Light up Your Lungs and Pump up Your Quads with This Leg-day Ladder

·2-min read
Photo credit: PeopleImages - Getty Images
Photo credit: PeopleImages - Getty Images

If there’s ever a day that it makes sense to ramp up intensity across the board, it’s leg day. After all, the biggest muscles in your body are designed to cart you around all day, every day, and are built for movement, so enticing them to grow is going to take more than just a tickle.

Add to this the high-energy output of the huge, multi-joint exercises necessary to coax new-muscle growth out of your pins. Doesn’t it just make sense to double down and add in a lung-searing conditioning effort, which will build legs that are as much ‘go’ as they are show?

This three-move crucible hits your wheels from front to back, building strength, size, explosive power and endurance – while also bullet proofing your lungs and tuning up your calorie burn.

You’re going to be using a ‘ladder format’, beginning with 1 rep of each movement and adding an additional rep each round (ie. 1 of each, then 2 of each, then 3 of each etc).

With a 20-minute timer running, your goal is to climb as far up the ladder as you can make it, resting only as necessary to keep your form in check. Make a note of your ‘high score’, and next time, beat it.

Goblet Squat x 1, 2, 3, 4… etc.

Hold your dumbbell close to your chest (A). Sink your hips back and descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up, tensing your glutes at the top. Repeat. Push yourself through these, you can probably do more than you think before you need to stop.

Dumbbell deadlift x 1, 2, 3, 4… etc.

Drop your dumbbell to the ground and grab it’s twin, place them on the floor just outside your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, ‘pushing the ground away’ with your feet, squeezing your glutes at the top (B). Your arms should be hanging straight throughout this movement, think of them as hooks.

3. Split squat jumps x 1, 2, 3, 4… etc.

Step one foot backward and sink into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, switching legs mid-air (B), to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each rep. Keep this one fast and gassy. There’s no weight here, so power and height is your goal.

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