Tone Your Legs in 30 Minutes With This Walking and Strength-Training Workout

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Doing squats during your walk can kick up the intensity of your leg-toning workout.
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When it comes to toning any body part, sticking to a cardio-only plan or zeroing in on strength moves won't totally do the trick. The key is to combine the two, to help you shed fat as you build healthy muscle.

You can certainly tackle cardio one day and strength-train the next — but why not get the best of both worlds in one super-effective leg-toning workout?

If that sounds like a win-win, give this 30-minute walking and strength-training workout a try, courtesy of Mathew Forzaglia, CPT, certified personal trainer and founder of Forzag Fitness on the NEOU App.

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The Warm-Up: 3-Minute Walk

  1. Start your warm-up by walking at a slow pace, taking both long and short steps to loosen the joints.
  2. As you complete the first minute, start to slowly increase your speed. Your heart rate should be up a bit, but you should be able to maintain a conversation.
  3. By the end of the third minute, your pace should feel like a moderate effort.

Move 1: Superman Scapula Retraction

  1. After you finish your warm up, step onto a patch of grass or off to the side of the sidewalk.
  2. Lay down on your stomach with your arms extended above your head and legs straight out behind you.
  3. Keeping your hip bones rooted into the ground, raise your arms, head and torso off the ground.
  4. At the same time, lift your legs a few inches off the ground, too.
  5. On an exhale, draw your elbows back toward your ribs, palms down and fingers facing forward.
  6. Pause here for a moment, squeezing your shoulder blades.
  7. Then, straighten the arms back out. That's one rep.

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Tip

As you perform your reps, try to avoid dropping your arms and legs to the ground, but take rests as needed.

Move 2: Hip Bridges

  1. From the superman, shift to lie on your back, arms at your sides.
  2. Place your feet flat on the ground, knees bent and pointing toward the sky.
  3. On an exhale, press into your heels and raise your hips up, squeezing the glutes.
  4. Extend the hips as far up as possible and pause for a moment.
  5. Then reverse the motion and lower the hips back down. That's one rep.

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

5-Minute Walk

  1. After you finish your hip bridges, return to standing and resume walking.
  2. During this interval, pick up the pace and elevate your heart rate.
  3. As you walk, focus on pushing and pulling the elbows forward and back.
  4. Engage your core and keep your midline tight while maintaining a faster step rate.

Curious exactly how many calories you burn during your workouts? Download the MyPlate app for a more accurate and customized estimate.

Move 3: Walking Lunges

  1. Once you finish your walk interval, stop and stand with your legs hip-width distance apart, arms at your side.
  2. Step your right leg about two to three feet forward and plant the foot.
  3. Bend the right knee to about 90 degrees as you lower your left knee toward the ground, keeping your shoulders back and chest up.
  4. Once your left knee hovers just above the ground, press into the right heel and straighten the legs.
  5. At the same time, raise your left leg to meet the right and without letting it touch the ground, step two to three feet in front of the right.
  6. From here, repeat the same lunge motion.
  7. Continue walking forward lunge after lunge, alternating legs.

Perform 3 sets of 20 reps

Tip

Want to mix it up? Check out 22 lunge variations to try.

Move 4: Push-Ups

  1. After your lunges, come back to either a grassy area or the side of the sidewalk.
  2. Come into a high plank position with your hands directly in line with your shoulders and legs straight out behind you, balancing on your toes.
  3. Keeping a straight line from head to hips to heels, bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your ribs and slowly lower your body toward the ground.
  4. When your chest hovers just above the floor, exhale and press into your palms.
  5. Spread your shoulder blades apart and straighten the arms to return to the high-plank position.

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps

Tip

Can't do a push-up? You can drop down to your knees and perform the push-up from this modified position. Even with the modification, focus on keeping your back flat and neck long.

3-Minute Walk

  1. Stand up from your push-ups and resume your walk.
  2. Increase the pace to a speed-walk where holding conversation would be difficult.
  3. Maintain a tight core and keep your shoulders back, chest up.

"We're shortening the walking interval but now we want to really push the pace faster than our 5-minute walk," Forzaglia says. "This should be intense but doable."

Move 5: Air Squats

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width distance apart.
  2. Sit your hips back and bend your knees, lowering your body toward the ground.
  3. Keep your shoulders back and chest up as you bend your knees to about 90 degrees.
  4. Pause at the bottom of the squat for a moment.
  5. Then push your hips forward and press into the heels to return to standing. That's one rep.

Perform 3 sets of 20 reps

Move 6: Plank Shoulder Taps

  1. Come into a high plank position in either a grassy area or side of the sidewalk.
  2. Press into your heels and engage your core to keep your body in a flat line.
  3. Shift your weight into your left palm as you raise your right hand, tapping it to your left shoulder.
  4. Bring the right hand back to the ground in line with the shoulder.
  5. Then, repeat the same motion with your left hand, tapping your right shoulder. That's one rep.
  6. Alternate between shoulder taps, maintaining the plank position.

Perform 3 sets of 20 reps

Tip

Brace your glutes, core and thighs as you perform this exercise to prevent rocking your hips side to side, Forzaglia says.

5-Minute Walk

  1. During your last walk interval, try and give it your all.
  2. Replicate the pace from your 3-minute walk as best as possible, keeping good form as you sustain a fast pace.

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