Working on your legs? Add in any of these aerobic workouts once or twice a week in between your regular cardio and strength training sessions. It’ll pay off. Seriously.
1. Hike Up A Hill
Whether it’s manipulated on the treadmill or au naturel on a trail, walking on an incline increases activation of pretty much every muscle in your legs. Obviously, the steeper the incline, the harder your legs have to work – but research indicates that a nine-percent gradient sparks some serious action (we’re talking six times more activation for your hamstrings and three times for your glutes than walking on level ground).
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2. Carry Something
All it takes is walking with a heavy object in one hand at your side – like a kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag – to stress your bottom half and sculpt flatter abs (the muscles there jump in to prevent your torso from being dragged down by the load). Find the heaviest weight you can carry safely (with a tall back and no pain) for 25 metres (roughly the length of a tennis court), then subtract eight kilos and perform three or four 25-metre walks on each side, resting 60 seconds in between. Each week, increase the load by at least two kilos.
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3. Embrace The Sprint
If you want to boost your muscles for heavy strength workouts, you need to refine your fast-twitch muscle fibres, which provide explosive power. Swap any steady-state cardio (a run, the stair stepper etc) for intervals: sprint all out for 20 seconds, recover for 60, repeat seven more times.