The 8-Minute Workout Challenge: Legs

by Brook Benten Jimenez on October 22, 2020 in Lifestyle, Wellness,
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This pandemic has changed the way we do a lot of things—certainly the way we workout!  This time last year, we had no problem paying monthly dues, spending gas money and time to get to the gym, and sharing equipment that someone else had just sweat all over it.

Fast-forward to now, and all the above sounds… unnecessary. With very little equipment, you can get spectacular workouts at home. In this 8-Minute Workout series, I’m letting you in to my own, personal, at-home workouts that target every major muscle group. This, the third in the series, is Legs.

Using just one set of medium-weight dumbbells, you can expect 6 challenging moves for the legs. Each move lasts 40 seconds, and we repeat the circuit.

On the second time through, we triple the pulses in the stable strength exercises—yowza!

To get the most out of 8 little minutes, I’ve plugged in a progression—a cardio move—after each stable strength move. Heart-pumping moves are beneficial from a metabolic standpoint, so trek through the tough stuff with me.

Tell yourself, “It’s only 40 seconds!” You’ve got this!

Follow along the 8-Minute Legs Workout with this video:

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Exercise 1: Prisoner-Style Sumo Squats, with a Pulse

Stand tall and set your legs far wider than hips-width apart, with toes turned to 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock. Place your hands behind your head with elbows open wide—this will help to engage your thoracic spine extenders (your posture muscles). Sink your hips down to approximately knee height. Rise halfway up (that’s the “pulse”). Lower the hips back down to the lowest part of the squat. Rise up.
Note: On your second time through this circuit, increase from one (single) pulse to triple pulses by raising your hips halfway up, then all the way down three times before lifting all the way up to standing. The extra time under tension makes the exercise harder.

Exercise 2: Plyo Sumo Squats

Keep your legs in prisoner-squat stance, as in Exercise 1. Sink your hips down to approximately knee height. Next, leap high into the air, point your toes, and catapult your body into the air for a few seconds. Land toe-to-heel and return to Sumo Squat position. Repeat.

Exercise 3: Stationary Lunge, with a Pulse

Stagger your legs so your right leg is in front and your left leg is behind. Create enough space between the two feet so that when you lunge down, your right knee lines up with your shoelaces (and not beyond your toes). Bend both knees until they nearly touch the ground. Lift halfway (not all the way) up. Lower back down to hover your knees right above the ground. Lastly, lift all the way up where your knees are extended at the top. Repeat.

Exercise 4: Plyo Split Squat

Keep your legs in staggered-stance, as explained in Exercise 3. Bend your knees to hover above the ground, drawing your arms back. Leap into the air, extending both knees, and reaching your arms high to assist with leverage. Land lightly. Repeat.

Exercise 5: Stationary Lunge, with a Pulse (second leg)

Stagger your legs so your left leg is in front and your right leg is behind. Create enough space between the two feet so that when you lunge down, your left knee lines up with your shoelaces (and not beyond your toes). Bend both knees until they nearly touch the ground. Lift halfway (not all the way) up. Lower back down to hover your knees right above the ground. Lastly, lift all the way up where your knees are extended at the top. Repeat.

Exercise 6: Plyo Split Squat (second leg)

Keep your legs in staggered-stance, as explained in Exercise 5. Bend your knees to hover above the ground, drawing your arms back. Leap into the air, extending both knees, and reaching your arms high to assist with leverage. Land lightly. Repeat.

Repeat the circuit, starting with Exercise 1.

For additional 8-minute workouts, see 8-Minute Bis and Tris and 8-Minute Shoulders. Soon to come, we’ll add 8-Minute Chest and Back, 8-Minute Butt, 8-Minute Total Body, 8-Minute Core and 8-Minute HIIT workouts.


All photography and videography courtesy Brook Benten Jimenez

Brook Benten Jimenez, M. Ed., is a fitness expert in Georgetown, TX, offering fitness education and workout videos at brookbenten.com. A Master Trainer for Johnny G Spirit Bike, an ambassador for Ryka, and faculty member for SCW Fitness, Brook is also beta-testing a new platform that will revolutionize the home group fitness experience, Train with the Trainers.

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