“Developing strong, muscular legs is a two-step process," says Brynn Putnam, founder of NYC’s Refine Method. "First, you need to build your body’s largest muscle groups—glutes, quads, and calves—proportionally. Second, you need to reduce body fat levels enough that this muscle development is visible.”
That’s exactly why high-intensity interval training (aka "HIIT") is so clutch. With this 20-minute, high-intensity workout, you'll not only hammer each of the major muscles in your legs—you can do it in less time, to boot.
Do these five exercises one after the other, repeating the circuit four times through. Rest only if absolutely necessary.
1. Reverse lunge to step-up
Set up a box that’s about knee height in front of you. Step one foot back and lower into lunge position, with weight shifted slightly forward over your front leg. Bring your back foot forward and directly on top of the box, and immediately step up onto it. Step down with the same lead leg, then lunge by bringing the opposite leg back. Repeat for time.
2. 90-degree squat jumps
Squat back deeply, then launch yourself into a jump, rotating 90 degrees in the air before you land. Repeat, rotating the opposite direction. Alternate for time.
3. Around-the-world lunges
Start with your feet together. Lunge forward with one leg, then return to center. Immediate lunge sideways with the same leg, return to center. Finally lunge back, leading with the same leg then returning to center. Switch sides and repeat the sequence for time.
4. Kettlebell swings
Yes, they’re really all about the glutes—not the arms or shoulders. Start with the kettlebell on the floor slightly in front of you, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Send your hips back and bend your knees until you’re able to grasp the kettlebell handle. Hike the weight back in between your legs, then move your hips forward to stand tall, swinging the weight to around belly button height. Allow the kettlebell to fall with gravity back down to initiate the next swing. Repeat for time.
5. Band shuffle
Step into a mini band so that it wraps around both your ankles. Sit back into a half-squat, and begin shuffling sideways about 10 paces. Switch directions and shuffle 10 paces back. Repeat for time.