This leg workout routine will build strength, power, and muscle endurance in all the lower body muscles. In addition to improving the strength of your legs, this workout can also enhance your aerobic fitness and burn fat.
As well as delivering a broad range of fitness benefits (see list below), the workout is fully customisable and can be modified to suit your fitness ability and training objective.
Also, because the workout has been organised into a linear circuit, you will be competing against the clock. The aim of linear circuits is to achieve the best time possible. Workouts with competition elements provide multiple training opportunities as you can go back again and again to try and better your time.
Leg workout routine benefits
If you can find a space for this workout in your weekly routine, you’ll bag a bundle of health and fitness benefits. Because this dumbbell leg workout features a range of fitness components, it engages multiple major body systems.
For example, the resistance exercises engage the muscles of the legs. (Actually, because many of the exercises are functional movements, they also activate many upper body muscles – such as the core, lower and upper back.)
The resistance exercises have been balanced with aerobic stations. In addition to adding a different training dynamic, the cardio exercises stimulate the heart, lungs and vascular system. This helps to improve fitness conditioning while also burning body fat.
Leg workout benefits
Improved quad and glute strength
Enhanced muscle endurance
Improved cardio conditioning
Increases muscular tonality
Engages multiple components of fitness
How to do this leg workout
Before starting the leg workout routine ensure to warm-up well first. This All-Purpose Gym Warm-Up will get you ready.
Once you’ve got a lick of sweat across your brow and your core temperature is up a few degrees, begin the first exercise – barbell squats. Because the workout has been organised into a lineal circuit, once you’ve completed an exercise you transition to the next in line.
It’s helpful to think of linear circuits as a training version of a shopping list. As you progress down the list of exercises, tick each one off when you have completed the reps and distance. When all the exercises in the list have a line through them, stop the clock and record your time.
Start at exercise 1, 10 reps of barbell squats, and once you have completed it move on to the second exercise.
Each exercise is visited only once as this circuit is in the lineal format; however, you should work through the exercises in the number order displayed.
Select resistance ranges suitable for your current level of strength.
3k Bike @ resistance 8 → 20r – Squats (20kg) → 2k Bike @ r10 → 20r – Squats (30kg) → 1k Bike @ r12 → 20r – Squats (40kg) → Start the workout!
Leg workout hints and tips
To perform a dumbbell squat jump: stand in the up-right position whilst holding two dumbbells of the weight stated at your sides and perform a squat jump as you normally would. During this exercise, avoid rounding your back – keep it straight – and ensure to land on the balls of the feet, bending the knees on impact to absorb the shock.
To make the cycle stations more physically demanding, try to remain seated during the distance. Also, the first thing you should do when jumping on the indoor bike is to increase the intensity.
A common mistake people make when performing burpees is that they don’t jump their legs far enough back. Cutting the range of motion short reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.
To manoeuvre the 60kg Olympic barbell into position, you can perform a clean and press. This will increase the range of muscles engaged throughout the workout. However, if you want to keep it purely legs, you can use a Smith machine or squat rack instead.
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My experience of this workout
The first five exercises caused my quads to explode. They were literally like quivering jelly – and still with a long way to go! This was made much worse with the cycle stations.
When I started the 2k bike at max resistance, the peddles felt as though they were barely moving. In fact, at one point I thought they were going backwards. This was probably the toughest phase of the circuit on the legs – the burn was insatiable.
After the next set of weights, exercises 7 to 12, the burn shifted from my quads to my heart and lungs. Oscillating between bike to burpees was tough going. Once I’d finished the burpees, I used the first 500 metres on the bike to purge my legs of lactic acid. From this point, things got a little easier.
Taken as a whole, I thought this leg workout routine was a corker. My legs felt physically stronger afterwards and I’m quite sure that if it was completed on a regular basis, you’d quickly see an increase in muscle definition.
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