Carrie Underwood's Leg Workout Is No Joke — Here's How to Do It

The singer's trainer offers a step-by-step guide to a modified version of Underwood's leg day routine.

Carrie Underwood
Photo: Getty Images

It's no secret Carrie Underwood has major vocal strength. But the country singer also has serious stamina and physical power to keep her going through countless tour dates and demanding performances.

So just how does Underwood keep her lower body fit enough to support her through on-stage acrobatics and red carpet moments? Unsurprisingly, it involves dedication to consistent leg workouts, and her longtime trainer Eve Overland is spilling the details.

Underwood frequently works out with Overland, who says staying consistent and motivated is "second nature" to the star. "Working out and staying healthy is just a way of life for Carrie. It is who she is, what she does," Overland tells Shape. "Carrie understands that staying strong, mobile, and conditioned is so important in all aspects of her life, on and off the stage. Working out is self care and her me time."

Overland says she and the singer work out almost every day, even when on the road. "Each workout incorporates both upper-body as well as lower-body exercises," says Overland. "Most commonly, we will work with opposing muscle groups, so she gets a lot of frequency with lower-body exercises without overworking it on any given day. This approach has contributed to her amazing strength as well as sculpted physique." For instance, one workout will include both upper-body push exercises, such as chest presses and tricep extensions, and lower-body pull exercises, including hamstring curls and deadlifts, explains Overland.

That said, some of Underwood's favorite leg exercises are squats, lunges, and deadlifts, according to her trainer. "She likes to stick with the basics because they work," says Overland. "Lateral band walks, leg press machine [reps], hamstring curls, and cable straight leg kickbacks are a few more go-tos because of the great pump they give you."

Interested in training like Underwood? Ahead, Overland details a modified leg workout inspired by Underwood's vigorous routine that almost anyone can try.

Carrie Underwood's Leg Workout for a Strong Lower Body

How it works: There are three supersets with two to three exercises in each. Perform each workout in the superset back to back with the recommended rest time before moving onto the next group of workouts in the following superset.

You'll need: A set of dumbbells, a Bosu ball, and weight plates. The weight of the dumbbells varies on your skill level and ability.

Superset 1

Complete 3 rounds of each exercise.

Heel-Elevated Dumbbell Squats

A. Stand with feet about shoulders-width distance apart. Place heels on an elevated surface, such as a weight plate, with toes remaining on the ground.

B. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting the dumbbells in front of shoulders in a neutral grip.

C. Drive hips back and bend knees until legs form a 90-degree angle or lower. Keep chest up and shoulders back.

D. Drive through heels and stand back up to starting position.

Do 12 to 15 reps, rest 30 seconds.

Dumbbell Cross-Over Step-Up

A. Start standing parallel to a box or bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand.

B. Keeping the chest up and core tight, lift one foot and cross it in front of the other leg to step on the bench.Make sure the knee is directly over the ankle and in line with toes, and keep the inside leg as close to the bench as possible.

C. Transfer all weight to the foot on the bench, drive through the heel, and step up and onto the bench with the other leg to stand. Keep hips square.

D. With control, reverse the motion, and return to start position. Repeat with the other leg.

Do 10 reps on each side, rest 10 seconds.


A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and extend one leg long to the side.

B. Bend the knee of standing leg and sink hips back to touch the floor.

C. Keeping chest up and shoulders back, jump and switch legs in the air.

D. Land with opposite foot under body and the other leg extended to the side. Touch the floor with opposite hand.

Do 12 reps on each leg, rest one minute.

Superset 2

Complete 3 rounds of each exercise.

Dumbbell Deficit Sumo Deadlifts

A. Place two weight plates or Bosu ballson the floor wider than shoulders-width apart.

B. Stand with one foot on each side of the weight plates or Bosu ballswith toes turned out slightly. Keep chest up, shoulders back, and knees bent slightly but in a fixed position.

C. Hold one dumbbell in both hands down in front of hips. Bend knees, hinge at the waist, and slide hips back, lowering the dumbbell toward the floor. Keep back straight and core tight.

D. Drive through heels to stand, using hamstrings and glutes. Squeeze glutes at the top, but maintain a neutral spine. Do not over arch or push pelvis too far forward.

Do 12 to 15 reps, rest 30 seconds.

Bosu Dome-Up Bodyweight Single-Leg Deadlifts

A. Stand on top of a Bosu ball with the dome side facing up. Keep core tight and maintain tall posture.

B. Transfer all weight to one leg and hinge at hips.

C. Balancing on one leg with lower torso parallel to the floor, keep arms straight down. Extend the other leg straight behind body with toes pointing to the floor.

D. Drive through the heel of standing leg, raise torso up, and return to start.

Do 10 reps on each leg, rest 10 seconds.

Bosu Up and Overs

A. Stand on top of a Bosu ball with the dome side facing up. Step one foot off to the side, so one foot is on the floor, and the other remains in the center of the Bosu ball.

B. Drive through the foot that is on the Bosu ball and jump up and over, so the opposite foot is on the Bosu ball and the other is on the floor.

C. Immediately jump up and over again, and return to starting position.

Do 12 reps on each leg, rest one minute.

Superset 3

Complete 3 rounds of each exercise.

Single-Leg Dumbbell Box Squats to Forward Lunge Combo

A. Start standing in front of a bench. Bend one leg and lift opposite foot off the floor. Hold one dumbbell in front of chest.

B. Maintain good posture and slowly lower to sit on the bench.

C. Drive through the foot on the floor and stand up on that leg.

D. Take a big step forward with the elevated leg, keeping hips square. Drop down into a lunge by bending both knees 90 degrees. Keep back heel elevated.

E. Drive through the front foot and then lift it off the ground, returning to a single leg standing position.

Do 8 to 10 reps on each leg, rest 30 seconds.

Log Hops

A. Place both hands on the end of a bench with both legs together and extended behind. Keep arms straight but don't lock elbows.

B. Bend knees, engage core, and jump both feet up and over the bench to one side.

C. Immediately jump feet to the other side without a double bounce.

Do 12 reps on each side, rest one minute.

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