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Sculpt Your Legs With This 20-Minute Bodyweight Leg Workout

The temps are rising and it's almost time to ditch the tights. (Can we get a hallelujah?!) Get ready to embrace shorts and short-skirt season with strong, sculpted legs, courtesy of this 20-minute leg workout from trainer Jaime McFaden. You don't need any equipment, meaning you can do this right at home (or at the park, if you're looking for fresh air). McFaden's innovative twists on classic exercises like lunges and raises, all using nothing but your bodyweight, make sure you stay interested as you move through each move. 

How it works: Start with the warm-up, then proceed through the circuit, doing each move for 30 seconds each. Repeat the circuit one more time, then cool down.

Warm-Up: Do each move for 30 seconds. 

  • March in place
  • Backward arm circles
  • Hamstring curl (Lower into a half squat, then stand and kick one heel up to butt. Repeat, alternating sides.)
  • Toe Taps (Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and arms in a "T" shape. Hinge at the hips and touch opposite arm to opposite toe. Stand, then repeat on the other side. Continue alternating.)
  • Greek shuffle (With hands on hips, hop onto right foot, kicking left foot forward, then across, then forward again. Immediately hop to the left foot to repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating.)
  • Jumping jacks 

Plié Squat with Calf Raises

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed out to the sides. Lower into a plié squat, until thighs are parallel with the ground.  
B. Holding squat position, raise heels to come onto toes and balls of feet. Slowly lower, maintaining squat position. 

Monkey Squat

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips to bend over and grab toes. 
B. Holding onto toes, bend knees to lower into a squat. 
C. Still holding onto toes, straighten legs.  

Bicycle Buffer

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and place hands behind head.
B. Lift left knee up to chest and rotate torso to try to touch right elbow to left knee.
C. Return to start and repeat on the other side.  

Get-Lean Lift 

A. Plant left foot into the ground and hinge forward at the hips so right leg extends straight back from hips. Reach arms forward, and try to keep hips square. 
B. Holding this position, pulse the right leg up and down. 

Do the next round on the other side.

180 Squat

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and hands behind the head. 
B. Lower into a squat, then jump and spin 180 degrees to face the opposite direction, immediately lowering into another squat. 

Thriller Lunge

A. Stand with feet together. Clap hands directly overhead.
B. Take a big step out to the right with the right foot, lowering into a side lunge.
C. Press off right foot to return to start. Repeat on the other side. 

Bridge with Single-leg Lift

A. Lie face-up on the ground with feet flat on the ground and knees pointing up. Press feet into ground to lift hips, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders.  
B. Lift right foot and extend right leg straight, keeping knees in line. Lower hips a few inches, then squeeze to lift hips back to start. 

Do the next round on the other side.

Fire Hydrant

A. Start in tabletop position with hips over knees and shoulders over wrists.
B. Keeping knee bent 90 degrees, lift right leg up to the side until knee is in line with hip. 

Do the next round on the other side.

Rear Leg Pulses

A. Start in  tabletop position with hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. 
B. Extend right leg back in line with hips, pointing the toe. Pulse leg up and down while keeping core tight. 

Do the next round on the other side.

Kickbacks 

A. Start in tabletop position with hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. 
B. Keeping knee bent at 90-degrees, lift right leg back and up to kick heel toward the sky.
C. Slowly lower knee under hips without touching the ground.

Donkey Kicks

A. Start in tabletop position wit hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. Lift knees up to come onto toes, shifting weight into hands. ​
B. Jump to kick feet up, heels to glutes, then land softly on the ground. Immediately jump to begin the next rep.

Repeat the circuit. 

Cool down: Do all three stretches on one side, then repeat on the other side. 

  • Runner's lunge
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Triangle pose

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