Legs are the hardest for me to workout.
Hardest weight-wise. I run. I ALWAYS take the stairs (8 flights to my condo, 9 between my office and the microwave). Occasionally I use my kickboxing membership or hop on the stationary bike.
Other than that, my legs have traditionally been ignored. I even ignored the fact that last week I promised a leg workout… errr… last week.
In order to encourage myself to do more leg-strengthening, I put together a routine that also focuses on core (which I LOVE to work) and so upper body.
This will make you sore. If it doesn’t… you’re super-human you clearly work your legs more than I do. 🙂
1. 30 Second Warm Up
Alternate between 4 jumping jacks and 4 high knees for 3, 30 second sets.
2. Twisted Push-ups
Start in push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand and legs slightly wider than hips. Step your left leg in under your chest (or as close as you can get it). Be sure to keep abs tight as you rotate hips.
Return to starting position… you’re not done with the first rep yet! Now lift your left elbow, bringing your dumbbell to your lower ribs. Hold for 2 secs and lower it back to the floor. Make sure your hips stay parallel to the floor and your core stays tight.
Complete 8-10 reps n your left side and repeat with right side. Repeat for 3 seats (left + right = 1 set).
3. Wood Chop
Holding a weight (or medicine ball) with both hands, stand with feet slightly wider than should width apart. Hold the weight up over the right shoulder (not back or behind you).
Lower the weight down low to the outside of you opposite ankle in a controlled motion. Keep your chest up and eyes level to avoid back injury. As you squat, be sure not to allow your knees to cross your toes.
Repeat 10x and switch side to complete a set. Do 3 sets.
4. “Yes” and “No” Machine
If you have a gym with a Inner and Outer Thigh Machine, this is a nice “break” after those chops.
Complete 3 sets of 15 “yes” and alternate with 3 set of 15 “no.”
(Add more “nos” if you need it… you know who you are!) 🙂
No, it won’t keep your thighs from rubbing together (you have to do some cardio or lose fat first), but I like it because it strengthens my hips/thighs for running. This keeps my knees from caving in with helps my overpronation problem. It’s all connected!
5. Side Step Row Squat
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand.
Step out to the right with your right foot. Your feet should now me shoulder-width apart. Performa a squat, taking care not to allow your knees to cross your toes. As you squat, bring bend your elbows so that they rise out to sides and bring weights to chest level. Be sure to keep your core nice and tight!
Return to start position, almost springing off of right foot, lowering weights as you rise up.
Complete 8 reps and switch sides for a full set. Do 2 sets.
6. Reverse Lunge with Lateral Raise
Begin in standing position with light weights in each hand at sides.
As you step back into a reverse lunge, raise weights out to your side at shoulder height. Lower the weight as you return to the start position.
Do 12 reps on each side and repeat for 2 sets.
7. Seated V-Up
Sit with arms slightly behind you, elbows bent, and fingertips pointed toward your body. Start with your knees together, legs extended, and heels raised slightly off the ground.
Pull knees into your chest, holding for 2 seconds at top. Return to the starting point, keeping abs tight.
Complete 3 sets of 25.
8. Mountain Climbers
Start in a plank position with your feet hip-width apart. Your body should be in a straight line – don’t stick your butt up!
Bend your right knee and pop up, bringing your right thigh under the left side of your torso and leaving your left leg out behind you.
Repeat, alternating legs for 1 rep. Try to keep a quick pace and tight core throughout.
Complete 60 reps.
9. Bonus Round!!!
If that didn’t burn you out, find the Leg Extension/Leg Curl machine and rock out 3 sets of 12 reps each.
Be sure not to get your weight too high on that extension so you don’t put too much strain on your knees.
Check out more fitness ideas, tips, and trick on my Fitness page!
Now that you’ve completed that awesomeness, pat yourself on the back and be sure to get your 20g of protein to help the muscles recover!
I always, always follow up a weight routine with a protein shake.
Is there a body part you slack on working?
What do you eat post-workout for recovery?