Work It Out: Limited Legs

Today is leg day.

Let’s pretend I don’t dread this day each week.

Misery loves company, so today’s Work It Out is a leg day too.  You’re welcome.



This is actually kind of a fun routine.  I call it limited because you only need 2 machines, and it’s a good one to do if you’re suffering from foot/ankle problems (I do these when my plantar fasciitis acts up).  You CAN have a challenging leg workout without ever touching your feet to the floor.

Another reason I like it is that is incorporates many of the previous techniques I’ve written about to shake up your routine.  Click the title of each for the post with a full description/benefits of the technique.


The only equipment you need to do these is a leg extension machine and a leg curl machine.

Do 3 sets of each move, 10 reps per set (unless otherwise indicated).  When you select your starting weight, remember that most of these are using techniques that make the move more challenging.  If you can, increase your weight with each set

Leg Extensions

Leg Extensions seated

1. Traditional Leg Extensions (regular reps)

2. 24s (8 reps from bottom to half way point, 8 starting half way to full extension, and 8 full)

3. Fulls and Partials (10 full, followed by 10 partial reps – 1st and 3rd sets bottom half, 2nd and 4th top half)

4. Drop Sets (10 reps with a medium heavy weight, 10 with 10 lbs less, then 10 more with 10 lbs less = 1 set)

Lying Leg Curls

lying leg curls

1. Traditional Lying Leg Curls (regular reps)

2. Super 8’s (8 reps + hold for 8 count, 3 times = 1 set)

3. 1 1/2’s (1 full + 1 half = 1 rep, 1st and 3rd set halfs on the bottom half, 2nd and 4th on the top)

4. Super Slow (6 count going up, 6 count going down)

Caution: It is easy to “over train” with these modifications.  They challenge your muscles to work much harder than usual, so these moves are not recommended as a long-term regimen.


You guys cracked me up with the gym confessions/pet peeves last week.  I’m going to be doing more posts like that!

What’s you most-hated leg move?  Hack squats.

So we end on a positive… what’s your favorite leg move?  Heavy squats!


  1. says

    I completely dread legs day…ickkkk. It just burns to much for me to enjoy;)
    Shoulders, triceps, and chest I just love.
    Least favorite leg move = lunges.
    Favorite = squats for sure!

  2. says

    WOOOOHOOOOOO for leg day! Kill it hottie! I know you will! I channel your strength during each of your workouts and I had like THE BEST chest workout ever yesterday and I was by myself! YAY ME!

    I love leg day, but HATE doing leg day on my own. It’s really intimidating and I won’t squat heavy by myself. So, I hack squat. So, I have to say hack squats are my fav when training alone, but heavy squats are my fav if I have a spotter. My least favourite leg exercise of ALL TIME are step ups. I HATE THEM and never ever do them :) THANK GOODNESS 😉

    Love you

    • Laura says

      Way to go on the chest workout!

      Don’t be afraid to go heavy. It’s ok to go to failure… that’s why we use a squat rack! :)

  3. says

    My leg days have been severely suffering since I’m not supposed to lift really heavy. I always hate legs until I get going. I think step ups are my least fave. I kind of like plie squats (probably b/c I was a dancer).

    • Laura says

      LOL! I basically told me trainer that’s why I never did leg day when I ran. Which is how my knees and ankles got so jacked up. It’s a hard balance!

  4. says

    I also love leg day with a friend or workout buddy. I always seem to get a better workout. I have a love/hate relationship with deadlifts. I hate to do them but I love the way they make me feel and the results that happen!
    Cheers!! Tara :)

  5. says

    foot and ankle problems? check. was going to do a leg lifting day today anyway? check. guess what I’m doing over lunch today?

      • Anonymous says

        YES. I didn’t use the lying leg curl machine b/c i had my glasses on (they would have fallen off!) since I stupidly forgot to buy new contacts and lost one (d’oh). But I modified and used the regular curl machine. I would like to try this again and lift heavier. Hamstrings have been injured so much that I wimp out and don’t lift as much with them. My quads were shaking yesterday and are SORE.

        I love the principles behind the modifications to the moves and I actually used them on 4 other moves at the gym yesterday:

        24s on:

        Fulls and partials on:
        Tricep extensions
        anterior raises
        … which I did while walking around the track (probably what my guest post will be about — arm workout while walking).

  6. says

    Leg day here too. I swear we follow the same split . I hateeee lying leg curls and rather do stiff leg deadlifts over them, and i hate those too. haha! i hate hamstring work but love the results, so i just bear with it and do what needs to be done haha

  7. says

    I LOVE leg day. I apparently like abuse! Deadlifts were my original favorite, but that has now changed to leg extensions. I’m working on those quads! I’m starting to see definition, which, as you know, makes me happy! Love the variations you have here! Makes working out fun!

  8. says

    My first “leg day” in YEARS is Thursday – based on how sore I am already in my upper body, I’m really looking forward to it. My least favorite leg move is probably stepups, only because I’m a wuss about them. Still love surrender squats the most. I’m sure I’ll discover some new answers to these questions over the next few weeks though. 😉

  9. says

    My legs got tired just reading that workout. Favorite leg move is probably walking lunges, because they’re easy to do all around the house and I actually remember to get them done. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a focused leg workout at the gym- so hard to combine that with running at the moment!

  10. says

    I don’t have a favorite ANY move when it comes to strength training, but this routine looks like something I could actually understand and DO! [That is, if people would stop hogging the machines to text and stare off into space as I frustratingly stand superclose and hope they get the hint. Before I just blatantly tell them to get off the machine. I mean…ask them.]

  11. says

    I die for your leg muscles. DIE for them. Thanks for posting this workout! I feel like all the workouts are either circuit or arms and apparently I’m a weirdo, but I love working out my legs. I like ALL the exercises!!!

  12. says

    I love working my arms. And I love squats. I want a donk! – I didn’t say that.

    What exercises are good for the booty in your opinion??

  13. says

    Wow – just look at your legs! I took 2 weeks off from nearly all exercise (still lifted weights once a week) and when I plopped myself back on my bike, it was too humbling. Something simple like this might work for me.. we’ll see. :)

    • Laura says

      Typically women have stronger legs, but I don’t think that always true – my upper body is wayyyy easier for me to make gains on.

  14. says

    Dude, you’re quads look KILLER in that first pic! Damn!

    I actually kinda like working my legs WHEN I can…grrr, stupid knee…mother$^#%&%…I’m not bitter…no, not at all! I think my favorite leg move is calf raises or leg extensions. Least favorite…squats. No matter what I do, I’m always nervous about my form. Most of the time I’m so preoccupied with whether or not I’m doing it right that I don’t really get the mind-muscle connection going at all!

    • Laura says

      You need someone to watch your form so you can take your mind of of it. Then it become second nature once you get that right. The biggest thing to remember is to keep your chest UP.


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