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Lateral Step-up with Knee Drive

Lateral Step-up with Knee Drive

The Lateral Step-up with Knee Drive is a dynamic exercise that targets several muscle groups in your lower body, helping to improve strength, stability, and balance. This exercise primarily engages your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip abductors. By incorporating a knee drive, you also activate your core muscles and enhance your overall coordination. To perform the Lateral Step-up with Knee Drive, you'll need a step or a sturdy elevated surface that reaches just below or at knee height. Start by standing next to the step with your feet hip-width apart. Step laterally onto the step with your right foot, keeping your weight in your heel. Pressing through your right foot, lift your left knee upwards and drive it towards your chest. Slowly lower your left leg back to the ground and step down with your left foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side and continue alternating between legs. To make this exercise more challenging, you can hold dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands. You can also increase the tempo or add a plyometric element by explosively driving the knee upwards and quickly switching between legs. However, it's essential to maintain proper form throughout the exercise to avoid any injuries. Incorporating the Lateral Step-up with Knee Drive into your workout routine can help improve your overall lower body strength, enhance your stability and balance, and increase power and explosiveness in your hips. Remember to warm up before attempting this exercise and always listen to your body, adjusting the intensity or range of motion according to your fitness level. Enjoy the benefits of this functional exercise and feel the burn in your lower body!


  • Stand sideways next to a step or platform that is about knee height.
  • Place your nearest foot on top of the step, keeping your knee slightly bent.
  • Push through your foot on the step to lift your body up onto the step.
  • At the top of the movement, drive your opposite knee up towards your chest.
  • Pause for a moment and then lower your knee back down.
  • Step down with your elevated foot and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Switch sides and perform the exercise with the other leg.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining good posture throughout the exercise by keeping your chest up and shoulder blades down and back.
  • Engage your core muscles as you perform the step-up to increase stability and control.
  • Push through your heel as you step up onto the elevated surface to activate your glute muscles effectively.
  • Generate power for the knee drive by engaging your hip flexors and driving your knee up towards your chest.
  • Keep your knee in line with your toes during the knee drive to prevent strain on the knee joint.
  • Control the descent as you bring your leg back down from the knee drive to work your leg muscles eccentrically.
  • Use a platform height that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form throughout the exercise.
  • Start with a light weight or no weight at all until you have mastered the movement and can perform it with proper form.
  • To increase the difficulty, you can add dumbbells or a barbell to the exercise for additional weight.
  • Include this exercise in your lower body strength training routine to improve your balance, stability, and single-leg strength.

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