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10-Minute Leg-Sculpting Workout

by
author image Holly Perkins
Holly Perkins is the author of Lift to Get Lean, a strength training guidebook for women, and the founder of Women’s Strength Nation. Holly’s mission is to improve the ratio of women to men strength training in gyms around the world.
In just 10 minutes, you'll sculpt a seriously strong lower body.
In just 10 minutes, you'll sculpt a seriously strong lower body. Photo Credit BartekSzewczyk/iStock/Getty Images/LIVESTRONG.COM

Leg day: the most feared day of anyone's workout plan. That's generally because your lower body can handle more weight than your upper body or core, thus you can push yourself harder.

This leg workout combines moves for strength and muscular endurance. For the strength exercises (goblet, lunge and deadlift), choose a weight that is challenging but doable for the timed sequence. For the muscular endurance exercises (speed skaters and kettlebell swing), move as quickly as you can.

Perform each move below for 45 seconds and rest 15 seconds in between sets. You can repeat this workout as many times as you'd like with good form or combine it with any of our other 10-minute workouts, including one for glutes, arms, abs and back.

Proper form for a goblet squat.
Proper form for a goblet squat. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

1. Goblet Squat

Stand with your heels shoulder-width apart and turn your toes open to 11 and 1 if standing on a clock. Maintain contact of the weight at your chest throughout the movement as you bend down into a squat a raise back up. Your knees should be above your ankles at the bottom of the move, and you should drive into your heels to return to standing.

Proper form for speed skaters.
Proper form for speed skaters. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

2. Speed Skaters

As you bound side to side, keep your hips lowered, dropping your body weight towards the ground as much as possible. Keep your chest lifted and eyes looking forward. Brace your core tightly and use it as the foundation to maintain your balance throughout the movement.

Proper form for a lunge.
Proper form for a lunge. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Lunge

Consider this a front-leg exercise; 90 percent of the effort should be focused on the glutes and quads of the front leg. Step forward and at the bottom of the lunge, your front knee should be slightly forward of your front ankle allowing modest ankle flexion. Both knees should be at a 90-degree angle. Press into the front leg to push upward from the bottom, emphasizing the glutes.

Proper form for a kettlebell swing.
Proper form for a kettlebell swing. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

4. Kettlebell Swing

Focus all your effort on the power of the lower body as if performing an explosive squat. The momentum and force generated from the push of your lower body on the upward phase is what creates the movement of the kettlebell. Your upper body should not have to actively lift the kettlebell. Reach the hips back, and then lower until your thighs are at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Explosively push upward to generate speed and power.

Proper form for a single-leg dumbbell deadlift.
Proper form for a single-leg dumbbell deadlift. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

5. Single-Leg Dumbbell Deadlift

Focus all of your attention to the standing leg and allow a slight bend at the knee. Keep your eyes focused throughout the movement on a spot a few feet in front of your standing foot. Allow the dumbbell to move naturally, ending directly below your shoulder. From the bottom, bent-forward position, drive into the heel of the standing leg to create the force to press you back up to the starting position. Perform all reps on your left leg first, and then switch to your right leg for the second round.

6. Repeat

Repeat all five moves again.

What Do YOU Think?

What are your favorite lower-body moves? Which of these do you incorporate into your regular workout? Have you given this workout a try yet? What did you think? Have you tried any of our other 10-minute workouts? What did you think of those? What's your favorite way of combining them? Share your thoughts, suggestions and experiences in the comments section below!

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