A common fitness belief, or should we say myth, is that squats are the Holy Grail to perfectly toned legs and butt. This notion pushes people to drive all their energy into doing countless squats, reaping little to no substantial benefit. Here’s the real dilemma behind doing squats all the time: You’ve probably got some killer muscles in your lower body but it’s all hidden behind a layer of fat. This is where cardio comes in. Instead of going over two sets of workouts, covering fat-burn (cardio) and toning, we’ve rounded up a double whammy workout that takes care of both.
The following exercises for the legs include a lot of powerful movements such as jumps and weighted swings that are sure to get your heart racing and your muscles screaming. We’ve included a few squat variations as well because hello booty gains!
1. Chair Squats
Since most people are already familiar with squats, we’ll start with this variation. It’s a perfect leg exercise that can be done at home or the gym and it’s suitable for beginners too.
Stand with your back facing a chair with feet hip distance apart. Engage your core and hinge forward at your hips, lowering your butt slowly toward the seat. Stop right before you sit down and stand up. Keep your core tight throughout this entire workout for maximum gain.
2. Dumbbell split jump
Hold one dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms by your sides, palms facing in. Take a staggered posture with left foot in front of the right. Lower your body and do a split squat. Change directions quickly and explode upwards, thrusting both feet off the ground. Switch sides and repeat.
3. Kettlebell swing
Arms and legs in one? Yes, please! Grab a heavy kettlebell with both hands in front of your waist. Bend your body at your hips and knees, lowering your torso 45 degrees to the ground. Maintain this squatting position and swing the kettlebell to the gap between your legs. With your arms straight, tuck your hips forward and swing the kettlebell up to your chest, straightening your hips and standing back up. Repeat the movement, swinging the kettlebell each time with great force.
4. 2/3 jump squats
This exercise kills your quads, hamstrings and glutes while also helping you torch major calories. Stand with feet shoulder distance apart with arms hanging by your sides. Lower into a squat but don’t go all the way down. Stop two thirds of the way and explode upwards rapidly, with arms pointing the ceiling. Get into the same squatting position as soon as you land to complete one rep.
5. Cross body mountain climbers
This exercise is similar to mountain climbers. Get into plank position, making sure your body is forming a straight line. Clench your abs and bring your left knee toward your right shoulder. Bring your foot back to the mat and repeat with your right knee to left shoulder.
Thailand Fitness Bootcamp is all about loving your body, creating a positive outlook and boosting self-empowerment. Our fitness bootcamp is designed for all fitness groups and ensures that each person enjoys a good sweat sesh with fun yet incredibly effective workouts.