Lower Body Circuit

This leg circuit will not only work all the muscles of your lower body, it’s also a great way to increase your heart rate and work up a sweat.

The leg circuit works best when you take minimal rest between the different exercises. It is recommended for those who are already familiar with using weights.

For best results, try and work this leg circuit with a partner, especially if the gym is busy, as they can assist with setting up the weight machines etc, as you ideally don't want to be waiting for other people.

Always remember to use good gym etiquette and wipe clean each machine. Most people will often let you use a machine for 1 quick set, generally or you need to do is ask politely.

The table below is a suggested guide for the amount of reps, sets and rest time for each exercise.
 

LEVEL
SET 1
SET 2
SET 3
SET 4
REPS
REST
REPS
REST
REPS
REST
REPS
REST
INTER - MEDIATE
12-15
30 SEC
10-15
30 SEC
-
-
-
-
ADVANCED
15-20
20 SEC
15-20
20 SEC
12-15
20 SEC
   
ATHLETIC
20-25
10 SEC
20-25
10 SEC
15 -20
15 SEC
15-20
15 SEC


WARM UP AND STRETCH PRIOR TO DOING THIS CIRCUIT

Ski Jumps – Whilst holding a squat position, jump 90° to the left, back to the center, 90° to the right, then finally back at the center. This is one rep. This is a tough exercise, so if you find it hard, reduce the amount of reps by 50%. As you get used to the exercise, you can gradually increase the amount of reps you perform.

Machine Squat – Slowly lower the weight until your knees are at 90° to your leg. Pause, then return to the starting position. Be careful to avoid locking your knees out at the top of the exercise – keeping a slight bend in your legs will help prevent knee injuries and ensure that your muscles are active throughout the rep. For those used to lifting weights, you can experiment by changing your foot position so that your feet face outwards on some of the sets.

Rear Leg Raised Lunge – With one foot resting on a raised platform, step forward into a lunge. Pause, then return to the starting position. Be sure to keep your knee in line with the toes on the other foot, and keep your back straight. You can add difficulty by holding weights, or working on a non-secure platform such as a Bosu or Swiss Ball.

Step Box Jump – Jump up and down from a secure platform, taking off and landing on both feet, and using your arms for balance and gaining height. Start with a low platform gradually increasing the height as you become fitter. If you find this too hard, reduce the repetitions by 50%.

Seated Leg Extension – Using a smooth motion, raise the bar until your legs are straight – however, be sure to pause before locking your knees. Hold for a second, then slowly lower the weight to the starting position. You can also reduce the weight and work one leg at a time.

Abductor Machine – Choose a suitable weight, and aim to hold the legs apart for 2 - 3 seconds before returning under control. Be sure to warm up and stretch before performing this exercise.

Pulsing Squat – This is a series of small movements made from the squatting position. From the squatted position pulse 3 times (intermediate), 4 times (advanced) or 5 times (expert). Stand up straight between each set to allow the legs to relax. You can add difficulty by using a suitable weight.

Hamstring Curl Machine - With a suitable weight perform smooth reps. Don’t force this exercise, as it’s easy to damage tight hamstrings.

One Leg Squat - With one foot on a secure platform, slowly lower yourself by bending your standing leg. When your leg reaches 90 degrees, pause, then slowly stand back up. You can hold a chair or wall for support, or make it harder by holding weights.

Adductor Machine – Using a suitable weight, hold the legs together for 2 - 3 seconds before relaxing under control. Be sure to warm up and stretch before performing this exercise.

Standing Squat - Holding either a barbell or dumbbells, lower yourself down until your legs are at 90°. Pause, then push back up. Be sure to keep your back straight throughout. You can add variety by changing your foot position – close together, wide apart, facing in, facing out.

To protect you neck from the bar, wrap a towel around the bar.

Raised Squat - With one foot on a raised secure platform and the other out to the side, slowly lower yourself until your leg is at 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your back straight, and your knees behind your toes. Repeat the reps for both sides.

To increase the level of difficulty, hold dumbbells while performing this exercise.



Good technique and intensity are much more important than how much weight you use, you should therefore always start with light weights and gradually increase as your fitness improves.

If you're struggling to lift the weight during your first set, then that weight is too heavy – stop, reduce the weight, then continue.

Be sure to drink water between sets, and take a short break before performing the next session. Walk around to keep warm, and take the opportunity for some light stretching.

The muscles in the lower body are the largest in the body. It is therefore not unusual to experience slight dizziness when working them. If you feel this during the circuit, stop the exercise and relax for a moment. If the feeling still doesn’t pass, lie down with your feet raised – do not continue until the dizziness passes.

If dizziness persists, you should talk to your doctor.

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