Boot Camp Leg Workouts
In this world there are yogis, cross fitters, runners, bikers, hikers, boot campers and the list of camaraderie filled exercises goes on. No matter which group you categorize yourself under, be proud that you’re getting out there and being active. So, cheers to you for caring for your body!
While there are plenty of workouts to choose from, we can all agree that not every exercise is created equally. Some are significantly more challenging than others — and boot camp is in that classification. Boot camp classes are an intense combination of calisthenics (pushups, lunges, squats) paired alongside intense aerobic movements. In fact, this taxing exercise style is based loosely off of military methods that are used to whip those new recruits into shape. Hence the name “boot camp.”
According to Dr. Edward Laskowski, a professor and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine: “Exercises that comprise boot camps are designed to work the upper and lower body and core, so it’s a comprehensive workout.” A lot of the exercises performed during a boot camp class simply use only your body weight. However, don’t be surprised if you flip tires or use traditional gym gear too.
Another benefit of boot camp workouts is the mixture between vigorous activity and brief rest breaks – which makes them HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. And we know HIIT workouts are popular for maximizing fitness gains in the shortest amount of time. So, basically doing boot camp workouts will help lean your body out, increase your strength and torch calories.
While there are plenty of benefits that accompany boot camp workouts, it’s important to note a few things. Just like not all exercises are created equal, neither are all trainers. Some classes may not have a large emphasis on correct form. Incorrect form can lead to injuries – and we all know how that story goes. Of course, it’s important to ease yourself into any new workout and that holds true for boot camp. If you decide to take a boot camp class, be sure to listen to your body and only push yourself as far as necessary.
30 Minute Boot Camp Leg Workouts
Is there ever a time where leg workouts don’t reign king? That remains unchanged with boot camp. In fact, a boot camp leg workout may be on the top three of the most challenging, yet rewarding, workouts you’ve ever completed. Think Beyonce or J-Lo booty goals – and guys, there’s no shame in having a toned bottom half.
Keep in mind that while a boot camp leg workout will help you get those gains, it is definitely a slow process. Maybe you can try to do a boot camp leg workout three times per week when first starting out. Or maybe you can only complete one each week. The process is entirely yours and completely up to you! My advice is to aim for one boot camp leg workout three times a week until you feel comfortable moving up to four. Once you’ve got those nice, toned legs you have been dreaming about, go back to doing two times per week!
Alright, now you’re ready to roll. You’re hyped up and mentally prepared for your first boot camp leg workout. But where do you start? No worries! Your boot camp leg workout circuit could go a little something like this:
- 30 second squat jumps
- 5 Straight leg deadlifts
- 30 second jump lunges
Repeat 6 times
- 30 second bear crawl
- 10 squat + calf raise
- 30 second speed skaters
Repeat 6 times
- 30 second squat jump to jumping lunge
- 5 straight leg deadlifts
- 30 second speed skaters
Repeat 6 times + follow up with a 5-7 minute stretch session
One of my favorite exercises is the squat jump. This plyometric exercise burns calories by getting the heart rate up and toning that lower body! You start by hinging at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then press your feet down into the ground to accelerate up as high as you can. Be sure to let your knees bend to a 45-degree angle when you land, then immediately squat back down and explode up!
Are you ready to feel the burn? Don’t worry, it’s definitely the kind that you’ll be thankful for. Just after you’ve finished the boot camp leg workout. We perform jump lunges similar to regular lunges. But can you guess the difference: a jump! You should start in a standard forward lunge position. From here, push explosively off of the floor and switch the position of your legs while in the air in order to land in another lunge with the opposite leg forward. Once you land softly, continue alternating sides in the jump lunges.
Just like we all have our favorite exercises, we all have our least favorites. Bear crawls are definitely on my list of exercises I want to skip but don’t because I know they’re beneficial. It’s the twin to a baby crawl, but your weight is in your hands and toes instead of the knees. Start on all fours and lift your knees in a 90-degree angle. Move one hand and the opposite foot forward an equal distance while remaining low to the ground. Switch to the other side and continue to repeat the movement, alternating the sides.
Squat Jump to Jumping Lunge
Another great boot camp leg workout that is sure to get that heart rate up! Start with your feet shoulder width apart and arms down by your side. Lower into a squat position and perform a squat jump like listed above. Once you land softly, alternate into a jump lunge. From the jump lunge explode back a squat and repeat the lunge on the other side.
Squat + Calf Raises
Squat plus calf raises may be another arch nemesis of mine. But it’s okay because my baby calves could use the help! This boot camp leg workout speaks for itself in terms of how to do it. But here’s the gist: start standing with your feet hip distance apart and squat down. Once you’ve squatted to your low point, extend up to a standing position and lift the heels off the floor, then squat back and repeat!
Straight Leg Deadlift
Straight leg deadlifts are a must on your boot camp leg workout list. This exercise can be done using bodyweight, a kettlebell or a barbell. Simply stand with your feet shoulders distance apart and keep a slight bend in the knees. Start to bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and lower until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. Slowly lift back up to the starting position and repeat.
Another great exercise to get that heart rate up! Start with the knees bent and your back leaning forward. The back should be kept as straight as possible and shoulders should not be hunched. Leap on alternating feet from side to side. Be sure to stay on the balls of your feet and pump the arms to help move your jumps.
Boot Camp Workouts are a great way to burn fat and build muscle. Boot Camp Workouts are a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training.
Boot Camp Leg Workouts are equally intense. Above, we covered three circuits that you can use for an intense 30 minute boot camp leg workout. Remember to start slow and build up with time. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.
The exercises we covered in the above boot camp workout were squat jumps, jump lunges, bear crawl, squat jump to jumping lunge, squat plus calf raises, straight leg deadlift, and speed skaters! Enjoy your 30 minute boot camp leg workout!