Don't let a lack of equipment stand between you and a great workout. If you'd rather train at home, you're limited on equipment, or the gym's packed and you're confined to a small space, try my do-it-anywhere leg workout!
I built this workout to be as simple and effective as possible. You can do it with no weight, outdoors at a park, or at the gym with a loaded barbell. Even weighted, though, keep in mind that this isn't really a muscle-building workout. Instead, it's designed to get your heart pumping and really sculpt your lower body.
The workout consists of nine exercises broken down into three different trisets. A triset is simply three exercises strung together and performed back-to-back-to-back, without rest. If you're a beginner, do two rounds of each triset; if you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced trainee, do 3-4 rounds of each triset.
I recommend incorporating this workout into your training program 1-2 times a week for a fast calorie-burning, leg-carving blast. Keep rest between each triset minimal. This is supposed to be hard, after all!
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If you're unfamiliar with any of the exercises in this plan, read my tips below! The cues on form will help ensure you're targeting the right muscle group, while the restrictions on rest will guarantee an elevated, fat-burning heart rate.
Triset 1—Reverse Lunge, Wide-Stance Squat, And Squat Hold
For reverse lunges, you've got 15 reps per leg lined up. If you're using weight, be smart and choose a bar you can handle through the entire triset with without dropping it. If that's too challenging, using body weight alone is fine.
When doing reverse lunges, step one leg back into a lunge position before going down. Repeat on the other side, making sure your stance is wide enough so that your knees never pass your toes in the bottom position. Continue to alternate until you've completed 15 reps each side.
Without putting the weight down—if you're using weight—go right into wide-stance squats for 15 reps. Your stance should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed outward. As you go down, make sure you're driving you knees out and keeping a good, consistent pace.
The squat hold is exactly what it sounds like: You hold a squat in the bottom position for 30 seconds. Don't feel that you have to time this one exactly; you can just count to 30 at a slow pace. Once you're finished, come back up. At this point in the triset, your legs are going to be tired, so even a half-minute hold is going to be rough. Just remember, this is where you squeeze out that last little bit of energy and chase that burn.
Triset 2—Step-Up, Split Squat, And Shuffle-Over
After a brief rest period, move right into the second triset of step-ups, split squats, and shuffle-overs.
You're going for 15 reps of step-ups per leg. As you perform them, make sure to keep the weight in your heel to ensure you're working your glutes and hamstrings instead of your quads. There's no standard box height I can prescribe—just make sure to choose a height that's challenging for you.
Again, without dropping the weight, move straight into 15 split squats per leg. Start with a wide-enough stance that your knees stay behind your toes. Again, you want to drive through your heel so that the emphasis stays on your glutes and hamstrings. With both the step-ups and split squats, the second leg usually gets a lot harder, so I try to alternate legs every set.
As in the first triset, the third exercise is a burnout movement. Thirty seconds of continuous shuffling is no joke! Since you're going to be moving so frequently, you don't want to keep track of time in your head, so set a timer to help you count down the seconds—whether that's a clock on the wall, your watch, or the timer on your phone.
For the shuffle-overs, you can use any type of platform to bound over. Personally, I prefer a BOSU Ball. Whatever surface you choose, make sure you're doing the movement correctly. Step out wide on each side, and really drive through your heel as you jump up and over. As always, keep rest time between sets to a minimum.
Triset 3—Princess Lunges, Side Squats, And Pop Squats
People often neglect lateral movements when working their lower body, so for this triset, I'm going to make sure you're building the outside of your legs. Start off with princess lunges, doing 15 reps on each leg. Princess lunges will really help target your outer legs and glutes. Make sure to keep your weight in your heels for the entire movement.
After princess lunges, move into side squats, doing 15 reps per leg. I prefer to do the side squats walking, just to get me out of the same spot and get that extra mental push. Whether moving or stationary, make sure your stance on these is a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Focus on keeping the movement up and down, rather than side to side.
Finishing off this triset, and the workout, is 30 seconds of pop squats. As with most of today's exercises, you'll want to keep the weight in your heels as you jump up—landing with your feet shoulder-width apart—squat down, and pop back up. Try to do these as fast as you can to really get your heart racing during those last 30 seconds.