Girls have we got a treat for you. Fat-burning, muscle building, booty growing HIIT leg workouts are coming your way.
It may sound too good to be true, but we wouldn’t do that to you – this is the real deal.
With a carefully planned HIIT workout, you can reap some serious, muscle growing rewards.
To help you get there and create a trim, toned physique, we’ve created the ultimate guide to HIIT leg workouts for women. We’ll talk through the benefits of this training method and provide you with some super effective workouts.
Table of Contents
- What is HIIT
- The benefits of HIIT
- HIIT leg workouts
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT workouts are one of the most effective fat-burning workouts you can do. They’re comprised of, sharp bursts of exercise, followed by a small recovery period. This process is then repeated several times.
During a HIIT workout, you’re pushing your body to it’s maximum, before allowing it to recover and start all over again. An effective, lung-bursting workout can be completed in less than 20 minutes –perfect if you’re not one of those girls who spend hours running on the treadmill. Yeah, us neither.
This type of anaerobic interval training forces your body to maximize its output and uses up the reserves of energy you have stored away. Because of this, your metabolism is raised for up to 24 hours after you finish your workout, which means it’s torching more cals, for longer.
Due to the highly intense nature of the workout, your body turns to fat rather than carbs for fuel. That’s right girls, it’s literally burning through fat for energy.
It can also help your body to go through between 25 and 30 percent more calories than other aerobic activities like running or cycling.
What’s more, HIIT can even encourage your muscle gains. It stimulates your fast twitch muscle fibers, which can increase your muscle power. Plus, HIIT has also been shown to Improve testosterone levels, helping to to support muscle volume in men and women.
HIIT legs workouts
You might see some cardio fiends doing HIIT as interval sprints on the treadmill, which is a great way to tackle the training style. However, you can adapt the workout to suit your fitness needs – in this case, we’re talking about strengthening your legs.
To really hone in on those leg muscle groups, we’ve added leg specific movements, designed to help you feel the burn, grow muscle, and reduce fat.
We recommend performing one of these workouts at the end of your gym session as a finisher. Before you start, you might also want to download a fitness timer app. With these handy devices you can set up your own workout pattern to follow, so you know you’re working out for the right amount of time.
[infobox]Tip: Before we get started, we just want to remind you girls to keep your form tight and strong. We know you’ve got this down, but just because you want to smash out as many reps as possible, doesn’t mean you can let that form go. The last thing you need is an injury.[/infobox]
The Tabata workout method is a very effective HIIT workout and we’ve added in a few leg-centric exercises to really help you target the lower body. The Tabata format means you work flat out, as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 40. Repeat that five times consecutively on each exercise, before moving on to the next. Ouchy.
- Jumping squats – To add extra power into your usual squat, we want you to push harder on the way up, forcing yourself into a small jump at the top. This one works the leg muscles and adds an extra element of cardio.
- Jumping lunges – feeeeeel that booty burn girl. With the same concept as the jumping squat, you’ll be adding more power and explosive speed to your workout by leaving the ground. Alternate legs with each jump and you’ll soon feel your butt working.
- Kettlebell swings – This movement will really get the heart rate raised. The driving force for your swing should also come from a powerful thrust in your glutes. It’ll get the muscles firing and leave you gasping for breath.
- High knees – To up the cardio element and really hone in on those fat burning qualities, we’ve added in some high knees. Put your hands out in front of you and jog on the spot, touching your knee to your hands with every step. Don’t let your hands drop, this is designed to get you breathing hard.
Every minute on the minute. Simply set your timer and every time you hit a full minute, perform the reps in this workout. Sounds easy right? Well get ready for a surprise girl, this is a real burner. Repeat one of these workouts over the course of 12 minutes.
- 8 squats
- 10 jumping lunges
- 8 pulse squats
- 8 box jumps
These are very quick workouts, but don’t worry, you’ll feel it. As your body becomes fatigued you’ll start to struggle more and more with the movements. It’s an effective one because the faster you work the more rest time you have, however, that means more lactic acid will flood your muscles. You’ll thank us when it’s over.
30 seconds on, 1 minute off
This simple format gives you a little more rest, which isn’t a bad thing. There’s no shame in taking a moment, in fact, it’ll help you work harder in your next high-intensity period. By resting a little longer, it gives your body a chance to recover so you can max out again for the next set. You’ll just have to make sure you give that 30 seconds of work your absolute all girls.
The best way to do this is to pick one exercise and go all guns blazing for that 30 seconds. Here are a few ways you could break this kind of workout down.
- 6 mins of 30 second squats, 1 minute rest.
- 6 mins of 30 second jumping lunges, 1 minute rest.
- 6 mins of 30 seconds kettlebell swing, 1 minute rest
Add these together for knee-shake-inducing, 18 minute killer workout.
Or, if you’re a real glutton for punishment, head to the stair master and go hard for 30 seconds, before resting or stepping at a slower rate for a minute. It might sound simple but this is a super effective way to get your glutes working and your heart working.
With these workouts in your HIIT routine, not only will you be targeting your leg muscles for a fiyah workout, you’ll also be burning fat. Make sure when you’re tearing through those work periods to get your metabolism firing on all cylinders for the very best results.
What are you waiting for girl? HIIT it up! Try these out and see the results for yourself.
Want more killer workouts from your favorite girls at SMG? Try these on for size:
- Barbell Legs Workouts for Women
- Muscle Activation Exercises to Transform Your Workouts
- Booty Builder – The Ultimate Round Butt Workout
References: Wingfield HL, e. (2015). The acute effect of exercise modality and nutrition manipulations on post-exercise resting energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio in wom… – PubMed – NCBI. [online]  Falcone PH, e. (2015). Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. – PubMed – NCBI. [online]  Herbert P, e. (2017). HIIT produces increases in muscle power and free testosterone in male masters athletes – PubMed – NCBI. [online]