Not being able to make it to the gym is no reason to scrap your leg day plans. Instead, you can use this workout to build lower body strength with just a few bits of fitness gear, or give trainer Alexia Clark’s no-equipment alternative a go at home.
After all, while having a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) at your disposal can only be a good thing for your home fitness routine, bodyweight workouts are an accessible, more affordable alternative that can help you enjoy many of the same strength-boosting benefits.
For this reason, fitness trainer Alexia Clark (opens in new tab) has shared two versions of her latest leg workout on Instagram — one using a dumbbell, resistance band, and a bench, and another that only requires your bodyweight. It uses just three exercises and can be completed in 20 minutes, making it a great option if you want to get your fitness fix while on vacation, or fancy squeezing in a quick living room session.
The three exercises, detailed in Clark’s Instagram post, are performed back-to-back as a circuit. We recommend completing 12 repetitions of each movement before taking 60 seconds to catch your breath; that’s one round. Once you’ve finished five rounds, the workout is complete and you can give your legs a well-deserved rest.
Watch Clark's video below to see how each movement should be performed, and focus on keeping good technique throughout your workout (no matter how tired you feel).
Watch Alexia Clark's three-move leg workout
A post shared by Alexia Clark (@alexia_clark) (opens in new tab)
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This workout from Alexia Clark is an example of high-intensity resistance training or HIRT (opens in new tab). Like a HIIT workout, it will spike your heart rate, burn calories and provide a comprehensive cardio session by using intense bursts of exercise broken up by short spells of rest. This makes it a great way to get some time-efficient exercise in.
However, HIRT includes more resistance-based movements, incorporating challenging bodyweight exercises and lifts that use the best kettlebells (opens in new tab) or dumbbells. This means it can also help you build strength and muscle at the same time, while still counting as cardio — not bad!
This session targets the lower body, using three moves that engage your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. If you have a gym membership or access to the necessary equipment, we prescribe giving the version in Clark’s video a go.
However, if you’re looking for a minimal-equipment version to try at home, you can still use the alternative exercises listed in the caption (sumo air squats, squat side shuffles, and single-leg glute bridges) for a challenging leg workout.
We recommend using this session as a daily workout within your current fitness routine. But, as this session is designed to build strength it can be quite taxing on your lower body. So, make sure you give your legs a break from resistance training the following day to allow them to recover.
Instead, opt for a lower intensity activity to get your blood flowing without stressing your muscles. Why not try a cycle, or a spell on one of the best exercise bikes (opens in new tab), if the weather doesn’t look too enticing? Our cycling fitness plan (opens in new tab) is a good place to start if you want some inspiration on how to structure your session in the saddle.
Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.
When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.
Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.
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