You don’t need to go to the gym for an effective leg-day; there are plenty of ways to strengthen your lower body with no equipment at all.
This workout from certified fitness trainer Anna Engelschall, better known as GrowingAnnanas, proves you can grow stronger and fitter using just your bodyweight. In 30 minutes it works your leg muscles and helps improve your heart health, while also boosting your metabolism, balance and coordination.
Unlike many workouts you’ll be standing the whole time, so there’s no need for a yoga mat unless you want some extra grip underfoot on slippery floors. Plus, it means you can do the workout outdoors without worrying about having to lie down on the grass in your favorite new gym top.
All you need for this session is a small amount of space to complete the workout (and we would definitely recommend keeping a bottle handy to rehydrate throughout).
Watch Engelschall’s YouTube video below, where you can work through each of the exercises with her.
You’ll be performing each exercise for 40 seconds before taking just 10 seconds of rest, so your heart rate will remain high throughout the workout. Plus, the four-move finisher section of the session will be completed without any breaks, so you can squeeze a little extra effort out of your muscles while burning calories at a rapid rate.
Engelschall incorporates a warm-up and a cool-down into the session. These elements are particularly important when doing fast-paced workouts like this one, as they prime your body for exercise and reduce your risk of injury.
If you want to increase the difficulty of this workout, try holding a dumbbell at your chest (in a "goblet" position) during leg exercises like the squat and lunge variations. You could also repeat the workout for a full one-hour session, or complete it after a strength-focused session like this full-body dumbbell workout to build muscle all over.
The day after a HIIT workout (short for high-intensity interval training) like Engelschall’s, you may also want to allow your body to recover with a lower-intensity activity. This standing Pilates workout takes just 20 minutes and can help prevent injury and improve joint health.
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Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
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