doing in the beginning of her Instagram video, with a variety of weights.
If you are using weights in your squats, be extra careful that you aren't leaning forward when you come down, fitness expert Charlotte Campbell told Cosmopolitan UK, as that could put too much pressure on your spine. Instead, she said, "Puffing out your chest and keeping your shoulders in line will improve your form and prevent injury." If you want more squat pointers and more Lawrence, check out her tutorial video on her YouTube channel.
Kettlebell split squats
"Kettlebell split squats are a great way to target your glutes, with a focus on powering through the glutes and hamstring on the front leg," says founding MIRROR trainer Chris Ryan. "It’s safe on the knees since you power through the heel of the front foot, and also has an added benefit of loading the abs with the front rack position of the kettlebells." Since you also need to use balance and coordination here, Ryan tells Elite Daily, this exercise is great for strengthening and toning your whole body.
To avoid putting pressure on your knees, make sure you're trying to isolate your front leg as much as you can, he adds. Focusing on keeping your chest up and your knee positioned vertically above the heel will help you stay safe as well, Ryan explaisn.
If you want an exercise that works lots of muscles at once, look no further than this bad boy. "'Good mornings' with 'press out' is a great way to stretch and strengthen your whole posterior chain in one amazing movement," Ryan explains. "It targets the glutes and hamstrings on the 'good morning' and the 'press out' portion works the back and shoulders." Keep in mind, this is one exercise that doesn't require you to load up on heavy weights, so even if you stick to a lighter bar (even just a PVC pipe might work), you'll still feel it.
"Keep the feet just outside the hips with a soft knee (not locked), and push the hips back by powering through the glutes and hamstrings," says Ryan. "When you come back up, engage the glutes and abs as strongly as possible."
Lateral band walk
The first time I tried a banded side lateral walk, I was way too confident. All you have to do is shuffle a bit with a measly band on, right? TBH, this move is secretly deadly, IMO. "For the banded side lateral walk, use a band that offers a moderate resistance to take steps while keeping the feet outside of the hips," Ryan explains, "and toes straight forward to fully engage the glutes and hips (if you turn your toes out, you will disengage the hips)."
For the full benefits of this exercise, keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned and your chest out throughout the movement, and stay in a 1/4-squat position, suggests Ryan.
One last thing: As you go through this workout routine, make sure you're also having fun with the whole thing, just like Lawrence. If you need some inspiration, try wrapping up the session with a "7 Rings" dance workout that's sure to leave you feeling like you've just left the club.