Training legs takes a lot of effort, recruiting some of the largest muscles in your body, which is why you often work your core at the same time that you work your legs. When done properly, intense lower-body workouts can build muscle, burn away excess body fat, and tone and tighten your midsection. This is particularly true if you incorporate anerobic exercise and plyometric movements at least once per week to improve your endurance.
If you’re looking to switch up your leg-day routine, or if you’re just starting out and need a way to progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced, these workouts are just what you need. Use them to strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves while simultaneously tightening your midsection and improving your posture and work threshold.
Beginner Lower-Body Workout
This no-equipment-required, beginning lower-body workout is perfect for newbies to weight training or exercisers who have taken a hiatus from the gym. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, working at your own pace to get as many good reps as you can in that time. Rest for 30 seconds after each exercise before moving to the next one. Once you complete the full routine, repeat the sequence twice more for 3 total circuits.
As a beginner, your focus should be on proper form when lifting and consistency in your training schedule. To build consistency, add this 30-minute workout to your fitness routine every 3 days, taking the time you need to complete every exercise from warm-up to cool-down.
Intermediate Lower-Body Workout
Crush your goals with this intermediate lower-body routine designed to tone and strengthen every muscle in your legs. All you need for this workout is a set of dumbbells and an exercise ball. If your goal is to increase muscle, choose slightly heavier weights to work within a rep range of 8-12. If you are working with limited equipment or want to improve your endurance, bump up your repetitions to 20-30 to feel a wonderful pump and get sweaty!
Whichever rep range you choose, perform 3 sets of each exercise with up to 2 minutes of rest after each set. The length of this recovery will control whether your workout takes 30 minutes or closer to 45. Incorporate this workout into your routine 1-2 times per week, with at least two full days to rest your legs between sessions. Train your upper body or do light- to moderate-intensity cardio in between leg days to create a well-balanced and conditioned physique.
Advanced Lower-Body Workout
Take your lower-body strength and definition to new levels with this advanced leg workout, created especially for super-fit, ultra-dedicated gymgoers with access to a fully-loaded facility. Exercises are grouped together in supersets and trisets to maximize efficiency during your workout.
To see changes in your body at this level, you’ll have to commit to pushing your limits and training to near failure on each set. Controlling rest times becomes even more important. Time your recovery periods and keep them under 1 minute, if possible. The effectiveness of shorter rest periods, grouped sets, and dropsets will help you complete your workout within an hour.
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