A Female Leg Day Workout To Burn Calories and Build Muscle

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Even though we are battling a snow storm I made it to our home gym and got my leg day workout in. 450 calories in one hour of lifting!

Training your legs is my favorite workout of the week and with my current routine I only train them once. I was so used to doing legs 2-3 times per week so this was something to get used to. It turns out I have been seeing some great results only 2 weeks into my new routine so I wanted to share what my one day a week leg training workout looks like on my current program. The legs are the largest muscle group of the body, which means when you train them really hard you will burn lots of calories. On an average leg day I burn close to 500 calories from lifting alone, with no cardio other than a five minute warm up and five minute cool down. (to count my calories from my workouts I use a Polar Watch). You will need to keep in mind that form is ESSENTIAL so that you avoid injury and target the right muscles with each exercise. This routine combines plyometric work, which is very taxing and explosive, but prepares the legs for some more serious lifts. It also combines 2 super sets and 1 set with little rest between for squats.

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The workout is based on a program that 2X Mr. Olympia Figure Athlete Erin Stern does. She has an incredible physique since she trains hard and heavy but also combines in track work for explosive moves, cardio benefit and asthetics. I have been doing her workout program for 2 weeks now and really enjoy it. It is a 6 day a week workout with 1 day for HIIT cardio in between the lifting. Today’s workout is very challenging on leg day but it is always something I look forward to.

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I like to do a 5 minute light warm up on the bike or walking on the treadmill to get warm.

→ Start with a 5 minute warm up (bike, treadmill, jump rope, etc) to get your body warm

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Wearing my new Reebok sneakers, which were awesome on this training day!

→ Plyometric Circut (3 sets of all five exercises, do them all back to back with 30 second rest in between each)

– Line jumps (jumping high back and forth over a line on the floor) 15 times

– 180 jumps (jump squats with a 180 degree spin in between) 15 times

– Tuck Jumps (high tuck jump bringing knees up) 15 times

– Depth jumps (stand on a box or bench and slowly jump off and land down into a squat) 15 times

– Dynamic Stepups (step up on a bench with one foot and push off on top and come down and repeat with other leg) 15 times

After this plyo circuit I am out of breath, my chest burns and I am panting for breath. It is tough, but it really does get you ready for the lifting portion of the work out. At first I thought “how am I going to get through lifting after that?!” but it really does get you warm and adrenal is going and you are ready to go!

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→ Next up is a hard round: 10 reps of back squats for 5 sets with 1 minute rest in between

I do not have access to an olympic bar at my home gym so today I had to improvise using a curl bar with 25lbs in weight on each side. It’s not the optimal way to do it but I would rather do this than use a Smith Machine to do back squats. It always compromises my form and does a number on my lower back. You will want to do a weight that you can do 10 reps but you will fatigue by the last two. This will be tough, to do 50 squats back to back total, but you can do it!

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After that you will have two sets of super sets to do. They are great exercises to target all areas of your legs, not just the glutes. You want to remember that leg day is NOT just to workout your butt, it will require also working the calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes. You need to make all areas of the lower body strong to grow and shape your rear assets. Squats are not enough alone.

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→ The first super set is: 10 Good Mornings & 20 Calf Raises using a barbell on your lats/shoulders

When it comes to good mornings, keep your feet slightly shoulder width apart, not wide stance. Keep your shoulders back and head neutral and band at the hips. Push your hips back and have a slight bend in the knees and lower your back down without rounding it. Squeeze back up to standing position using the posterior chain of muscles. Form is key or you will feel this the next day in your lower back.

For calf raises you will keep the bar where it is and push up on your toes and lower back down. It doesn’t seem like this will get you out of breath, but it will. Your calves will begin to burn aroud the 15th rep but push through it. Rest for 1 minute after and then do another 2 rounds of this super set.

→ For the second super set: 15 Reverse Hyperextensions & 10 Leg Extensions  (3 sets)

For the reverse hyperextensions you will be helping to sculpt and shape your glutes. Lay flat on a bench and have the end of the bench right at your hips so that your legs are hanging off. Hold onto the bench and raise your legs up while squeezing your glutes. Do this and focus on the muscles you are working and squeeze at the top.

For the leg extensions use a weight that will get you fatigued at the last 2 reps. Don’t go too fast while doing it and focus on the quads while you are lifting. Repeat this super set for 3 sets total

Finish your workout with 5 minute cool down of your choice. This routine takes me around 1 hour to complete start to finish and is a killer for legs. I never thought I would be able to train legs only once a week but with this routine I do and I kind of like that change.

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My apparel in this workout is from Reebok, which I love for leg day. The sneakers are great because they are breathable and flat which works on squats. View some of their fitness apparel and sneakers here (CLICK).

Sneakers: Reebok Women’s One Speed Freese Trainer – click here

Purple Polar Watch FT7 – click here

Zumba Wear Leggings – click here


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the writer and creator of JerseyGirlTalk.com - a blog dedicated to inspiring and helping readers to feel and look their very best both inside and out. I love writing, photography, makeup, fashion and fitness.

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