Perform Leg Exercises to Build Muscle and Burn Fat | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Perform Leg Exercises to Build Muscle and Burn Fat

April 4, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Strength Training Videos

There's no question about it: working the lower body is hard, which is why many people ignore this crucial area of the body. If you fall into this category, you may be seriously hurting your ability to improve as an athlete and gain overall fitness.

The lower-body comprises several large muscle groups, including the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Working these muscles releases natural anabolic hormones, which help you build muscle everywhere in your body. Also, large muscles require more fuel to function, increasing your fat burning metabolism.

If you don't like working your lower body, try the two workouts below. They combine upper- and lower-body moves to deliver more benefits from the lifts and maximize your time in the gym. The exercises are not easy. You will feel the burn. However, they will build full-body strength and endurance, while helping you put on muscle and burn fat.

Guidelines

  • Do a dynamic warm-up beforehand
  • Rest 30-45 second between sets
  • Hydrate before, during and after workouts
  • Finish with a cooldown

Workout 1

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Single-Leg Squats With Arm Raises

  • Stand on your right leg with your arms extended in front of your chest
  • Perform a Squat and simultaneously raise your arms overhead
  • Hold the squat position for 10 seconds on the last rep
  • Repeat on your left leg without rest (watch a demonstration of the Single-Leg Squat0

Squat Thrusts and Explosive Push-Ups

  • Stand in an athletic position
  • Drop to push-up position and perform an explosive Push-Up by driving your body into the air
  • Land with soft elbows
  • Bring your feet your hands and stand up while driving your arms into the air

Step-Ups to Press-Ups

  • Place your right foot on a bench or box
  • Extend your right knee and hip to drive your body up
  • Drive your left knee up until your thigh is parallel to the ground and press your arms overhead
  • Lower to the ground in control
  • Repeat with your left leg on the box without rest

Workout 2

Sets/Reps: 2x10

Forward, Lateral and Reverse Lunges with Arm Circles

  • With your arms extended laterally at shoulder level, lunge forward, laterally and backward with your right foot while doing Arm Circles
  • Repeat with your left foot without rest

Burpees With Push-Ups

  • Stand in an athletic position
  • Drop to push-up position and perform a Push-Up
  • Stand up and perform a jump
  • Continue this pattern for specified reps

Bulgarian Split-Squats With Arms Overhead

  • Stand in a lunge or with your back foot on a bench or box
  • Hold your arms overhead
  • Bend your front knee to lower into a lunge until your thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Extend your knee to drive up out of the lunge

Wall Squats With Arms Overhead

  • Assume squat position with your back flat against a wall and your arms overhead
  • Hold this position for 60 seconds

Photo: crossfitfirebase.com

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,221,469
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,621,914
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 24,741,326

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,991
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 29,436
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,276
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,582
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,872,125
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

Todd Durkin

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises