Hot summer days giving you all the inspiration to slip into tiny shorts and dresses? If your dream is to show off a pair of strong, toned legs beneath that cropped hemline, you’ve come to the right place. These explosive leg-day moves are designed to burn fat and build muscle where you want it most.
Explosive moves tone your legs fast
If you’re looking to tone your muscles, adding plyometric — a.k.a. explosive – moves into your workout is a shortcut to great results. Plyometric training is anything involving hops, bounds, jumps or skips. It recruits your fast-twitch muscles fibres, a thicker type of muscle tissue that’s used in more intense exercise. Because these fibres are already thicker to start with, targeting them with exercise is a fast track to getting more muscle definition. What’s more, explosive training has also been linked to fat burning — the short bouts of intense exercise spike your heart rate and promote the after-burn effect — where your metabolism stays high even after you’ve finished working out.
Your explosive leg-day moves
These moves, extracted from Shedding For The Wedding, a comprehensive weight-loss programme for brides and their bridesmaids, are an easy way to incorporate explosive moves into your leg-day workout. Virgin Active master trainer, Aneeka Buys, created the Shedding For The Wedding workout to incorporate exercises you can do at home. So these moves require zero equipment and very little space.
Warm-up move: high knees
Do these at the start of your workout to warm your muscles and get your heart rate up — it will make sure your body is primed for optimum performance when you start the main workout.
Super-set move: jumping plié squat
To fatigue your legs royally, follow up a set of regular plié squats with 10 reps of these. You should do the two sets back to back, with no rest in between.
Active rest move: speed skaters
To give your muscles time to recover without letting your heart rate drop way down (ahem, Vitality points) keep moving with this exercise during your rest periods. Have a skipping rope? Alternate between speed skaters and skipping.
Leg toner: squat to lunge jump
This two-for-one combo targets multiple muscle groups in your legs.
Alternative box jump: knee tucks
You already know box jumps are a great plyometric move, but if you don’t have a box to jump onto, do these instead. The key is getting your knees right up to your chest, rather than kicking your feet to your bum.
Sign up for the full Shedding For The Wedding programme and you’ll get a 12-week workout and eating plan that you can access from your phone. Workouts include video demos like these, plus step-by-step instructions. The eating plan uses macros and portion control so you can still enjoy all your favourite foods while losing weight!
This article was originally published in Women's Health SA.