Lifestyle

The 20-minute workout: Leg strength and power


Work those leg muscles (Picture: Metro.co.uk/Getty)

You can get a lot done in 20 minutes. Particularly when it comes to your fitness.

Rather than slogging it out in the gym for half your morning, why not try a short, sharp workout that can achieve just as much in a fraction of the time?

This week, we’re looking at the lower body – and how you can train your legs and glutes to help you run faster, jump higher, and get better at explosive movement.

This is a workout that’s great for anyone who plays sport or runs, but is also a great option for those who want to strengthen and tone their legs.

This 20-minute regime was created by Andrew Julien, a coach at F45 Tottenham Court Road, and will push your leg muscles to the max.

Vertical workout for leg strength and power

This workout is designed for anyone looking to improve their vertical jump or leg strength.

You will need small to medium dumbbells or weights for this workout.

Start with a 1km run to warm up the legs, followed by at least five minutes of mobility exercises.  

Dumbbell squats x8, 3 sets

Dip low and keep your back straight (Picture: F45 Tottenham Court Road)

Start with the feet hip-width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand. Lower into squat position, holding for a second when you reach the bottom then start to stand back up ensuring even weight distribution, squeezing the glutes at the top.
 
Reverse crunches x15 reps, 3 sets

Lie with your back on the floor with the hands by your side, bending the knees with the feet on the floor. Keeping the knees bent, raise your legs and thighs, tucking your knees to your face as close as they can go without lifting your middle back. Hold, then slowly start lowering your legs until they reach the floor again.

Dumbbell split squat, x5 reps each leg, 3 sets

Standing upright with a pair of dumbbells, step forward with one leg then lower your body until your back knee touches the floor.

Then stand up and switch legs.

Box jumps x5 reps, 5 sets

Start by standing in front of the box, leaving space for the jump.

Place the feet shoulder-width apart, bend slightly then swing your arms back and forward whilst jumping to land on the box firmly.

Jump back down and repeat.

Explosive jump squat x5 reps, 3 sets

Start in a squat position then explosively jump as fast as you can, making sure to push through your heels.

Land in the squat position.

Romanian dumbbell deadlifts x15 reps, 3 sets

This should be slow and controlled (Picture: F45 Tottenham Court Road)

Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells in each hand.

Slowly lower your body to the ground keeping your chest out – your shoulders should be over the top of the dumbbells.

Stop your hips moving when the dumbbells pass your knees, but keep lowering the dumbbells until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings.

Raise yourself back up into an upright position, whilst exhaling, to stand tall.

Standing long jump x5 reps, 3 sets

Start by standing tall, then slightly bend your knees with the feet shoulder-width apart.

Jump, launching yourself forward, swinging the arms back and using the momentum to propel yourself further.

Land in a squat position and repeat.

Barbell hip thrust x8 reps, 3 sets

Begin with the upper back on a bench, with a barbell across your hips.

Lift your hips and squeeze the glutes, then hold the position for 10 seconds.

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