Jamie's Lower Body Circuit: If you train regularly you may choose to split up your program to include different body parts each day you visit the gym. Try out this Lower Body focused session to tone up glutes and thighs and torch body fat fast.

For example you might choose to workout the upper body one day, lower body on your second visit and then combine cardio and abs on your third visit.  This creates a three day split program.  Alternatively you might visit the gym 4 days a week and so you may instead perform a little cardio and abs every day, and alternate your strength training as follows, upper body, lower body, then a repeat of upper body and lower body again

Either format works well depending on your preference for the number of days spent training.

For information to assist you in your lower body sessions I have included a basic circuit below which uses both cardio based leg and lower body strengthening exercises.

Warm Up
Given this workout is designed for the lower body it is crucial to be properly warmed up before starting.  I would recommend 5-10 minutes on the rower, crosstrainer, treadmill or upright bike working up to a heart rate above 120bpm, or until your body feels warm and you are slightly out of breath.
Tip: Spend less time warming up by choosing the rower or crosstrainer. These machines utilise the full body and so allow users to become warm more quickly and efficiently.

Basic Lower Body Circuit
Initially work through each exercise at the lower number of repetitions. Aim to increase your repetitions to level 3 within the first four weeks.
Whilst in the beginning you may only perform one circuit, as fitness improves you can aim to repeat the circuit for two or even three rounds.
 Tip: Always increase repetitions before increasing weight.  Once you have reached level 3 you might consider increasing the weight on an exercise.  Once weight is increased, then repetitions need to drop back to level 1. This allows exercisers to increase strength safely. The next challenge would then be to increase the level of repetitions over a number of weeks at your new weight.

Goblet Squat:
Holding a 8kg kettlebell to your chest, placed your feet out nice and wide like a sumo wrestler with your toes pointing out. Aim to keep your knees out to the sides (rather than forward) as you lower your bottom down squatting until your thighs are parallel to the floor. For good posture keep your chest up and shoulders back.
Level 1: 10 Reps Level 2: 15 reps Level 3: 20 reps

Toe Taps:
Place the smallest aerobic step on the floor in front of you and stand facing the step. Lift up one foot and place the toes lightly on the edge of the step. Repeat by changing legs and tapping the other foot on the edge of the step. This is a cardio based exercise and can be done with speed. For added variety try switching your arms, opposite arm to foot that is in front.
Level 1: 20 reps Level 2: 30 reps Level 3: 40 reps

Forward and back lunge: This exercise requires balance so it is very good to perform to strengthen the muscles needed to reduce injury from falls and trips.  Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Take one step on the right foot to lunge forward and down so you have 90 degrees at the front knee, and back knee. Now step back to where your foot was, standing up tall. Take the same step slowly and carefully backwards into a lunge until you have 90 degrees at each knee, then return your foot to where it started. Repeat on the left leg. For added stability perform with your hands out to the side, or alternatively on your hips.
Level 1: 3 reps each leg Level 2: 5 reps each leg Level 3: 8 reps each leg

Mountain Climbs: Hold onto the edge of a bench in a push up position for stability. Keep your body facing the bench and with a straight back bring your toe forward to tap on the floor in front directly below your chest. Switch your feet over and repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate your feet keeping the abs tight to protect the lower back. This is cardio based and should be performed with speed.
Level 1: 20 reps Level 2: 30 reps Level 3: 40 reps

Leg Press Machine: Set the back pad so when your feet are on the black plate you have 90 degrees at your knees. Set the weight at about 27 kgs or more depending on your ability and bodyweight (the more you weigh, generally the stronger your legs will be).  Press the legs out gently until they are straight, keeping the weight distributed on the outside edge of foot and your heel.  Try to avoid pushing with your toes. Repeat.
Level 1: 10 reps Level 2: 15 reps Level 3: 20 reps

Knee Ups: Place a small step in front of you on the floor.  Step up onto the step with your right leg and keep that foot planted on the step throughout exercise. Bring your left knee up towards your chest then step it back to the floor. Repeat full reps on one side first. Then repeat on the opposite side.
Level 1: 5 reps each Level 2: 8 reps each Level 3: 10 reps each

Back Extension: Lie down on a mat on the floor on your tummy.  Fold your arms underneath you so your chin can rest on the back of your hands. Lift the torso and legs off the floor approximately 10 cms by squeezing the lower back muscles. Lower torso and legs back down to floor and repeat.
Level 1: 10 reps Level 2: 15 reps Level 3: 20 reps


That completes your basic circuit incorporating both cardio and strengthening exercises for the lower body.  As your fitness improves, look to increase your repetitions and your number of rounds.  You may then look to increase your weights to make it more challenging.

Cool Down and Stretch: Once your rounds of the circuit are complete don’t forget to cool down and stretch your quads, glutes and hamstrings. Try a short walk or ride for your cool down and then refer to the Zoom Stretching Posters for appropriate stretches, or follow these movements:

1. Stand on one leg and hold your foot up to your bottom for a quad stretch.

2. Lie down and use a band looped around your foot for a hamstring stretch.

3. Sit cross legged and reach your arms and torso forward for a glute and back stretch.

Happy Training!!      - Jamie McLoughlan