The reason why ‘leg days’ at the gym can be so brutal is because developing a strong, well-defined lower body demands focused and regular weight training  over a period of time. The pain is worth it because toned legs and strong hips only add more power to whatever sport or fitness activity.

Even if you’re not a gym-goer, there are still workouts you can do at home to keep your legs, hips and knees in good fighting shape. Plyometric exercises, such as knee tucks and squat jumps for example, are part of the high-intensity legs workout, and an excellent way to strengthen the legs while still getting a metabolic workout.

These workouts consist of short, explosive reps that use our own bodyweight to activate and challenge the muscles. Squat-into-Tuck Jump is an advanced plyometric high-intensity legs workout that combines the fundamental knee tuck and squat jump into a challenging mix. The fast-pace of the jumps and squats keeps the heart-rate high and the activation of core muscles facilitates quicker fat burning.

Steps:

  • Begin with your hips shoulder-wide apart and your back straight.
  • Now, slowly bend the knees and go into the squat position, pushing back on your butt as you go down. Balance is important, try and ensure that your body’s weight rests on the heels.
  • Use the force of your thighs and abs to jump up and off the ground. You can use your arms to gain momentum, and angle your knees as you jump so as to bring them as close as possible to the chest.
  • As you land back on ground, try to ensure that your legs are stretched out and parallel (shoulder-width apart) and go down immediately into the deep squat.
  • Continue with at least 8-10 reps without a break.

Benefits
Squat-into-tuck jumps develop stronger thighs and lower abs, tone the calves, strengthen the knees, improve jumping power, and stimulate the circulatory system.

Pro-tip
Once you’ve gotten the form right, you can increase your speed between tucks and jumps to further intensify the workout. This is nota beginner workout and may take a while to master, especially if the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes are not strong enough to take the body weight. Stretching and dynamic warm-ups are crucial before attempting the squat-tucks.

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