You will burn more fat and sculpt your lower body faster by doing: 1) interval cardio on land and 2) leg strength circuits . You don’t need a machine to do cardio.
Interval Cardio on Land
Have you ever tried doing 20 minutes of running intervals on grass? You should. If you get through one week (3 sessions) of these cardio intervals, you will see the results.
When you have a choice, run outside on grass, sand, etc. (not pavement, asphalt or other hard surface). Why? Because its tougher—you have to supply all the momentum and force with no help from machines. This will cause you to burn more calories during and after your workout.
Research says that you will burn 10% more calories by running on the land. I believe its probably more when you figure in wind resistance and natural land inclines.
Running outside is definitely my first choice and sprint intervals is the cardio workout I do the most. It works—much better than cardio on machines!
–It could work this way: Sprint 50 yards, walk back to start line, sprint 50 yards (do this rotation for 20 minutes)
Another effective form of cardio exercise is bodyweight cardio. Pick strength exercises like squats, step ups, squat jumps, pushups, pullups, inverted rows, etc. and do 20 minutes of cardio. You get both strength and cardio benefits.
–Do sets of 10 for each exercise and walk 30 seconds between sets (do exercises for 20 minutes)
My point is this: ditch the machines and do tougher, more effective cardio on land. The body fat will melt off!
Leg Strength Circuits
Sculpt your legs with a consistent, challenging exercise program. You want your lower body to look good in 3-D space. Your leg exercise program should train your leg muscles in all planes of motion. Your leg exercises should also include high speed exercises like jumps and sprints to shape your bulkier fast twitch muscle fibers (like glutes and hamstrings).
Rotate heavy and light lifting days. You could do bodyweight strength circuits on your light days, if you want. Since this workout is circuit-style, you also get the benefit of a great cardio workout. Do each exercise (10 repetitions) one after the other with little or no rest between exercises. Rest 2-3 minutes and do the circuit again. On heavy days, do 5 repetitions of each exercise and rest 30 seconds between sets. Here is a representative leg circuit program:
–Walking Lunges with rotation
–Bodyweight Squats, squat jumps (rotate with each circuit)
–1 Legged Dumbbell Deadlift
–Front Step Ups
–Side Lunges (pictured above), side-to-side cone hops (rotate with each circuit)
–Lateral Step Ups
–Calf Raises (slow and fast)
Burn fat and shape your curves leaner and meaner. You will look and feel great!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Her Fitness Hut