Samantha Leete isn't afraid to crank up the intensity. When it comes to training, the FitMiss and Bodybuilding.com athlete knows how to bring the fire—especially when leg day rolls around. From standard bodybuilding exercises to explosive moves and compound lifts, she's tried it all. But when she's searching for something reliable and proven to work, Samantha finds herself coming back to a tried-and-true workout that's an essential part of her arsenal.
This leg workout features a challenging "quadset," or four consecutive exercises, centered on the use of a BOSU ball, or a half-ball attached to a rigid platform used to train for balance. She pairs that quadset with an intense superset—two exercises performed back-to-back—finisher that's sure to hit every part of your lower body.
There might only be two sets, but don't be fooled. Looks can be deceiving. "This workout is definitely harder than it appears," Samantha says. "It's fun, different, and definitely challenging. If you're doing it right, and pushing the pace, you're going to want to vomit after four sets."
That certainly falls under the category of intense. Before diving into the specifics, here's a quick overview of the work that lies ahead:
Samantha Leete Bosu Ball Leg Workout
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- BOSU side-step squat to leg lift
4 sets of 15 reps (per leg)
- BOSU Romanian deadlift
3 sets of 20 reps
- BOSU shuffle-over
4 sets of 50 reps
- BOSU front/back lunge
3 sets of 20 reps
- High step-ups
3 sets of 15 reps (per leg)
- Walking lunges
3 sets of 20 reps
Each movement in this workout uses an empty barbell. Samantha uses a 45-pound Olympic bar for the entire workout, but there's nothing wrong with going lighter, or even using just your body weight. If you're just starting out in the gym, removing the BOSU ball is another option. "You're still going to get a great workout," Samantha says. "Short rest periods and an intense pace will make sure of that."
On the Ball
Jumping right into the quadset, Samantha starts her workout with a unique movement: the side-step squat to leg lift. Starting on the BOSU ball, step wide and out from the ball, drop into a squat, and then lift your knee up to a 90-degree angle when doing the leg lift. Push through your heels and maintain a strong balance.
After 15 reps on each leg, you move right into a Romanian deadlift (RDL). Stand on the BOSU ball and push your butt backwards as you descend. Pause at the bottom of the movement, and then really squeeze your glutes and hamstrings on the way up. Then, get ready to kick things up a notch: the shuffle that comes next provides a stiff challenge.
Start the shuffle by stepping out from the BOSU ball and exploding through the ball of your foot. Tap the BOSU ball and make it to the other side. Once there, start again by exploding through your other foot. The goal is to move back and forth over the ball at a fast pace. Scale this exercise if needed. "When I first started the shuffle-over, it was really hard to do with weight," Samantha says. "Do as many reps as you can with weight, drop the barbell, and then finish it out."
Leete's quadset finishes out with the front-and-back lunge. The challenge here becomes completing all 10 reps on each leg before moving on to the other leg. It's a real burner! Keeping one foot stationary on the BOSU, lunge forward and then back onto the ball. Then lunge backward and once again forward to return to the ball. That's one rep.
Samantha stresses keeping rest periods minimal and moving quickly. "That constant fast pace really gets your heart pounding and works up a good sweat," she says. "Plus, you're getting a great leg workout at the same time!"
There's no let-up on the finisher, either. After you're through your sets on the BOSU ball, you can move away from it to focus on glutes and hamstrings. Just keep your empty or light barbell at hand for Leete's finishing superset of step-ups and walking lunges.
When doing step-ups, Samantha suggests pushing through your heels to engage your muscles more effectively. For lunges, she recommends you get a good stretch and keep constant tension on your working muscles. Really focus on dropping low, stretching your hamstrings, and pushing through your quads and glutes.
"Every girl wants good buns, and this is a good way to get them," Samantha says. "It's a trouble area for a lot of women, including me."
Now, armed with Leete's elite leg workout, you have no excuses, even when you're away from home or on the road. "This is a convenient workout you can do a lot of different places, and the BOSU takes it to the next level," Samantha says.
Give this training session a shot and let us know what you think in the comments below!