I tried this five move lower-body workout and it strengthened my legs and improved my endurance

Build stronger legs and boost your fitness levels with this circuit workout

dumbbells in a gym
(Image credit: Future)

Controversial as it may be, I love leg workouts. As a long-time runner my legs are definitely the strongest part of my body, so I'd take squats over crunches every day of the week.

To maintain my amiable relationship with leg days, I like to change things up every once in a while by finding a fresh routine to try. My latest leg workout came from fitness trainer Rachael Sacerdoti, and it's a winner, stringing some challenging moves (shout-out to those squat pulses) together into a circuit.

You'll need a set of dumbbells, a resistance band and a yoga mat to complete the workout. Here's how I rate it after testing it out. 

How to do Rachael Sacerdoti's lower body workout routine

This routine is a circuit workout, meaning you'll perform each of the exercises back to back without any rest in between. Once you've finished all seven moves, rest for 30 seconds then start the circuit again by returning to the first exercise (15 dumbbell squat pulses).

Repeat this sequence for three total rounds to complete the workout. 

If this feels too challenging, you can take a 60-second rest after each round, or try introducing 15-30-second rests between each exercise. 

What did I think of this workout?

If you're looking for a strength workout that gets your heart pumping and works up a sweat, you've found it. This five-move blast really put my strength, endurance and cardio to the test.

I completed the workout as prescribed and wow, were my muscles were fired up by the end. The banded clamshells in particular had my glute muscles burning—impressive given this wasn't an area I was really expecting to work. 

A lot of the moves in this workout are also compound exercises; movements that use multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time. These are not only a time-efficient training option, but a great way to incorporate more muscles into your workout.

Would I do it again?

I'd definitely tackle this routine again. I liked the variation of moves as well as the amount of muscles that are being worked. The lower-body exercises in this routine are going to be a regular part of my workout routine going forward.

Just be warned, if you're new to this type of training then you might feel some aching and soreness in your legs the next day (this is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS, and is completely normal).

This happens because of micro tears in your muscle fibers that form during resistance training. To give your body the opportunity to repair and strengthen these tears, make sure you're consuming enough protein in your diet, and schedule in a rest day.

Need some tips on what weights to buy? See our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.