Leg day is the dreaded day of the week by most people. Why, because it’s hard and it makes you uncomfortable. Your legs are HUGE muscles, the biggest in the body, so of course when you are working them you are going to get extremely fatigued. Not to mention it can be painful and taxing. Like, sometimes leg day can make you feel so uncomfortable, it burns, it aches, your shaking, you can’t walk…there is a lot of discomfort. But that discomfort is what allows you to level up. You CANNOT make changes and move forward without getting uncomfortable and doing the things you hate. If you want to lose weight, “tone up”, get stronger…you have to be working your lower body frequently! So, lucky for you I have a great 20 minute leg workout you can do at home, with zero equipment! A mix of fun, and discomfort is the best kind of workout!
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» 10 Jump squats
» 20 Lunges
» 10 Skiers
» 20 Lateral Lunges
» 10 jump lunges
» 20 narrow squats
» 10 froggers
» 20 SL bridges
» 10 plank jacks
» 20 SL squats
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Full video on YouTube
Music by Hooksounds
These WILL burn your legs and make you wonder why you do these things…just remind yourself that it is always worth it!
Form: In a regular squat stance (feet just outside shoulder width, chest up, core tight, weight in heels) squat and then jump out of it, using your arms to help you, and then back down into your squat. You want to get low into your squat and power out of it, don’t cheat yourself!
Modifications: To make things easier you can omit the jump and just do squats, or you can do a little hop/heel raise instead of jumping. To make things harder you can get extremely low into your squats or sit down on something and jump off of it!
Another great movement that is a staple in all programs! You can modify it in so many ways to work different muscles work during the movements!
Form: At no time during a lunge are you actually lunging forward! Take a step forward, drop straight down bending both knees (and not letting that front knee go over your toe) and then push back off of the front foot and then alternate legs. You want to try and get your back knee as close to the ground as possible without touching, and your weight is always in your front heel and back toe!
Modification: Range of motion is going to be the biggest modification. Do not go down as low if it is hard for you, or you can do reverse lunges if that is easier on the knees. To make it harder you can add weights!
Heart rate work! I love incorporating heart pumping exercises with strength exercises, it makes this fast and effective.
Form: Core tight (yes, for everything) and knees and feet pressed together. Jump side to side, landing soft with bent knees. You want to jump as high as you can and swing your arms to help you.
Modification: Omit the jump and just step side to side as fast as you can, still swinging your arms and staying in a low/squat position. To make it more difficult you can set something down and jump
We spend a lot of time moving in the forward/backward motion during the day. It is important to add movements into your workouts that get you out of those movement patterns and work different muscles.
Form: Separate your feet so you have a pretty wide stance. Knees and toes facing forward, shift your weight into your right leg and bend that knee as if you are going into a squat. Don’t let your knee go over your toe and make sure you keep your chest up! Left knee straightens out as you shift over and all weight/contraction is in right leg. Then shift your weight into the left and repeat.
Modification: Try stepping out to the side for your lunge instead of just shifting your weight. Again, range of motion is up to you but you want to focus on working the standing glute and inner thigh of other leg! To make things harder you can add a weight and make sure you are getting full range of motion.
Again, just as it sounds. Lunges, but you are jumping and switching feet! Another great plyometric for strength and power building.
Form: Start out in a split stance (or lunge). Then you want to jump up and switch feet and land in a lunge with the other foot in front. Always keep your core tight, weight in the heel of the front foot and your knees behind your toes!
Modifications: An easier version is just switching feet with a little switch kick rather than a jump, or you can take the jump out completely and just do alternating lunges. To make it more difficult you can hold weights, add ankle weights, or you can increase the reps/tempo!
Have you seen people with a nice line down the side of their leg, or definition in the muscle? In the bodybuilding world it is known as the quad/hamstring separation (or sweep). Well this exercise and it’s different versions, are going to get you that!
Form: Feet together, you are sitting back into a squat like you normally would, except you are squeezing your knees together! Keep those knees behind your toes and your chest up! Don’t let those knees separate during the entire exercise!
Modifications: No modifications here: just decrease your range of motion or add weights!
Oh, yeah, these will get you. Talk about a debilitating leg burn…
Form: STAY LOW. Always think about staying low. You are jumping forward and dropping all the way down, and then jumping backwards and dropping all the way down. This is going to keep those leg muscles under tension the entire time and really work on both the endurance and power of the muscle. Core is tight and you want to get down as far as you can!
Modifications: No modifications…these are hard enough as it is!
A great modification on the regular glute bridge, a staple exercise in all training programs!
Form: Laying on your back with your knees bent and feet slightly outside of shoulder width: one foot in the air and you are driving into the heel of the foot on the ground, keeping your core tight and engaging your glute pick your butt up off the floor, squeeze as high up as you can and then back down.
Modifications: Revert back to a double leg bridge if 1 is too difficult. A harder option is elevating that foot on a chair or bench, or even adding a weight to your hips!
A great exercise for your entire body..shoulders, abs, heart, and hips!
Form: In a pushup position (core tight, shoulders over wrists and back flat) you are jumping your feet out to the sides and back in. The idea is to keep your upper body steady and try not to leg your hips drop/sag. Core is tight the entire time and you are jumping as wide as you can and then back in, like a horizontal jumping jack without the arm movements!
Modifications: Instead of jumping you can simply just tap one foot out to the side at a time. To make it more difficult you can also jump your hands slightly out and back in with your feet, or even just increase your speed/range of motion!
I love unilateral movements..it shows you where your muscle imbalances are as well as allows you to really focus on one muscle doing the work!
Form: There are a few ways you can do this one…but the gist is again, core tight/back flat/weight in heel/knee behind toe. You can either put your other foot in the air in front of you, in the air behind you, or cross it over on the other like a figure-4. Whatever is more comfortable for you! But you want to focus on driving into that heel and firing your glute muscle!
Modifications: To make it easier you can sit down and stand up from something like a chair or stool. You can also set your foot up on a chair or something to help you hold it up! To make it harder you just want to keep increasing that range of motion, or hold some dumbbells!
As I always say, the warmup and cool down is just as important as the workout itself! Check out my blog post here on why it is so important and beneficial for recovery! You can also check out ALL my workout blogs/videos for future reference, on that day that you don’t have a plan and don’t know what to do!
This weeks 20 minute leg workout warm up:
〉10 lunges with rotation
〉30 high knees
〉10 hip walkovers (hip/knee at 90 degrees opening the hip up and then bringing it back forward)
This weeks 20 minute leg workout cool down:
〉Seated hamstring stretch
〉Standing IT band stretch
〉Kneeling hip flexor stretch
〉Standing quadricep stretch
BOOOOM! A quick, and extremely effective leg workout you can get done ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! Don’t feel like you are limited to the gym, or to your house, take that body outside and sweat! Changing up your scenery can work wonders for your workout, and your soul! So go work those legs, and feed your mind/soul at the same time!
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