I hope you’re ready for this leg burner! Give this one a try if you’re looking for a great leg workout that will keep the blood pumping.
Equipment: No equipment needed! You could add weight if you have it available and you want an extra challenge.
The workout: Perform 10-15 repetitions of each exercise in a row without breaks. For the wall sit, hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute (longer is harder, obvi). Perform 1-4 sets depending on the amount of time that you have. Give yourself 30 seconds to 1 minute to rest between sets. You could even throw in a plank as an active rest! Just throwing ideas out there ;).
- Wall sit
- Lunge pulses
Breakdown of each exercise:
- Squats: Stand with your feet hip width apart and toes facing straight ahead. Lower into the squat like you’re sitting in a chair. Go down as far as you can with good form (don’t lean too far forward or lose alignment in the feet and knees). Squeeze the glutes as you return to a full, upright standing position.
-Make it easier: Modify the depth of the squat to only go as far as you can (1/4 or ½ squats are totally acceptable when you’re starting out!). You could also use a chair to sit down and stand up to practice the motion.
-Make it harder: Add weight, move faster, increase the number of reps. All of these options will increase the intensity!
- Wall sit: Find a wall and stand with your back flat against it. Sink down to the lowest squat you can tolerate (stopping when your hips are just slightly above your knees). Keep your weight back in your heels to ensure that you’re not cheating. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You should feel a burn in your quads!
-Make it easier: Hold a ½ squat or ¼ squat position
-Make it harder: Add weight or try holding a squat on one leg!
- Lunges: Take a comfortable step forward and plant your front foot flat with your back heel lifted (as shown in the picture). Your weight should be shifted forward slightly. Drop straight down by bending both knees. Go down as low as is comfortable for your knees while maintaining good form (don’t lean too far forward, but a slight lean is totally normal!). Once you’ve gone as low as you can, push straight up through the front heel to bring you back to the starting position. You should feel your quads and glutes burning in the front leg during this exercise. Do all reps on this side before switching sides.
-Make it easier: Don’t drop down as far. If balance is your issue, do this exercise near a wall or something sturdy that you can rest a hand on for balance.
-Make it harder: Add weight, go faster (with full range of motion and good form), increase the number of reps. All of these will make your lunges more challenging! You could even try a reverse lunge, forward lunge, or side lunge to change the variation.
- Lunge pulses: The set-up is the same as the regular lunge, but when you push through the front heel to stand, you’ll only come up halfway before going back down. This is a low pulse that should light your legs on fire!
-Make it easier: Decrease the number of reps or stay a little higher in your lunge to make it easier.
-Make it harder: Increase the number of reps, increase the speed, or add weight to make it harder.
Now, channel your inner Carri Underwood and put those legs to work! Don’t be surprised if this simple circuit gets the heart rate up! Give it a try and let us know how it goes :D. Stay tuned for next week’s summer fitness travel workout with a glutes focus. Get your mini bands ready!