“Don’t skip leg day” they say, and it’s true! Even if you focus more on your upper body for whatever sport or goal you have, never forget to strengthen your legs. It’s crucial to your overall performance and you’ll get to pull off those shorts in the summer time ;).
Everyone has 20 minutes to dedicate to their body, especially when it’s priority to be physically active and healthy. Within 20 minutes you won’t be the strongest human being that has ever existed but you will see progress in your overall health as you adapt it into your lifestyle to maintain good health.
However, in 20 minutes you can warm up properly, exercise and stretch. Remember to do some kind of warm up exercise to prevent muscle injuries and get the blood pumping so the muscles can properly function.
Here’s how you’re going to do them: there are 4 exercises, you’re going to do one exercises after the other and when you’re done with the 4 exercises, that’s your 1st round done. You’re going to do these exercises in 45 seconds of repetition and a 15-second rest. Your aim is to complete just 3 rounds in 12 minutes.
Ready? Let’s get to know the workouts:
I’m sure this exercise is not new but it’s still important master the technique for proper performance. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart while facing forward. Lift and hold your chest nice and high during this exercise; this will help you to maintain the proper form. As you slowly go down, think about putting your bodyweight all on the back of your foot, you should be able to slightly lift your toes because all that weight is on your heels. As you’re bending your knees, make sure your knees DO NOT go over your toes; this could be terrible for your knees in the long-run so always keep that in check.
The goal is to bend your knees so that your thighs parallel to the ground and then you get back up. Remember, keep your back straight which means no rounding of the back. Once your 45 seconds are off, take a 15 second break and continue to the next exercise.
Bulgarian split squats
For this exercise you’re going to need a bench, a chair or something you could put your foot on. Because you’re going to lift one foot off of the ground and onto a surface, this exercise strengthens the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves, one leg at a time.
This exercise will also allow you to go lower than a regular split squad so you have to concentrate on your balance and leg power. So stand in front of the chair, (the chair should be behind you) and lift one foot on top of the chair; you can choose to put your foot flat or on your toes. The other leg should be straight on the floor right in front of you. Now, squat by bending your front leg as you use your rear leg for balance and stabilization. Once you go down, get back up and repeat that same movement on the same leg and then switch legs after 22 seconds to work out your other leg.
Calf-raises are very simple and they seem like they don’t do much but they also strengthen your knees, ankles and core. To get started, stand straight with a good posture and slowly raise your heels off of the ground so that you are on the tips of your toes. Hold that for 2 seconds and slowly lower your heals.
The goal is to never let your heels touch the floor when you are lowering them, during the exercise of course, and to lift your heels as high as you can when you are lifting them. It also helps when you squeeze your abdominal muscles to prevent from falling or tipping over, but if you are just beginning, lightly grab on to something until you are able to stand on the balls of your feet with the balance of your core.
Complete this exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next exercise.
Jumping lunges/Jumping split squats
This exercise will challenge your balance, stamina and legs because it’s a dynamic movement. If you’ve ever done a lunge, you know that it’s like you’re stepping forward; there’s always one leg behind you and one leg in front of you as you get down and bend your knees. Again, the knee of the leg in front of you must NEVER go over your toes, just to prevent any knee injuries. Once you bend down, jump up and in the switch legs in the air (always one leg in the front and one leg in the back).
If you find it too difficult to jump, try just doing lunges without the jumping just to get used to it. As you continue to repeat this move in your exercise routine, you’ll be able to have more strength and lungs to do it for 45 seconds straight.
There you have it; a simple exercise routine to tone and strengthen your legs. Again make sure to warm up properly to decrease the soreness, drink plenty of water because you’ll definitely sweat, stretch after the workout and track the amount of times you are able to repeat the exercise in each round. This is a really simple way to track progress for motivation and so that you know when you can upgrade your workouts or switch to different routines.
Comment below and let us know what you think about the workout; were you able to complete it with ease? Was it difficult? Which is your favourite exercise? Which is your least favourite exercise? Train hard, pull through and have fun!