The workout below is for Day 26 of the Just Enough Workout, a four-week workout plan. Today’s routine is pretty great on its own, but you can also check out the full program right here or browse the calendar here. If you’d like to sign up to receive daily emails featuring these workouts, you can do that here.

All right, Team SELF! You’ve made it to your final strength workout of this program. This is it! Today will focus on building strength on each side of your body independently using some unilateral exercises.

The curtsy lunge is a great option, but if it makes your knees feel a bit cranky, there are swaps you can make. You can do a reverse lunge (which you did earlier in this program), or even a lateral lunge. In a lateral lunge, you’ll step out to the side with your right foot, coming into a wide stance, then bend your right knee, while keeping your left leg perfectly straight. Return to start, and then repeat on the other side, stepping out to the side with the left foot. While this variation doesn’t work exactly the same muscles as a curtsy lunge, it’s close, and can be a good option that’s easier on your knees.

If lunges give you trouble, you may also want to avoid doing forward lunges. Though stepping forward might seem like an obvious “beginner” exercise, stepping backward into a reverse lunge, or stepping to the side in a lateral lunge, is almost always less aggravating to stiff knees.

You might find your knees are also happier during workouts when you’ve taken adequate time to warm up. Just five minutes of dynamic movements can help your body feel more limber and can make you less prone to injury. Try this warm-up designed for strength training, then get started below.

Just Enough Movement Directions:

  • Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.
  • After completing all three exercises, rest for up to 60 seconds. That’s 1 round.
  • Complete 2–3 rounds.

Just Enough Movement Exercises:

  • Bodyweight Curtsy Lunge (Alternating Sides)
  • Bird-Dog (Alternating Sides)
  • Modified Plank Bodyweight Row

Just a Little More Movement Directions:

Complete each exercise for your chosen work/rest interval:

  • 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
  • 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
  • 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

After all of your exercises are done, rest for up to 60 seconds. That’s 1 round. Complete 3–5 rounds.

Just a Little More Movement Exercises:

  • Curtsy Lunge Alternating (Medium Dumbbell Set)
  • Single-Arm Row – Left Side (Medium Dumbbell Set)
  • Bird Dog Crunch (Alternating Sides)
  • Single-Arm Row – Right Side (Medium Dumbbell Set)
  • Glute Bridge March

Exercise Directions: