When people think about leg training one thought comes to mind, the crazy pain they will feel and the soreness and inability to walk for the two or three days that follow. While there are some people who actually enjoy that type of training, there are others who want to get in a great workout and be able to function in everyday life. This workout will push you and it isn’t very simple but you shouldn’t have to worry about walking around like a zombie long after you leave the gym either. All you need are dumbbells, a platform, and a step. If you have adjustable steps that would work even better.
By Roger Lockridge
Dumbbell Jump Squat
Hold the weights to your sides at arm’s length. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed slightly outward. Bend the knees and lower your hips until the top of your thighs are parallel with the floor. Push your feet into the floor so you not only return to the standing position but jump as high as you can. Land on your feet and maintain balance. This is one rep. Reposition your feet if necessary and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Stiff Legged Deadlift
Stand with weights in your hand at arms’ length to your sides. Maintain a straight leg but don’t lock out your knees. Bend at your hips and lower yourself until your weights are close to or at the floor in front of your feet. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. Maintain a straight spine and don’t look up while lowering yourself. Return to your starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Stand behind a platform or elevated steps that are about mid-shin height. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arms’ length to your sides. Lift your left leg and place your foot on the platform. Push your knee forward until it is over your foot. You should keep your right foot in place on the floor and maintain a tight core. Push off of the platform and return to the standing position. Perform this same movement with your right foot. Repeat for the desired number of reps with each foot.
Standing Calf Raise
Hold one dumbbell to your side with your right hand. Stand on a platform or step with heels off of the step. Hold onto something solid like a rail or machine with your opposite hand. Lift your left leg up so you’re standing with your right leg only. Rise up on your toes and flex your calf muscle. Lower yourself slowly until your heel is below the step or platform so you feel a stretch. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch your position so you’re holding the weight with the left hand and standing on your left foot and repeat for the same number of reps.
Leg Training Workout
These exercises should be performed in circuit fashion. You’ll perform each of these exercises in a row without rest until you complete the last exercise. You’ll perform four circuits with two minutes rest between each. With each circuit, you’ll increase the weight and decrease the reps. The reps will be as follows.
Circuit 1 – 20 reps each exercise.
Circuit 2 – 15 reps each exercise.
Circuit 3 – 10 reps each exercise.
Circuit 4 – 5 reps each exercise.
By the time you finish you’ll have completed 200 reps and your legs will have done serious work. You’ll also notice that you feel like you did cardio today because of the intensity and effort you gave. The result should be a great workout that will improve your lower body and aerobic fitness.