Athletes often neglect their legs when training. Men especially prefer to focus on their upper bodies. Then they wonder why they have so little power behind their lifts. You have to build muscle in your legs to build strength, and you have to do it with weights and resistance. Running will keep you lean, but running alone won’t build strength and power.
As a busy athlete, you may not have a lot of time to work on your legs in isolation. To help you out, I’ve put together a sample workout that will train your legs and your cardiovascular system simultaneously.
Do these exercises at most twice a week. After each exercise, rest for eight to 12 breaths, then move on to the next exercise.
- Run 10 minutes at an easy pace to warm up your body.
- Do three sets of 25 Squats. Pay attention to good form and proper breathing.
- Follow your Squats with Jump Squats (athletes must work on their plyometric system too!). Do five sets of eight reps.
- Do three 90-second sets of Walking Lunges. If you are in a small space, just alternate your legs in place. If you are on the field, lunge the entire field three times.
- You’re halfway there! Do four sets of Burpees for 30 seconds each. Now I know that for a lot of people, “Burpee” sounds like nails on a chalkboard. If you like, you can substitute Jumping Jacks or Mountain Climbers. These are really high intensity. No slacking off at this point!
- Finish with 10 minutes of run/walk at an easy pace, and follow that with some light stretching.