Cover fitness model and award winning personal trainer Derryn Brown puts together a workout that is superb for delivering shapely, strong legs. And the benefits of this lean workout routine are not just confined to the lower limbs as other muscles are engaged and your whole body is metabolically charged  to burn fat!

Derryn says:

“Getting leaner requires resistance training and a leaner body is a much more efficient calorie burning machine. Do my Legs Plus Workout twice a week and you’ll burn more calories each and every day due to the metabolic properties of muscle and the workout’s HIT (high intensity training) approach. You’ll burn away body fat, tone up and shape up!”


The Workout

Complete 4-6 circuits of the exercises and use a medium heavy weight – one that leads to difficulty completing the last 2 or so reps of the second set onwards. Where legs are exercised individually complete all your reps on one leg before performing with the other. For the isometric exercise hold for 45sec (remember to breathe). Take 1min between exercises as you want to be able to complete them without feeling the affects of too much fatigue.

1. Split Squat on Step

How to perform:

Hold dumbbells at arms’ length. Place the toes of one of your legs on the bench, step/hop carefully forward so that your back leg is extended and your trunk in upright and front foot flat. Focus your gaze straight ahead. Bend your standing leg to 90-degrees and push back up to complete the repetition.

Legs Plus Workout_Spilt Lunge ona deck holding heavy weights 1

Ensure that you keep your standing foot’s heel on the ground and that you don’t extend your knee past your toes when you lower (think ‘bottom to ground’).

2. Foot Elevated Side Lunge

“We now move from working the legs linearly to targeting them laterally – this is a great exercise for your glutes and inner thigh area.”

How to Perform:

Hold dumbbells in front of your chest as pictured. Place the instep of one foot on the step. Position your other foot a leg length away. Try to keep your heels in line with one and other and your toes facing forwards. Keep your head up and bend your standing leg to lower yourself. Bend your knee to a 90-degree angle and push back up to complete one rep.

Legs Plus Workout_Side Lunges holding DB's and foot elevated_2

Maintain control over the exercise as your inner thigh muscle (adductor) will be really tested flexibility-wise.

3. Plie Squat

“Another exercise that will target all your major leg and bottom muscles.”

How to Perform:

Hold a dumbbell by the end. Assume a wide stance with your feet and knees pointing outward (to about a 45-degree angle). Bend your knees to lower the weight and extend them to lift it. Do not pull on the dumbbell with your arms. Keep your back flat and look straight ahead.

Legs Plus Workout_Plie Squat 3

Keep your heels on the ground and knees and ankles in alignment.

 4. Reverse Lunge with Triceps Extension

“More for the legs but this time your triceps will get some action too. It’s a great exercise to target your problem areas.”

How to Perform:

Hold dumbbells with the ends vertical and your elbows into your side and forearms parallel to the floor. Stand tall and step one foot back into a lunge position. Step back so that both knees are flexed to 90-degrees. As you step back extend your arms to complete a triceps extension. Bring the back leg to the front to complete your rep bringing your arms forward to the start position simultaneously.

Legs Plus Workout_Reverse Lunge with tricep extension 4

5. Isometric Squat Hold

“Let’s throw in another type of muscular action to really target your legs. An isometric action involves no movement as your body’s muscles hold you in place.”

How to Perform:

Assume a standard squat position with your hands by your ears – do not pull on your head. Keep your back flat and look straight ahead. Squat down so that your knees are bent to 90-degrees. Sit your weight back on your heels. Hold for the designated time.

Legs Plus Workout_Squat 5

6. Single Leg Biceps Curl to Press

“We finish off with another held position, well at least for the lower body as the arms complete a biceps curl and press. Yet another real ‘get more bang for your buck’ exercise.”

How to Perform:

Hold dumbbells in both hands and bring them into your chest in a biceps-curl-ready position. Stand on the flat of one foot with the leg straight. Lift the other leg off the ground and hold its thigh parallel to the ground, keeping your core braced and torso upright. Now complete a biceps curl and a shoulder press. You will need to really focus on stabilising yourself throughout the exercise.  Complete all your reps on one leg and then swap legs. This will be tough on your arms, so use a lighter weight that you would for the other exercises, as they will be working whilst you perform the exercise on both legs.

Legs Plus Workout_Single legged bicep curl to press 6

Follow these exercises as described and illustrated here and I can assure you the results will follow!


Clothing: Lorna Jane

Photographer: Mario Guarneros

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