Leg Workout Routine

SPLIT SESSIONS — LEGS

Hand weights are used for many of these exercises but don’t worry if you don’t have any as you can make them at home by using two water-filled bottles or, to make them heavier, fill an empty bottle with sugar to the required weight.

Warm-up: 5 minutes stretching/mobility; 10-20 minutes cardiovascular activity.

Weighted Squats

Hold a weight in each hand and stand with the feet slightly wider than the hips. The feet should be parallel and the toes pointing forward. Keep the weight in the heels and think of the chest lifting as you bend the knees. Send the tailbone (the last bone in your spine) backwards while maintaining a flat back. Breathe out as you return to standing, slightly squeezing the abdominals and gluteals as you lift the body.

SETS: 2

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30-60 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 10-12

LEVEL 2: 12-18

LEVEL 3: 15-20

DEVELOPMENT:

• Increase weight.

• Stand on one leg.

MUSCLES WORKED: quads, hamstrings, gluteals

SETS; 1 (one on each leg)

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30-60 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1:10-12

LEVEL 2: 12-15

LEVEL 3:15-20

DEVELOPMENT:

• Add ankle weights.

• Lift the opposite hand from the floor.

MUSCLES WORKED: hamstrings, gluteals

Hamstring Curls on All Fours

Get on all fours in a table-top position (back flat, hands underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips) and engage the abdominals. Extend one leg behind you, bend the knee and flex the foot. Then straighten the leg using your hamstrings and then bend it again — do NOT let the back arch, keep the hips level. Lower the leg to its starting position.

Repeat with the other leg.

Glute Squeezes on All Fours

Get on all fours in a table-top position (back flat, hands underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips) and engage the abdominals. Lower the forearms to rest on the floor. Extend one leg behind you, bend the knee and flex the foot. Squeeze the glutes and push up towards the ceiling, focusing on the bottom — do NOT let the back arch, keep the hips level. Lower the leg back to its starting position.

SETS: 2

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30-60 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 10-12

LEVEL 2: 12-15

LEVEL 3: 15-20

DEVELOPMENT: Add ankle weights.

MUSCLES WORKED: gluteals

Outer Thigh Lift

Lie on your side with the underneath leg bent slightly forward and the top leg extended. Keep the toes pointing forward as you lift and lower the upper leg. Repeat on the other side.

SETS: 1 (one on each side)

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30-60 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 15-20

LEVEL 2: 20-30

LEVEL 3: 30-50

DEVELOPMENT: Add ankle weights

MUSCLES WORKED: abductors

Inner Thigh Lift

Lie on your side with the top leg bent slightly forwards, resting the knee on the floor in front of you. Keep the toes pointing forwards as you lift and lower the underneath leg. Repeat on the other side.

SETS: 1 (one on each side)

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30-60 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1: -15-20

LEVEL 2: 20-30

LEVEL 3: 30-50

DEVELOPMENT: Add ankle weights.

MUSCLES WORKED: adductors

Alternate Squat, Step Out Wide, Step In

Starting with feet together step to one side and squat. Your knees should stay in line with your toes. Keep the weight in the heels and the chest up as you bend, send the tailbone backwards and maintain a flat back. Bring the feet together and repeat on the other side.

SETS: 2

REPS:

LEVEL 30-45 seconds

LEVEL 2: 45-60 seconds

LEVEL 3: 60-90 seconds

DEVELOPMENT:

• Jump out, squat, jump in Power Squat

MUSCLES WORKED: quads, hamstrings, gluteals

Leg Lift

Lie on your side, shoulders and hips stacked, keep the legs straight, one on top of the other, feet slightly in front of the hips. Pull in the abdominals, squeeze the legs together and lift them off the floor. Lower with control. A set here is just one lift on one side. Do the repetitions on one side first and then your rest period is the time it takes to turn onto the other side to repeat on that side.

SETS:

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 10-12

LEVEL 2: 12-15

LEVEL 3: 15-20

DEVELOPMENT:

• Add ankle weights.

MUSCLES WORKED: abdominals, abductors, adductors

Side Bends

Stand with the feet slightly wider than the hips. Hold a medium to heavy weight (between 3 and 8 kilos) in one hand and have the other hand on the hip. Pull in the abdominals as you reach over sideways, squeeze and pull back to standing — do NOT throw the hips to the side, keep them centred. Repeat on the opposite side.

SETS: 2

STRETCH TO RELEASE: sit back on your heels with the head on the floor and the arms in front of you — feel the back lengthen.

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 10-12

LEVEL 2: 12-15

LEVEL 3: 15-20

DEVELOPMENT:

• Roll down further.

• Lift one leg and roll down.

MUSCLES WORKED: abdominals

SETS: 2

REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS: 30 seconds

REPS:

LEVEL 1: 10-15 (alternating sides)

LEVEL 2: 10-15 (once or twice on each side)

LEVEL 3: (twice on each side)

DEVELOPMENT: Increase weight.

MUSCLES WORKED: abdominals-obliques

Reverse Sit Up (Roll Down)

Sit upright on your sitting bones (right at the bottom of your pelvis). You can have your knees bent or legs straight in front of you. Keep the legs together. Pull in your abdominals and tuck the pelvis underneath you as you slowly roll down towards the floor to a position where you feel your abdominals contract effectively without any doming. Keep your back curved as you go down and come up.