Pulse squats 5 minute challenge for improved leg strength

Improve tone in all your leg muscles with this pulse squats workout. Squats are one of the best exercises for working the whole leg. This challenge uses a mixture of basic squats and pulse squats, to increase the challenge and make your muscles work in different ways. In the pulse squats you only move through a range of 1-2 inches from the lowest position. After a few reps, you’ll really start to feel your muscles working.


This is a 30 day challenge and, like most challenge type workouts, there is a little bit of progression each day. You start off with just 10 regular squats and add to this each day, ending with 30 regular squats and 50 pulse squats. Anyone in good health should be able to do this challenge, but please read these general exercise guidelines before starting, and make sure you follow the instructions below for correct technique. The time needed for the workout will increase as the challenge progresses, but even on day 30 it should take less than 5 minutes.

How to squat

How to squat


Regular squat

  • Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out
  • Make sure your knees don’t go any further forward than your toes
  • Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor and then come up again
  • Straighten up gently, don’t jerk your knees backwards
  • Avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders
  • Keep your neck in line with your spine

Pulse squats

  • Take the squat to the lowest position, then pulse 1-2 inches up and down from here.

Warming up

Although this isn’t a particularly high intensity exercise and the squat movement is one that we use frequently in everyday life, it’s better not to just go straight into squatting right down. Before each day’s routine, do 10 warm up squats, starting with squatting halfway and working up to a full squat. Learn more about warming up here.

The challenge

pulse squats challenge chart

Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get a free printable of the challenge chart and instructions e-mailed to you:

After you sign up, you’ll get 3 e-mails:
The first will ask you for a one-click confirmation of your subscription
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll get a second e-mail with a link to your download and a separate welcome e-mail

Related to pulse squats challenge:

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