Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Love Your Legs Workout


Legs. They are our powerhouse. They carry us through miles and miles of marathon training. They allow us to lift ridiculously heavy objects. They take us everywhere we need to go.

I used to hate my legs. In my mind, they've always been "big". I never wanted big legs. I wanted long, thin, thighs-don't-touch kind of legs. I wanted calves that actually fit into normal people boots.

That is-- until I became a distance runner. Now I love my strong "big" legs. Across 26.2 miles, my legs are definitely not the first thing that starts to go {usually it's my mental state! haha}.


I get a little ego boost when Nick and I are out running and he comments on how muscular my legs look.

Over time and miles running will definitely strengthen and tone your legs. But you can help yourself by adding some leg exercises into your fitness routine. 

"Let's show our legs the love they deserve with this #workout from @amanda__maureen! #fitness #sweatpink"

Try this Love Your Legs routine. Do each exercise for 60 seconds. If you can, go straight into the next exercise. Rest for a full minute at the end of each set. Repeat 2-3 times. No equipment required, so you can do this workout anywhere!


Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, squat

Squats: Start with your feet approximately hip-width apart. Hinge slightly at the hips while shifting them back and down. As you lower your hips the knees will bend and start to shift forward. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. Don't let your knees travel past the toes. Return to the start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels.


Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, lunge

Lunges: Start with your feet together, shoulders back, and core engaged. Step forward landing on the heel first. Shift your body weight onto the lead foot. As you step forward into the lunge, focus on a downward movement of the hips. Continue lowering your body to a comfortable position or until your thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Push off with the front leg, engaging your thighs and butt muscles as you return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Calf Raises

Calf Raises: Stand tall with your core tight. Raise your heels up off the ground a few inches, hold, then lower. 

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat: Start with your feet wide {wider than shoulder-width}. Hinge slightly at the hips while shifting them back and down. As you lower your hips the knees will bend and start to shift forward. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. Don't let your knees travel past the toes. Return to the start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Curtsy Lunge

Curtsy Lunge: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips. Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left. Bend your knees and lower your hips until your right thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Jump Squat

Jump Squat: See squat instructions above to perform squat. As you come up from your squat, swing your arms up along side your body as your propel yourself in a vertical jump. Follow through with your arms as you come back into a squat.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Burpee

Burpee: Squat down, place your hands on the ground, and jump to extend your legs directly behind you {if your knees are sensitive you can walk your legs back}. You are now in a plank position. Perform a push-up {feel free to modify if necessary!}. Jump or walk your feet back into a squat position and jump straight up.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Plank Leg Lift

Plank Leg Lift: From a straight arm plank position lift your left leg straight up off the ground until parallel with your body. Release leg back to the ground and repeat with the right leg.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge: Lie on your back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Place your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core. Press your heels into the floor as you lift your hips up off the floor. Lower back to original position.

Workout Wednesday, Leg Workout, HIIT, Step Up

Step Up: Stand in front of a step, bench or stair with your back, legs and arms straight. Feet should be hip-width apart. With your right leg step up onto the bench and straighten your right leg at the top. Opposite leg should remain behind you. Bend your right knee and step back down. Repeat with the left leg.

This workout can be altered to meet your current fitness level by changing the speed you perform each exercise, how deeply you lower your body, how high you jump, adding jump between moves, etc. If you have any questions on how you might alter it-- shoot me a message :) 

Your turn! How do you feel about your legs? Do you consider them one of your best assets? Which of these exercises are your favorite?

♥AK


I am not a doctor or personal trainer {yet!}-- just someone who loves fitness and wants to share my workouts with my lovely readers :)

This post is linked up with The Fit Foodie Mama for Wild Workout Wednesday and Jill for Fitness Friday. Make sure to stop by and check them out!

All photos were taken with Nikon Coolpix S33 camera.