Try This Fat Burning Leg Workout

There is no question that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is ideal for fat loss and preserving precious muscle tissue. There have been numerous studies, articles, blogs, etc. proclaiming the greatness of HIIT: It burns more calories, increases metabolism, increases EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption), preserves muscles, releases growth hormone, targets stubborn fat, reduces insulin resistance and increases endurance, all in a fraction of the time of long slow cardio.

There are limitless ways to implement HIIT into your workouts, whether through cardiovascular training, weight training or a combination of both. The basic take-home point of interval training is to achieve a high heart rate in the zone of 80 to 95 percent of your estimated max heart rate for a short duration of time, anywhere from 10 seconds to three minutes. Follow this with a brief cool-down period, bringing your heart rate back into a cardiovascular zone, usually about 50 to 75 percent of your max heart rate.

HIIT and Weight Training

You do not necessarily need to do “cardio,” even in the form of HIIT, to get the same results. If you are looking to increase your strength, endurance, build and preserve muscle all while burning fat so that your ideal figure shines through, then do HIIT weight-training workouts! The key is to move quickly from one exercise to another (like a circuit) with very little rest, while also incorporating higher-intensity exercise that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Your boring weight-training workouts will definitely feel like cardio, effectively killing two birds with one stone.

One of the biggest things to consider when designing a lower-body program is making sure that you train in all three planes of motion. Lower-body exercise should not only emphasize strength and toning, but also improve your daily function by mimicking movements you may encounter in your everyday life.

These movements include side-to-side, reverse, twisting, single-leg and high-intensity jumping motions. By incorporating all these movement patterns and energy systems, you will decrease your risk of injury, improve cardiovascular health and improve quality of life, all while decreasing body fat and increasing muscle!


Everyone is individual and unique. Because of this, weights and intensities will vary, so specific weights are not provided. Your goal is to feel the burn and max yourself out by the number of repetitions listed. If the repetition range is eight, then you will lift a heavier weight than if the range was 15. This may take some guesswork and testing on your part. Pick a weight that you think you can handle for the listed reps. If it feels too light (like you could continue lifting that weight beyond the listed repetitions), increase the weight during the next round. Make a note of the weight you lift, so you can try to lift a little heavier every few weeks. Remember, gains and improvements are made when you step outside your comfort zone, so if you are “comfortable” lifting the weights, increase it a bit to achieve results faster and more effectively!

Always start each program with a five-minute light cardio warm-up.

Modify as necessary—these are merely guidelines, so push yourself, but don’t kill yourself. Work smart!

Get a heart-rate monitor. It makes it much easier to track your progress and get to within your estimated max heart rate. To find your estimated max heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 30-year-old man has an estimated max heart rate of 190, so 90 percent of his max heart rate is 162 beats per minute.

Form matters more than anything! You may be able to lift a weight for the given repetition range, but if you are struggling and your form is bad, decrease your weight until you can complete the set with good form.

Talk to a doctor before starting any new exercise program.

The Workout

The Fat Burning Leg Workout Circuit 1: Repeat 3 times.

Glute Bridge – 15 reps

The glute bridge is a great initial exercise to help open your hips, stretch your hip flexors and activate your glutes. Too often when we train legs, the quadriceps is the first muscle group that activates, when the glutes should be the primary focus. Lie on your back with your legs bent and palms down by your sides. Keep your feet flat on the floor, but press through your heels to lift your hips into the air, finishing when your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Hold the top position and squeeze your glutes for a second, then slowly lower.

For an advanced progression, try placing one or both feet on a BOSU.

Squat Jumps – 15 reps

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and execute a squat, hinging your hips back and keeping the majority of your body weight on your heels. Press through your heels and jump up. Try to land softly and absorb the floor and finish back in a squat.

Split Squat with Elevated Rear Leg – 8 to 10 reps per leg

Place the top of your left foot, which will be your rear leg, onto a step or bench about 12- to 24-inches tall. Face away from the step and position the right foot about 2 to 3 feet in front of the bench. Bend your right knee and lower slowly, trying to get your right thigh parallel to the ground. This exercise is good for both a hip flexor stretch and glute/hamstring/quad exercise.

Modifications – If you are new to exercise, try a stationary split squat on the ground before elevating the back leg. Stand near something you can hold onto for balance. For a challenge, hold dumbbells or a barbell.

Jump Rope – 1 minute

Circuit 2: Repeat 3 times.

Goblet Squat – 12 to 15 reps

Using a kettle bell, hold it between the hands on the chest. With feet slightly wider than shoulder width and toes pointing slightly outward, squat down as low as possible with your heels on the ground and chest up. Make sure the elbows are in the inside of the knees and that the knees track over the center of the ankle/foot. Use your glutes and quads to push back up to standing.”

Jump Lunge – 10 reps per leg

Make sure you have great form and are able to decelerate your movements so you don’t hit your back knee on the ground.

If you are new to exercise, try placing your front foot on a 6- to 12-inch step, and jump and switch legs, without the lunge. This will allow you to learn the movement pattern. As you get more comfortable, slowly increase the depth of your lunge. For advanced exercisers, try going for time, 30 to 60 seconds, instead of for reps.

Curtsey or Crossover Lunge – 10 per leg

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand on your left leg, and step back and to the left with your right leg, keeping the majority of your weight on your front leg. The finished lunge should look like a curtsey. Alternate legs and repeat.

Lateral Jumps – 30 seconds

Stand on your left leg, and then jump sideways to the right to finish on your right leg. Pause for a second to establish balance, and then jump back to the left leg. Stay low to the ground and keep the knee bent upon impact. Make sure you have plenty of room because as you get stronger and gain stability, try to jump farther. This exercise helps establish lateral ankle, knee and hip stability and mimics the slalom.

If you are a beginner, start with small jumps and place your non-jumping leg on the ground behind you after each jump to balance.

Circuit 3: Repeat 3 times.

Forward Lunge With a Barbell — 8 to 10 reps per leg

Stand with your feet together and place a 20- to 40-pound barbell over the back of your shoulders. Take a large step forward with your right leg into a lunge, making sure your front shin stays vertical so your knee does not move past your toes. Keep your torso upright; do not lean forward. Press your right heel into the ground to push yourself up back to a standing position. Repeat with the left leg.

Modifications – If you are new to the movement, try the exercise without additional weight to establish proper form. You may also start by holding dumbbells in each hand, and progress to a barbell as your strength increases.

Stationary Lunge With Medicine Ball Slam – 10 reps per leg

This exercise is great for building core and hip stability, while raising your heart rate. Stand in a wide split stance with the right leg in front and the left leg behind. Bend both knees evenly so you are in a high-lunge position. Hold a medicine ball, brace your core and slam it on the right side of your knee; catch it, then slam it on the left side of your knee, slowly rotating through your thoracic spine, while keeping your hips stable.

If you are a beginner, hold the lunge position and just work on your T-spine mobility by rotating your torso to the left and to the right without a medicine ball. Once you can do that, hold a ball, but do not slam it. If you are advanced, you can do this exercise in conjunction with a jumping lunge.

Single Leg deadlifts – 10 to 15 reps per leg

Stand on your right leg with knee slightly bent but stiff. Slowly hinge at the hips and lower your torso, while simultaneously lifting your left leg behind you to act as a counter balance. Keep your spine straight in neutral position. Continue to lower until you feel a stretch through your hamstrings, or until your torso is parallel with the ground. Squeeze your glutes to arrive back in a standing position.

If you are a beginner, stand next to something for balance. For advanced exercisers, hold a dumbbell in your opposing hand. If your right leg is on the ground, hold a dumbbell in your left hand, and vice versa.

Frog Thrusts With Jump – 10 to 15 reps

These are essentially burpees, minus the push-up and with your feet positioned wide instead of narrow. Start in push-up position, establishing a tight core and a proper plank. Jump your feet to the outside of your hands, trying to place your heels on the floor. Stand up and jump, then land in a squat position. Place hands back on the ground and finish back in push-up position.

7 Insane HIIT Leg Workouts With Weights for Sleek, Sexy Legs


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For strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, while keeping the thighs svelte, we recommend one of these HIIT leg workouts with weights.

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a training style where you alternate bursts of high-intensity exercise (think sprinting, rope jumping, or jogging up the stairs), with brief rest periods. You alternate between exercise and rest pretty rapidly, which means your heart doesn’t have time to slow down. Your heart rate stays elevated and you keep burning calories!

A common format for HIIT workouts is 40 seconds of exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest. This can vary greatly, however, and any workout where you have high-intensity bursts followed by rest can be considered HIIT.

HIIT has greatly grown in popularity in recent years because it’s great for getting that strong-yet-lean look. As we mentioned above, when doing HIIT your heart rate stays elevated, meaning you’re torching calories. Yet many of the exercises performed during HIIT involve strength training.

This combination means you’re both putting on muscle and getting rid of fat. It’s a total body transformation! Check out these 5 Reasons to Start HIIT.

Try it out yourself with these insane lower-body HIIT workouts using weights!

1. The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout

With plenty of jumping squats, and lunges, this fat-burning lower body HIIT workout is the perfect way to challenge your leg muscles and cardiovascular endurance.

Exercises like squats and lunges are great for burning calories because they activate your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, which are some of the largest muscles in the human body. The bigger the muscle, the more energy it uses up. Therefore, activating these large muscles burns more calories.

2. 6 Moves to Leaner Legs Workout

Well, we already know that activating the glutes and thigh muscles is a great way to burn calories. Now, you can drive up that calorie-burn with plyometric exercises!

Plyometric exercises are explosive jumping moves. You’ll go from a stable stance (such as a squat or lunge) and jump up into the air. Even just two or three reps into these moves, you’ll notice your heart beating faster and your muscles getting tired.

Plyometric moves are ideal for total body transformations because they torch fat while building lean muscle, which in turn raises your metabolism all day long. Try it out for yourself with this workout!

3. Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Dumbbells aren’t the only way to add weights to a workout. This lower body kettlebell routine is an amazing muscle-builder.

Similar to a dumbbell, kettlebells are easy to use, versatile, and come in a variety of weights. Their shape however, makes them easy to grab from the floor and swing.

They’ve become popular in the fitness world as a fun and useful alternative to regular dumbbells, and many trainers will use them to train both lower and upper body at the same time. You can get started with this interval routine that uses all kinds of kettlebell moves.

4. Get a great Butt and Legs with Resistance Bands

Other than dumbbells and kettlebells, you can intensify your workout using resistance bands. Resistance bands are some of the simplest, most versatile gym equipment. They’re a great alternative if you want to work out at home, because they’re inexpensive and take up almost no room at all.

For this workout, you’ll use bands to add resistance to donkey kicks, leg raises, lateral walks, and squats. You’ll be surprised at how much harder a workout is with these little bands.

5. 5-Minute Booty Lift

Now this workout is specifically for the booty. It shifts the focus away from the thighs and calves, and onto the glutes. You can do anywhere from 1 to 5 rounds of this quick 5-minute routine.

Fit it in at the end of leg day to give those butt muscles a little extra oomph! Or do a super quick round on your cardio day or rest day. At just 5 minutes, you can do this workout anytime!

6. How to Get a Firmer Butt in 7 Moves

Although this workout is also great for the booty, it does have moves that help strengthen the quads and hamstrings. Stronger thighs mean more shapely legs, and they usually go along with a firm, round butt, so don’t be afraid to target those thighs.

This workout uses a light set of dumbbells to add some difficultly to lower body moves. You’ll be doing variations of lunges, squats, kickbacks, and leg raises.

7. 6 Minutes to a Better Butt

And this final booty workout is here to make all your shapely rear end dreams a reality. It begins with pulse squats, which quickly get your butt and thigh muscles burning. Continue with weighted half squats, step-ups, and side-lunges.

Finally, (as if that weren’t enough) wrap things up with box jumps. The box jump is a challenging move that hikes up your heart rate fast!

Just make sure to use a box that’s at the right level. It’s easy to injure yourself if you miss the jump, so when it comes to box jumps, play it safe and go for a smaller box. You’ll still burn just as many calories!

Try out one of these workouts (or try them all!) and let us know in the comments what you think of HIIT. For a total-body transformation, follow along to our interval training calendar, 30-Day HIIT Makeover. In one month, you can use the power of HIIT to become stronger, fitter, and leaner!

You might also want to check us out on Pinterest and Facebook for more fitness inspiration.

Strength training is one of the best forms of exercise you can do, whether you just started exercising or have been working out for years. It is a mood booster, can help you lose fat and build muscle, and will also increase your lean muscle mass, according to a 2006 article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

If all of those benefits sound like music to your ears, I’ve got a quick workout you can do to strengthen your legs and abs — the main muscle groups you work during soccer. You’re going to feel your glutes, your quadriceps, and all of your core light up, which means you’re really working those muscles. All you need are 25 minutes and some determination to get this workout done. Channel the fierceness of the USWNT — time to get started!

The 25-Minute Abs and Legs HIIT Workout

You don’t need any equipment for this workout, but if you want to make it harder, perform each move with a medium-weight dumbbell. Before getting started, warm up your muscles — here’s a dynamic warmup I like. Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, taking 20 seconds of rest in between each move. Once you’ve completed all of the exercises, take one minute of rest. Repeat for a total of two to three rounds if you’re a beginner and four rounds if you’re more experienced.

If any of the jumping movements (side skaters and jump squats) are too much impact on your joints, do lateral lunges and air squats instead. You can also modify the amount of time you perform each exercise. For beginners, I recommend doing each exercise for 20 seconds followed by 20 to 30 seconds of rest.

  • Glute bridge: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Intermediate seated Russian twist: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Reverse lunge with a knee drive: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • High knees: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Side skater: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Side plank leg lift: 20 seconds on the right, 20 seconds on the left followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • Jump squat: 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest

The Best Fat-Burning Lower Body HIIT Workout


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Are you ready to bring your workout to the next level? This fat burning lower body HIIT workout is the perfect way to challenge your muscles and your cardiovascular health. With plenty of jumping, squats, and lunges, this workout is sure to leave you sweating.

Moves like squats and lunges are great for burning calories because they activate your quads and hamstrings, two of the largest muscles in your body. They’re a great way to both slim and tone. Additionally, plyometric moves such as jump squats help get your heart rate up to improve your cardiac endurance.

It’s an intense workout, sure to give you great results!

What You’ll Need: a gym timer (Gymboss is a free to download app), a set of light dumbbells (5-8 lb.), and a heavy dumbbell (15-25 lb.)

Use the lighter dumbbells for the reverse lunges with front kicks. The heavier dumbbell is for goblet squats.

What to Do: There are 2 sets of 4 exercises each. Set your timer for 40 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds of rest. For each set, complete the four exercises in order, rest 60 to 90 seconds, and repeat.

Beginners: 1 round of each set
Intermediate: 2 rounds of each set
Advanced: 3 rounds of each set

Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Set 1:
1. Burpee
2. Reverse Lunge with Front Kick (with right leg)
3. Reverse Lunge with Front Kick (with left leg)
4. Goblet Squat

Set 2:
1. Squat Jump
2. Walking Lunges
3. Goblet Squat
4. Skaters


Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

Goblet Squat

Squat Jump

Walking Lunges


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Leg workouts

Leg day is approached with trepidation by many gym-goers and with good reason. Not only is a leg workout itself one of the toughest you’ll tackle in any given week, but the days afterwards tend to be a struggle as well, as you stagger around in the grip of DOMS.

However, leg day is an essential part of any good gym routine. Compound exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts are the key moves that build a powerhouse of a body that’s fit to excel in the gym, when playing sports and in everyday life. They also get the heart pumping and burn boatloads of calories, increasing your cardiovascular fitness as well as your strength.

For your next leg day session try this six-move workout. It focuses on the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core to help you to build useful muscle in your lower body. The workout is made up of two straight sets followed by two supersets, where you do the exercises back to back to keep the muscles under tension for longer. These supersets also increase the cardiovascular benefits of the workout, because training with minimal rest really gets your heart rate up.

Follow the instructions below to the letter when it comes to sets, reps and rest for a terrific leg-day workout. Then have yourself a nice little sit-down.

How to do the workout

This six-move session is made up of two straight sets and two supersets. Do move 1, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do all reps of move 2. After resting, do moves 3A and 3B as a superset, and the same again for 4A and 4B, to shock your legs into growing bigger and stronger.

Warm up thoroughly, starting with some gentle lower-body mobility movements and dynamic stretching. Then do some light deadlift sets, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until the next increase is your work weight.

1 Deadlift

Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec

Why It’s the classic big lift for all-over muscle

How Stand tall with the barbell in front of you, then squat down and grasp it with an overhand grip. Keeping your chest up and core braced, press down through your heels to stand up. Push your hips forwards at the top, then lower.

2 Leg press

Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec

Why Work your quads and hamstrings hard and safely

How Sit in the machine positioned correctly according to the instructions. Place your feet lower and closer together to work your quads more, or higher and wider to hit your hamstrings and glutes more directly. Bend your knees to bring them towards your chest, then press back to the start.

Superset 1

This first superset will hit your hamstrings and quads hard. Because these two major muscles will be thoroughly warmed up from the first two straight sets, try to go as heavy as you can while maintaining correct form and completing all the reps. Go slow on the eccentric part of the move, where you return to the start, to work your muscles even harder.

3A Seated hamstring curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

Why It isolates the backs of your thighs to fatigue more muscle fibres

How Position yourself correctly with your legs straight and the padded bar against your lower leg. Squeeze your hamstrings to bring your heels towards you, then return to the start.

3B Seated leg extension

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 60sec

Why It isolates your quads so you can go heavy

How Position yourself correctly with your knees bent and the padded bar against your shins. Raise your feet to straighten your legs, then squeeze your quads at the top. Lower back to the start position slowly to increase the tension on the target muscles.

Superset 2

This final superset comprises two high-rep moves to target and fatigue as many muscle fibres as possible so you end the session with your heart rate soaring. If you struggle to hit the rep target, lift lighter or finish each set with bodyweight reps.

4A Dumbbell lunge

Sets 3 Reps 8 each side Rest 30sec

Why This works all your lower leg muscles as well as your abs and lower back

How Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your chest up and core braced, take a big step forwards with your left leg and lunge down until both knees are bent at 90°. Push off your front foot to return to the start, then repeat with your right leg. Alternate your leading leg with each rep.

4B Dumbbell squat

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It targets your glutes and abs as well as your quads and hams

How Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your chest up and core braced, bend at your hips and knees to squat down as deep as you can without rounding your back. Push down through your heels to stand back up and return to the start position.

Photography: Glen Burrows; Model: Olly Foster

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Table of Contents

If you’ve never done a HIIT leg workout or your looking for more options, you’ve found the right article! I have good news and bad news for you.

Good news: If you hate spending hours doing cardio, then you will love this.

Bad news: That “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse you keep using is getting chucked out the window for good!

What if I told you that you could:

  • Lose Weight
  • Improve Metabolic Health
  • Improve Muscular Endurance
  • Reduce Your Risk for Diabetes
  • Burn Calories After your Workout
  • And Improve Cardiovascular Health

All in a 20 – 30-minute session, just a few times a week?

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Welcome to Interval Training.

Please note, I am not a doctor. I have researched this for my use, but please consult your doctor before starting any workout program.

What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very simple but effective exercise.

To do a HIIT workout, you will alternate short periods of high-intensity work, followed by more extended periods of low-intensity work or rest. In a 20 – 30-minute workout routine, you may do 15 – 20 minutes of low intensity work and 10 minutes or less of high-intensity work.

HIIT is a powerful fat burning workout that you can do in less than 30 minutes, and with less than 10 minutes of actual hard work!

How Do HIIT Workouts Work?

Regardless of intensity, exercise puts stress on your body. When facing this stress, your body adapts and grows to make it easier to handle the stress in the future.

Despite being a short workout, high-intensity interval training still puts enormous pressure on your body, resulting in increased calorie burning and fat loss.

For example, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology stated that, 7 sessions of HIIT over 2 weeks showed an increase in fat oxidation by about 30%, meaning you burn more fat with high-intensity interval training!

A 2007 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise concluded that a 15-week exercise program showed that interval training lowers insulin levels and can increase fat oxidation, showing greater fat loss in the long term.

Furthermore, a 2015 study published in Obesity Reviews stated that HIIT programs are more effective at lowering fasting glucose levels and improving metabolic health in those with Type 2 diabetes.

The point is, HIIT is effective at burning fat, lowering insulin and glucose levels, improving metabolic health, and helping your body adjust to intense workouts.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) vs. Low or Moderate Intensity Cardio

HIIT works well, but does high-intensity interval training work better than low or moderate intensity cardio? A high-intensity workout puts more significant stress on the body, forcing it to grow and adapt more than during a low-intensity workout. As with anything in life, what you put in is what you get out.

Studies show that:

  • 3 HIIT sessions per week for 8 weeks has been shown to increase VO2max (this is how well you utilize oxygen, a common measure of cardiovascular health) and increase fat loss
  • HIIT results in higher energy expenditure over 24 hours, meaning that you will continue to burn calories after your workout

Interval training is more effective at burning fat, burning calories after a workout, and improving metabolic health than standard low to moderate intensity cardio.

How to Get Started with High-Intensity Interval Training for Your Legs

You will have one short period of high-intensity exercise, followed by a more extended period of easy exercise or rest. Now repeat. OK, it’s not quite that simple, but almost!

Although I prefer to do HIIT leg workouts because they are the most effective for preparing for basketball, anything you enjoy that can get your heart rate up, then allow it to recover is perfect for interval training.

Running is a great choice as it is easily adaptable; you can adjust speed and incline on a treadmill or take it to the streets. If you are in good shape, try sprinting, then jogging for recovery.

Just getting in shape?

Try a light jog followed by a recovery walk. You want to adjust at your own pace and listen to your body.

Bad joints?

Try a jump rope, stationary bike, agility ladder, ERG rowing machine or elliptical machine. HIIT leg workouts area an incredibly customizable program that can be tailored to your goals and favorite exercises.

Any form of cardio works as long as you can alternate intensity.

Additional examples include rope slams, box jumps, jump ropes, the Jacob’s Ladder Exercise, or anything that gets your heart rate pounding!

How Intense Should Your HIIT Leg Workouts Be?

Your HIIT leg workouts should be pretty intense because you are trying to get a solid workout in 30 minutes. But don’t be scared of that because it will be short then you can recover!

You want the high-intensity period to be about 80% or higher of your max heart rate, and the low-intensity period to be about 40-50% of your max heart rate.

For those of us that do not use heart rate monitors a lot, this means the high intensity should feel challenging. It should be difficult to carry a conversation, and you should feel like you really put work in.

The low-intensity period should feel comfortable. It is a recovery phase and should help bring your heart rate down. But keep moving!

How Long Should a High-Intensity Leg Workout Last?

Short answer: Maybe 30 seconds to 1-minute of high-intensity work, and 1 minute to 2 minutes before recovery. However, a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio is a good starting point while adjusting to this program.

For example, this can mean high-intensity work for 30 seconds, recovery for 1 minute 30 seconds or 2 minutes. Listen to your body and do what feels right.

You are pushing yourself but only by your standards, not anyone else.

As you advance, try a ratio of 1:1. For example, High-intensity training for 1 minute, and then recovery for 1 minute. As your body adapts, you want to continue pushing yourself by either reducing recovery time or increasing effort.

How Many Times Should I Do This?

You should do about 5 to 12 cycles (high intensity + low intensity = 1 time), but this will vary.

Repeat this to make up a 20 to 30-minute workout. You may repeat this anywhere from 5 to about 12 or 15 times depending on how long your intervals are. The idea is to reach a 20 to 30-minute workout and put a lot of effort into the high-intensity periods.

The ACSM recommends doing one HIIT routine per week while starting out, then increase to two routines per week. Make sure you give yourself time to recover between each, but you can even do this three times per week as you adapt.

Best Exercises for a HIIT Leg Workout

Although you might be confused, there is a reason I did not provide you any specific HIIT leg workout in this article. Although I could easily offer you a few high-intensity interval leg workouts, I prefer that you learn how to create your own.

If you want ideas for a few ideas you can add in your HIIT leg workouts, some of my favorite leg exercises are:

  • Air Squat
  • Jump Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Glute Bridge
  • Conventional Deadlift
  • Trap Bar Deadlift
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift
  • Forward Lunge
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Step Ups

As I said earlier, there are many cardio machines which work well in a HIIT leg workout. For example, a few other great exercises you can mix in as well include:

  • Jump Rope
  • Agility Ladder
  • ERG Rowing Machine
  • Elliptical
  • Treadmill
  • Stationary Bicycle
  • Jacob’s Ladder Machine

Regardless of which leg exercises or cardio machines you choose to use, the critical part to remember is the interval system. If you combine proper exercises and utilize the correct interval scheme, I am sure you will quickly realize how great HIIT workouts for your legs are!

Additional Resources:

  • The Best Tabata Workouts
  • Back Squat vs Deadlift
  • Best Jump Rope Workout

20 Minute HIIT Leg Workout



Start standing with feet hip’s distance apart and your arms straight overhead. Your hands will stay up like this the entire time. Step your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot on the floor as you bend your knees, lunging down until the right knee rests on the ground. Both knees should be at opposing 90-degree angles. Step your left foot back to meet the right so that you’re kneeling on the ground. Step your right foot forward so that you’re in the same position as before, just with the opposite foot in front. Press off that front right foot as you stand up and bring the back left foot to meet the right in your starting standing position. It sounds more confusing than it is—you essentially just go from standing to kneeling to standing, leading with your right foot the whole time.


Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump. If jumping is too much, modify by stepping forward into alternating lunges.


Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes angled slightly outward. Squat down, and in your way up lift your right leg to side like if you were going to kick someone (angry issues solver) – the kick doesn’t have to be super high, it matter more that you can hold your balance.

Then do a happy dance cause you killed it 😉

High intensity leg workout

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