Leg workouts are some of the most powerful tools for gaining muscle mass and shaping your body.  Along with your core, leg muscles are involved in many of your day to day activities, and training them helps your ability to control coordination, balance, endurance, and sometimes speed.  As a bonus to strengthening your lower body, you’ll get the added bonus of having awesome looking legs and a firm butt.

We’ve had it relatively easy lately, so we’ll kick it up a notch with legs.  Today we’ll start with a running exercise, and later  we’ll add in a weight room workout and a biking routine, all targeting the lower body.

Running:

One day this week instead of running sprints on a flat surface, we’ll run up a hill.  If you’re new to hill sprints, a moderate incline is fine, but if you’re an experienced sprinter, choose a hill that is steep enough that you can feel yourself having to lean forward on the way up. Think of the incline of the stairs in a stadium or in your home and try to find a hill that matches it.  Challenge yourself.  You’ll get a good feel for a hill jogging up it for a warm up.

This week- Aim for a 100 meter long stretch this week.  Sprint at 80-90 percent of your maximum speed up the hill to your 100 meter marker and then immediately turn and jog down to starting point. The jog is your recovery, so you will start the next repetition immediately at the bottom of the hill. Repeat 10 times.

Goal- Focus on driving your knees up, exploding out of each step off your back leg, relaxing your shoulders, and pumping  your arms. Again, you want to control your breathing, using the downhill recovery to steady yourself.

How to progress:  Increase reps, distance, or incline of hill.  For the first 3 weeks of doing this workout once a week, you will be fine with the same set up; however, each time try to make the sprints faster than you did the first week. Record your times in your log.

Run hard!