Tone up your legs and improve your cardio fitness with this lower body circuit workout. It’s a mixture of alternating cardio and strength exercises for the lower body. There are 10 exercises in the circuit, to be done for 45 seconds each. When you’ve completed one full circuit, start again and do 3 more circuits. The workout should take 20-25 minutes including warm up and cool down.
Lower body circuit workout
Warm up, cool down and safety
This workout includes some high impact exercises, so you’ll need trainers or similar footwear that will absorb some of the impact.
You’ll need to do a warm up before this workout – use this warm up routine. When you’ve finished your circuits, march on the spot for a minute or so, until your heart rate returns to normal. If you have time, do this stretching routine when you’ve finished. Although stretching after a workout isn’t essential, there are many benefits to having good flexibility and the best time to stretch is after a workout when your muscles are warm.
Please read these general exercise guidelines before you start your workout.
Lower body circuit exercises
- Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out.
- Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor.
- Come back up gently, making sure you don’t jerk your knees backwards.
- Avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders and keep your neck in line with your spine.
- Stand with your feet together and arms by your side. Jump your legs wide as you take your arms over your head.
- Lower your arms as you jump your feet back together.
- It’s important that you don’t let your knees rotate inwards as you land. To help avoid this, turn your toes outwards slightly as you land.
- Stand with your feet about hip distance apart.
- Make sure you keep your abdominal muscles engaged, your shoulders relaxed down and your back straight throughout.
- Take one leg out behind you and touch your toes to the floor. Make sure you keep your feet hip width apart.
- Now bend at both knees, so that you lower your body towards the floor. At the end of the movement, your thighs should be parallel with the floor, your front knee should be bent to 90o and in line with your ankle, your back knee should be just above the floor.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on your other leg.
#4 Knee lift
- Raise your arms overhead.
- Lower your arms as you lift one knee.
- Raise your arms as you lower the knee.
- Lower your arms as you lift the other knee.
#5 Wall sit
- Stand with your back to the wall, about 18-24 inches away from it, legs hip distance apart
- Using your hands to help support you, bend your knees as you lean your back against the wall
- When your back is fully in contact with the wall, start to slide down, until your thighs are parallel with the floor
- Check that your knees are lined up above your ankles – adjust your foot position if not
- The position shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If there is any discomfort in your back or knees, then check your position carefully.
#6 side leaps
- Start by standing with your feet close together.
- Raise your right knee, then jump sideways to the right, leading with your right leg.
- Follow through with your left leg, bringing your left foot close to your right.
- Now lift your left knee and repeat to the left.
#7 side leg raise
- Stand sideways to the wall and put one hand on it for support.
- Make sure you are standing straight (not bending forward), with your butt pulled under your body.
- Lift your leg out to the side, making sure it is in line with your body – as if you were standing in a very narrow space between 2 walls. Take your leg as high as you can without leaning over. Lower and repeat.
#8 squat jump
- Start in a squat position, with your arms down by your sides.
- Swing your arms up over your head as you push your toes off the ground and jump up.
- Come back down onto the floor in the starting position and repeat.
#9 leg raise behind
- Have both hands on the wall for support.
- Make sure that you stand straight and don’t arch your low back.
- Take one leg out behind you, and flex your foot, so that only your toes are touching the floor.
- Lift your leg as high as you can without arching your back.
- Lower your leg back down, until your toes touch the floor behind you. Then repeat.
#10 Mountain climber
- Get into an all-4s position on the floor. Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
- Take your legs out behind, keeping your back slightly curved.
- Now bring one knee at a time in towards your arms.
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