When you do leg workouts, there are two possible endings to your workout story… Option A: your legs get speed skater size with big, bulging muscles (um, probably not preferred by most women) OR Option B: your legs get sleek, sexy, toned, long and lean (bingo). How do you control the outcome? So glad you asked. Lots of weight + fewer reps = build muscle tone, while less weight + many reps = toning muscles. That why circuits are great…lots of reps. Lots and lots. And using your own body weight with up to only 10 lb weights as additional resistance. Now, can’t you just feel your legs getting toned just thinking about it? No? Just me? OK then.
Know Before You Go
Do a 10-minute warm up before your workout. Walk or jog around your block or in place in your living room, or dance around to 3 of your favorite songs. If you have access to a treadmill, walk at a slow speed (I recommend 3.5 mph) and at a high incline (8.5-9.0). Drink water between each circuit to stay hydrated, and stretch for 10 minutes after the workout.
It’s OK if this workout is challenging for you… if you keep this up just 2x per week, in a month or so this will likely be easy peazy.
-nada! just you!
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Take A Seat” – Begin by standing with your back against a wall. With control, slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. It should look you are sitting on an invisible chair. Hold for 1 minute.
B) The “Bunny Hop” – Begin by standing on your mat with your feet together. Jump with both feet to the right, and land in a squat. As you come up out of the squat, in an explosive motion, jump with both feet all the way to the left and land in a squat. Repeat nonstop, side-to-side, for 30 seconds.
C) The “Power Plie” – Begin by standing on your mat. Take a wide stance with your feet facing away from each other. Lower into a squat. And then quickly ‘spring’ back to standing. Quickly lower into a squat again, and spring back to standing. Repeat nonstop for 30 seconds. It should almost look as if you are ‘bouncing’ throughout this exercise.
D) The “Step It Up” – Begin by standing facing your couch or a sturdy chair. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the couch/chair. With control, step up onto the couch/chair with your left foot without using assistance from your right leg. Repeat 15x, and then repeat 15x more by stepping up with your right foot first.
E) The “One-Legged Boogie” – Begin by standing facing away from your couch. Bend your right knee, and rest your right foot on the couch behind you. With control, bend your left knee to lower into a one-legged lunge. With control, unbend your left knee to come up out of the lunge. Repeat 12x, and then switch legs and repeat 12x more.
F) The Karate Kick” – Begin by standing with both feet on your mat. Lower into a squat. As you come up out of the squat, lift your right leg (fully extended) out to the right as high as you can. With control, return your right leg so that you are in standing position. Lower into a squat. As you come up out of the squat, lift your left leg (fully extended) out to the left as high as you can. With control, return your left leg so that you are in standing position. Repeat 12x.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Toe Tapper” – Begin by standing facing the bottom step of a flight of stairs. Lift your left foot off of the ground and place it lightly on the step. In an explosive motion, jump to switch legs so that your left foot is on the ground and you tap your right foot lightly on the step. Repeat nonstop, alternating feet, for 30 seconds.
H) The “Jumping Bean” – Begin by standing facing the bottom step of a flight of stairs. Jump with both feet onto the step and lower into a squat. Then, jump backwards with both feet to land on the ground, and lower into a squat. Repeat 12x.
I) The “Mad Marcher” – Begin by standing on your mat. Bend your right knee to bring it up towards your chest. In an explosive motion, switch legs so that your right leg is fully extended, your right foot is on the ground, and you bring your left knee up towards your chest. Repeat nonstop, alternating knees, for 30 seconds. Each time, try to bring your knees up as high as you can.
Don’t let your mind bull your body. You CAN do it!