Photo by Lexie Boren

A leg workout that improves endurance

There are plenty of reasons to workout that are not for patriarchal beauty standards. Are you looking to destress? Wanting to get better sleep at night? Trying to release more endorphins? Needing a distraction from the soul-crushing nihilism that surrounds academic life? Wanting to have more energy for sex? Sick of getting out of breath from the ungodly amount of stairs on this campus? Well, here is a leg workout you can do in your dorm or at the gym.Complete each set for the number of reps. This is called a ladder workout where you decrease reps and then increase them. If you do not have a weight, a fun alternative is to use your textbook. That way you can really get your money’s worth. The modification for all of these exercises is to just use your body weight.

Set

-15 Weighted Squats

-10 Weighted Split Squats

-5 Kettlebell Swings

-10 Box Jumps

Weighted Squats

First, stand tall with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Hold one weight with both hands. Bend your legs and lower your hips toward the floor, making sure to not let your knees collapse inward while you are doing so. Return to standing while squeezing your glutes. That is one rep.

Weighted Split Squats

Stand about two feet in front of a bench or other elevated position. Extend your right leg back and place the top of your foot on the bench. Hold a dumbbell or another type of weight in each hand. That is your starting position. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can (or until your knee gently taps the ground), keeping your shoulders back, chest facing up and hips facing forward. Pause, then press through your left heel to return to start. That is one rep.

Modification: Stand on the ground

Kettlebell Swings

This can be done with any weight, not just a kettlebell. This is a fairly complicated exercise, so I would recommend looking at a video if this is your first time. To do this move, stand tall, still gripping the kettlebell. Soften your knees, shift your bodyweight into the heels and lower your butt back and down toward the wall behind you. Driving through your heels, explode through the hips to send weight swinging upward. Aim for chest height, with arms extended. Achieving this finish position requires you to snap your hips through, contracting your core while squeezing your glutes. As the kettlebell begins to descend, let the weight do the work as you ready your body for the next rep. Shift your weight back into heels while hinging at the hips and loading both the hamstrings and glutes. Receive the weight, allowing the kettlebell to ride back between your legs. That is one rep. As it makes the transition from backward to forward, drive through the heels and hips to repeat.

Box Jumps

Stand in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, at a comfortable distance from the box or another elevated surface. To initiate the movement, bend your knees and push your hips back while swinging your arms behind you. Push your feet off the floor explosively to propel yourself onto the box. To absorb the impact into your glutes and hamstrings, land in a partial squat, with your back flat, chest up (do not round) and your knees tracking over your toes. If your feet are making a lot of noise, something is wrong — you likely need to back up and try a lower box or strengthen with step-ups first. While your momentum encourages you to jump down, do not. Instead, stand up tall and step down.

Modification: Step instead of jumping

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