The Leg-Day Workout That Counts As Cardio, Too
Get it all done in just 18 minutes with this fast, effective routine

February 22, 2018

man doing a exercise with dumbbells

If you’re looking to spice up your next leg day, try this brutal legs and lungs complex.

You’ll be huffing, puffing, and burning and you won’t need a lot of weight to get a terrific training effect!

Related:  The Leg Exercise That Destroys Your Abs

How it works:

Perform each move in the order below for 30 seconds each, with little to no rest between exercises.

1. Dumbbell Bulgarian hip hinge, right (See “Do It” below)

2. Dumbbell Bulgarian hip hinge, left

3. Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, right (Watch below)

4. Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, left

5. Dumbbell hip hinge (see “Do It” below)

6. Double dumbbell front squat (watch below)

Rest 1 to 2 minutes.

That’s 1 round. Do 1 to 2 rounds as a finisher or 3 to 5 rounds for a full workout.

Be sure to select a load that you can manage for the weakest or most difficult move in the complex. For most people, that will be the Bulgarian hip hinge.

The Hip Hinge

The better you are at the hip hinge, the better you will be at every lower-body exercise. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, jumps, and stepups all start by hinging back at your hips, preloading your glutes and hamstrings, says Gaddour. The key to hip hinging is little to no movement at the knee and lower back. You are only moving at the hips, keeping your spine neutral.
DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. (For the Bulgarian hip hinges mentioned above, place one foot on a bench behind you) Set your head in a neutral position with your ears aligned with your shoulders, hips, and ankles, and maintain this position as you hint back and bend forward. Keep your knees soft with a slight bend, and push your hips and hamstrings back as far as you can until your torso is parallel to the floor. Picture yourself closing a door with your butt. Pause, and then push your hips forward and come to a full stand. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

Related: Build A Core That Will Rival A Gymnast’s

Try to get at least 10 reps in 30 seconds for each move. Once you can do that, bump up the load to progressively overload your muscles and keep the gains coming.

Related: 8 Cardio Exercises That Burn More Calories than Running