Leg Day Workout: Sprints + Bodyweight Exercises

Try this leg day workout next time you want a lower body burn. You'll mix sprints with bodyweight exercises.
This post was made in partnership with Finish Line. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂
I can’t name another running shoe that is as consistently praised as the adidas UltraBOOST (in the blogging world, anyway). And after years and years of hearing people rave about them, I finally got to give these sneakers a try as part of Finish Line’s Shoes So Fresh campaign. Honestly, they really do live up to the hype. So. Comfortable.

You know when you get new workout clothes and the prospect of wearing them gets you excited to break a sweat? Well for the first time in over a year (since the 2016 Boston Marathon, to be exact), I’m starting to get the itch to run another race with my new fresh kicks. So before we get to the leg day workout below, do you guys have any recommendations for a fun late fall 10k or half marathon?? I want in!

Finish Line activewear outfit Finish Line activewear outfitFinish Line activewear outfit

In addition to the UltraBOOSTs, I’m wearing Nike’s Sportswear Essential Crop Tank, both from my friends at Finish Line. My wardrobe resembles that of Wednesday Adams (black, black, dark black, faded black, jet black, more black) so throwing on a jean jacket walking to and from a workout helps add a bit more of a summertime feel to the getup.

Leg Day Workout – Sprints + Bodyweight Training

This is a great workout to take outside but you could easily do it in a gym using a treadmill as well. You’ll run .25 mile (400 meters) as fast as you can and then complete 10 reps of three bodyweight leg exercises. You’ll repeat that four times.

#AD This leg workout mixes sprints with bodyweight exercises. Perfect for doing outside or at the gym! Wearing @finishline @finishlinewomen #ShoesSoFresh #WeAreMore #FNLstyle

 

Exercise Descriptions

Side Lunge to Side Kick (each side) | From a standing position, lunge to the right, stepping your right foot out wide to the side and bending the knee, sliding your hips down and back (left leg stays straight). Push off your right foot to stand on the left foot as you kick your right leg up and out to the side. Return back down in a side lunge. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps to the right and then repeat on the left.

Jump Squat – Jump Tuck Combo | Squat down low and then jump straight up in the air. Land back in a squat and then do a jump tuck, jumping up as you bring your knees up towards your chest. That’s one rep.

Sumo Squat with Heel Raise at Bottom | Start standing with feet wide apart and toes turned outward. Keeping your knees tracking in the same direction as your toes, squat down. At the bottom of your squat, lift your heels, coming to the balls of your feet. Lower your heels and stand. That’s one rep.

Try this leg day workout next time you want a lower body burn. You'll mix sprints with bodyweight exercises.

WEARING | Women’s adidas UltraBOOST Running Shoes & Women’s Nike Sportswear Essential Crop Tank c/o Finish Line

photos by Nick Cosky

Quick, Intense Bodyweight Cardio Workout (10-Minutes)

This 10-minute bodyweight cardio workout is quick but INTENSE.This bodyweight cardio workout is proof that longer doesn’t always mean harder. In just 10 minutes, I was completely breathless and my legs were on fire–I’ve been doing that hot feet exercise since my elementary school basketball days and it still kills me!

This quick, intense cardio workout is high intensity and some of the moves are definitely high impact as well (lots of jumping). If you’re working with knee issues or just looking to dial down the intensity a bit, I’ll talk about modifications for all the exercises in the video.

10-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Workout

The first 9 minutes of this workout have an interval structure: 40 seconds of work / 20 seconds of rest x9. During the 40 seconds of work, you have a primary exercise and then a secondary exercise you’ll do every 10 seconds. Here’s the breakdown:

40 sec Hot Feet, every 10 seconds do a Jump Tuck
20 sec Rest
40 sec High Knees, every 10 seconds Hit the Floor
20 sec Rest
40 sec Mountain Climbers, every 10 seconds do a Low Squat Snap
20 sec Rest
x3

You’ll then do a 60-second finisher: 20 seconds Hot Feet, 20 seconds High Knees, 20 seconds Mountain Climbers.

This 10-minute bodyweight cardio workout is quick but INTENSE.

Bodyweight Cardio Exercises in This Workout

Hot Feet | You probably know these best as a basketball or football drill. You essentially run in place as fast as you can while in a wide-leg squat position. With your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, squat down. Staying low, you’ll quickly run your feet up and down, staying on the balls of your feet and barely picking them off the floor (an inch or two) so that you can maintain the speed.

  • (every 10 sec) Jump Tuck | Jump up into the air, using your core to pull your knees up towards your chest. As you jump up bring your hands in front of your rib cage and try to hit them with your knees.

High Knees | Maintaining good posture (don’t hunch forward!), run in place, using your core to drive your knees up high as you do. Sometimes I like to hold my hands at about belly button height as a guide and drive my knees up to hit them. Keep these quick! If you have knee issues or need to modify, march in place instead of run (but still get those knees up high!).

  • (every 10 sec) Chest to Floor | Think burpee. Hands are going to come to the floor as you bend your knees and jump back into a plank, bending your elbows and lowering your chest to the floor with control. Once you hit the floor, straighten your arms, pressing your body back up through plank and then onto your feet.

Mountain Climbers | These are like doing high knees in a plank position. Start in a plank, hands stacked underneath shoulders, core squeezing in tight (don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From this position, drive one knee at a time up towards your chest, like running horizontally. The pace on these should be quick.

  • (every 10 sec) Low Squat Snap | From your plank position, jump your feet up and outside of your hands as you release your hands from the floor, landing in a low squat position. Stay low and just quickly bring hands back to floor and snap back into a plank.

This 10-minute bodyweight cardio workout is quick but INTENSE.

WEARING | Lululemon tank (found it on thredUP for cheap–this referral link will get your $10 off your first order) // Crane & Lion x Recycle Studio leggings

This workout could absolutely be used on its own if you’re looking to fit in a whole lot of sweat into a short amount of time on busy days. It also makes for a great quick cardio finisher to weight lifting sessions or other strength-focused workouts. Here are some pairing ideas:

Fun 5-Minute Rowing Challenge

Fun 5-Minute Rowing Challenge

WEARING | Athleta tank (old) // Michi leggings (old but similar) // Nike Free 5.0 sneakers

Ok I’m using the term “fun” pretty liberally here (fitness instructors tend to do that). 😉 This tabata is fun in the sense that there are game-like qualities to it? Does that count?

Fun 5-Min Rowing Challenge

First and foremost, watch this video on proper rowing form if you’re new to it.

This is a quick, sprint-based workout so you’ll want to be sure to warm up before jumping into it. Spend a few minutes gently rowing to prepare. I did 30 seconds at an easy pace / medium pace / easy pace / hard pace and repeated the sequence for a 4-minute warm up.

Ok now here’s the challenge.

1. Set the bar. Do a 100m row sprint all-out, as fast as you can. Write down your time. With the assumption it’s harder to hit our top time the more fatigued we get, we’re going to use this first time trial number as our target.

2. Set your goals for the sprint series. You’re going to do 5 100m sprints with only 20 seconds of rest in between each of them. You’ll have goal times for each and we’re going to try to IMPROVE on those times as we go. Hard AF, as the kids would say. Here’s how to set your goal times:

  • SPRINT 1 = target + 4
  • SPRINT 2 = target + 3
  • SPRINT 3 = target + 2
  • SPRINT 4 = target + 1
  • SPRINT 5 = target

3. Sprint, baby!

Do your five 100-m sprints, trying your best to meet or beat your goal times. Time the rest in between each: 20 seconds to recover, that’s it. Fun 5-Minute Rowing Challenge

I couldn’t hit the 5th sprint target the first time I tried this rowing challenge (off by ONE second–grrrr!). Tried it a second time a week later and hit it!

Were you able to hit (or beat) the target times each round? Give this workout a try and let me know in the comments!

I shot this workout at Btone–if you’re in the Boston area, be sure to try out one of the row classes they offer!

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And because it’d be too awkward to not mention the elephant in the room …

I was deeply saddened to see state after state give their stamp of approval to a man who’s run a campaign based on hate and fear, and who seems to think the way we better ourselves is by putting others down. It’s hard not to feel that every vote for him was a stamp of approval for the negative, hateful rhetoric used throughout his campaign. But I fully realize it’s not at all as simplistic as that, and many who voted for him don’t necessarily condone all his words and actions. I also realize that my bewilderment at the election results is probably proof that I need to step outside my liberal bubble more often. The good news is that working out is an excellent way to improve mood and relieve stress, and this, my friends, is a fitness blog. I’ll stick to that and let you get politics from your Facebook newsfeed. 😉