Hurray for Leg Day! Struggling to Get Started on Your Leg Workouts? Try This Routine


Whether you’ve been taking a break from regular lifting or are new to the gym, jumping into focused leg work can be daunting. As intimidating as it can be to get started, leg work pays off. Developing leg strength will infuse your weight and cardio workouts with power and stability. Kick-off your commitment to leg work by mastering the basic moves below. Pay close attention to your joint alignment and using full-range-of-motion. This workout engages all the major muscles in your lower half: quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes and inner/outer thighs.

Step Up Your Leg Workout With These Exercises

Chair/Bench Hover Squats:

Sit on the edge of a weight bench or chair with your feet shoulder width apart. Put all your weight into your heels and lift your toes off the ground. Stand-up and straighten your legs with your toes lifted. Slowly bend your knees, stick your rear-end back and hover your glutes over the bench for a second. Tap your glutes on the bench before hovering over the bench for another second. Then return to standing. As you get more comfortable with the movement, relax your toes – and make sure your knees stay over your ankles when you squat. 30 reps.

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Forward Lunge:

Step right foot forward. Left heel should be lifted. Bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle. Your right knee should be over your ankle as you drop toward the ground. Straighten your right knees as you pull your right foot back to start. Feel free to sidle up next to a chair or wall to place one hand on a solid surface for balance. 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.


Place your hands on a wall or the back of a chair. Place feet shoulder width apart. Rise up on the balls of your feet and lower with control while keeping your legs mostly straight.

10– both feet, toes forward
30– both feet, pigeon toed
10– right leg only
10– left leg only
10– both feet, toes forward

Step Up Knees:


Stand in front of an aerobic step or a low plyo box. Step right foot onto the step, heel to toe. Make sure your entire foot is on the step. Raise your left knee up. Pause. Step down gently lowering your left foot to the ground toe to heel as you come off the platform. Step up left foot, raise right knee. Repeat the move 30 times.

Single Leg Dead Lift:

Stand on your right foot. Lift your left foot off the ground behind you as you lean forward. Tap your left hand on the ground to the inside of your right foot. Slowly return to standing while keeping the left foot hovering off the ground. Try it with a hand weight when you’re ready. Repeat 10 each leg.

Stretch when you’re done to speed recovery, so you’re ready to take on your next Leg Day!

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