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Work the legs and build the body with this exercise combo

Try this routine for strong and sculpted legs

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

If you are looking for a balanced physique and are interested in strength, reliable balance and a solid stance, then it is vital to include regular and effective leg exercises in your workout routine.

I am a strong advocate of regularly exercising the legs using clean techniques and exercises that are changed up if they become repetitive or boring.

For some people, ‘leg day’ is their idea of hell. But not me!

There is a whole range of leg exercises available to exercise that all-important lower body. Below is a four-part combo that will get the job done and deliver a rounded workout for the legs.

Just take the time to understand the exercises you will be undertaking (as with all combos), practise each exercise before undertaking fully and work at your best pace to get the optimal results.

And now, those all-important leg exercises:

Hamstring curls

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

Hamstring leg curls are perfect for building up strength in the legs.

Delivered effectively, they strengthen and develop your leg muscles, specifically your hamstrings, and reduce the risk of injuries.

To get the most from this exercise, understand the machine you are working with, the level of resistance that you can support (see below) and the number of repetitions that deliver positive results when delivering this exercise (also see below on this point).

Step by step:

  1. First, set the resistance level on your machine to that which you can start with at a moderately challenging level.

  2. Next, lean over a leg-curl machine forward-facing.

  3. Position your lower legs under the ankle pads so the undersides of the pads touch your calves just above your ankles.

  4. Keeping your upper body secure, curl your lower legs until the ankle pads are almost touching your gluteus maximus.

  5. At the top of the move, contract your glutes for two seconds, then lower your legs again.

  6. Deliver 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg in 2 to 3 sets.

Side lunge

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

When undertaking the side lunge, be sure to pull your abs in, keep your back straight and face forward. Also, do not step too wide to the side, be sure to breathe in, and keep your knees pointing in the same direction as your feet.

Keep both heels flat on the floor and, as you breathe out, use the lead foot to push you back into the starting position.

Step by step:

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Step out to the side and transfer your weight to that leg.

  3. Use your lead foot to push you back to the starting position.

  4. Repeat and then switch sides.

  5. Deliver 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg in 2 to 3 sets.

Box jumps

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

Box jumps are perfect for those looking for a challenge in their lower body workout.

If you are a beginner or have any injuries, pause before incorporating box jumps into your routine.

If this is not you, we, jump into this great explosive energy workout.

Step by step

  1. Stand with the box one short step in front of you and your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Bend your knees slightly and drop down, bringing your arms out behind you.

  3. Use the momentum from your quarter squat to propel you upward as you jump onto the box, allowing your arms to swing out in front of you.

  4. Land softly on both feet with a slight bend in the knees.

  5. Step back and down and repeat.

  6. Deliver 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg in 2 to 3 sets.

Walking lunges

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

Walking lunges are a variation of the static lunge exercise. Instead of standing back upright after performing a lunge on one leg, as you would in a static bodyweight lunge, you walk forward by lunging out with the other leg.

Walking lunges strengthen the leg muscles as well as the core, hips, and glutes and are a challenge for even the most experienced athlete.

In short, walking lunges deliver (particularly if you include free weights in your combo, as I have done here).

Step by step:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Your hands can stay by the side of your body or on your hips.

  3. Step forward with your right leg, putting the weight into your heel.

  4. Bend the right knee, lowering it down so that it’s parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Pause for a beat.

  5. Without moving the right leg, move your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg.

  6. Pause as your left leg is parallel to the floor in a lunge position.

  7. Repeat this movement, walking forward as you lunge, alternating legs.

  8. Deliver 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg in 2 to 3 sets.

As always with such combo routines, adapt the number of repetitions and sets as above to what you can deal with (especially when starting our!) and, if you have any queries about this, or indeed any of my exercise combos, get in touch.


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