This 20-Minute, Low-Impact Leg Workout Is Perfect for People Who Hate Jumping

Not all high-intensity workouts need to involve jumping. Holds and pulses will get your legs burning.
Image Credit: Peter Muller/Cultura/GettyImages

Squats jumps, lunge jumps, box jumps — if those words make your knees ache just by reading them, know that this leg workout features zero jumping. That doesn't mean it's not effective, though. Your quads, hamstrings and glutes will definitely still feel the burn.

This 20-minute, low-impact, high-intensity workout — designed by husband and wife duo Justin and Taylor Norris, co-creators of The LIT Method and LIT Strength Machine — is built to give you the ultimate cardio burn while focusing on your legs and core. All you need to complete this workout is your own body weight!

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Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we've got something for everyone.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Do: 1 minute of each of the following:

Move 1: Alternating High Knee Pull

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Time 1 Min
Activity Mobility Workout
Body Part Legs
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your right knee and pull it up to your chest, wrapping both hands briefly around your leg to give it an extra pull. If you're able to balance, pull your right knee with your right hand while lifting your left arm overhead.
  3. Set your right foot back down and repeat with the left leg.
  4. Continue alternating legs for 60 seconds.

Move 2: Alternating Lateral Lunge

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Time 1 Min
Activity Mobility Workout
Body Part Legs
  1. Stand with your feet almost touching.
  2. Step your left foot out to the left a few feet.
  3. Bend your left knee and sink your hips back while the right leg stays straight.
  4. Step your left foot back to center and repeat on the right side.
  5. Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds.

Workout Phase 1

Do: as many reps as possible of each of the following exercises for 1 minute. Repeat once more (2 rounds total).

Move 1: Squat to Oblique Twist

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Sets 2
Time 1 Min
Body Part Abs and Legs
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands behind your head.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips back to squat down as if you were sitting in a chair.
  3. Stand up and press your hips forward as you bring your right knee up toward your left elbow, slightly crunching your abdomen to the side.
  4. Return to the center, then squat again, this time lifting your left knee up to your right elbow.
  5. Continue squatting, alternating side twists with each rep.

Move 2: Side Lunge to Twist

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Sets 2
Time 1 Min
Body Part Abs and Legs
  1. Stand with your feet almost touching and hands clasped together in front of your chest.
  2. Step your left foot out to the left a few feet.
  3. Bend your left knee and sink your hips back while the right leg stays straight.
  4. Step your left foot back to center and lift your left knee up and across your body, twisting your torso to the left.
  5. Return to standing, then repeat on the right side.
  6. Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds.

Workout Phase 2

Do: each of the following exercises for 1 minute, doing as many reps as possible. Repeat once more (2 rounds total).

Move 1: Squat Hold With Toe Tap

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Sets 2
Time 1 Min
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands behind your head or clasped in front of your chest.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips back to squat down as if you were sitting in a chair.
  3. Hold here as you tap your right toe out to the side.
  4. Bring it back to your squat stance and switch sides without standing up.
  5. Continue tapping out to the sides for 60 seconds.

Move 2: Reverse Lunge Pulse

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Sets 2
Time 1 Min
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step your right foot back a few feet and bend both knees to 90 degrees.
  3. Now lift and lower a few inches without coming all the way up or hitting your knee on the floor.
  4. Continue pulsing for 30 seconds before switching legs.

Core and Recovery

Do: each move for 1 minute.

Move 1: Bicycle Crunch

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Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Lie face-up on the ground with your hands behind your head, elbows wide.
  2. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Lift your torso off the ground and bring your right knee toward your chest, twisting your left elbow toward the knee.
  4. Extend your right leg and bring your left knee toward your face, twisting the right elbow toward the knee.
  5. Continue alternating, keeping your upper body off the ground.

Move 2: Toe Tap

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Time 1 Min
Body Part Abs
  1. Lie face-up on the ground with your feet up in the air, legs perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Using just the strength of your abs, lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground as you reach toward your toes.
  3. Lower back down with control and repeat.

Move 3: Boat Pose

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Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Begin sitting with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. With your spine long and chest open, lift your feet off the floor and extend your legs toward the ceiling. The goal is to get your legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor.
  3. Raise your arms straight out so that they're parallel to the floor.
  4. Draw your belly button to your spine and keep your neck relaxed as you hold this pose.

Move 4: Plank

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Time 1 Min
Region Full Body
  1. Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and hips over your knees.
  2. Straighten your legs so that you're supporting your weight on your hands and feet. Your body should be in one straight line from head to hips to heels.
  3. Engage your abdominals, quads and glutes to help you maintain proper form as you hold.

Tip

Plank not challenging enough for you? Alternate tapping each foot out to the side or bring each knee up to the same-side elbow one at a time (like slow mountain climbers).

Move 5: Bird-Dog

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Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. In tabletop position, keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees no wider than your hips.
  2. On an exhale, reach your right arm straight out in front of you. At the same time, kick your left leg straight back, keeping your foot flexed.
  3. Return your arm and leg to the starting position.
  4. Switch sides, reaching your left arm out in front and kicking your right leg back.
  5. Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds.

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