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The 6 Stretches For Anyone With Tight Hamstrings

Leg-Toning Curcuit

A Fat-Burning Circuit For Leaner Legs

The following post was originally featured on Jill Conyers and written by Jill Conyers, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sisilia Piring

Inspired to Be Fit

This circuit workout puts your whole body in motion to ramp up your metabolism and hits the legs from every angle to tone and strengthen.

Learn And Burn

Originally the plan for Learn & Burn this month would be to introduce how to progress your workouts. Since I got a little ahead of myself with how to progress your workouts to reach your goal last week, Learn & Burn is an anatomy lesson.



Primary Leg Muscles

  • Hamstrings: these muscles form the back of your thigh and function to flex your knee and extend your hip.
  • Adductors: forming your inner thigh, the adductors move the thigh toward the body's midline.
  • Quadriceps: this muscle at the front of your thigh is made up of four sections and is the main mover when you extend your knees.
  • Gastrocnemius: the uppermost of your two calf muscles, it flexes your foot, giving your feet push-off power with each step.
  • Soleus: this calf muscle works with and lies underneath the gastrocnemius.
  • Tibialis anterior: the strip of muscle that makes up your shin and helps you flex your ankle to move your foot toward your knee and rotates your foot outward.


A few years ago I would have immediately answered just give me the workout. Now, after going through the NASM certification, I'm fascinated by the anatomy of the body and how the body moves.

Ready to Work Out?

The workout is short and effective at targeting and toning your entire leg. Like with the 12-Minute Ab Workout, this can be used as a stand alone workout when you're short on time or supplement another workout to target your legs. It's a great add-on for after cardio.

Getting Results Without Adding a Lot More Time.

Image Source: Jill Conyers

Download full size to print Tone and Lean Legs Circuit Workout

Equipment needed:

  • gliding disc, towel (for hardwood or tile workout surface) or paper plate (for carpeted workout surface)
  • mat (optional)


  • Don't skip the warm-up or cool-down.
  • Use proper body alignment and good form.
  • Weights and intensity should be based on your fitness level.
  • Modify as needed to meet your fitness level by increasing/decreasing weights or reps.
  • Gradually increase intensity and/or repetitions based on your progress.

I am a certified personal trainer, but this workout was not created for your specific fitness level. If you're interested in workouts created for your specific fitness level, individual needs, and goals contact me at

Make modifications as needed. Intensity and rest periods should be based on your individual fitness level. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician. Any application of this or any other exercise routine set forth in this program is at the viewer's discretion and sole risk.

Hip Bridge (1) Lie face up on the floor with your left knee bent and your right leg straight. (2) Raise your right leg until it is in line with your left thigh. (3) Push your hips upward, keeping your right leg elevated. (4) Pause, then slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with your left leg, then switch legs and do the same number. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. The extended leg stays in line with the thigh of the opposite leg when you raise your hips. Targets: glutes, hamstrings, rectus abdominis, lower back.

Sumo Squat (1) Place your feet as wide as you can while pointing your toes outward. (2) Lower your body until your things are parallel to the floor. Hold, exhale, and press back up to start position. (3) Keep your shoulders directly over your hips at all times. Don't lean forward or let your knees come out over your toes. Keep your abs drawn in and don't arch your back. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings.

Single Leg Circle (1) Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms facing down and straight legs on the floor. (2) With your left leg extended on the floor, lift your right up, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Keep your leg straight and rotated slightly outward. Keep your hips squared and on the floor. (3) Trace a clockwise circle with the lifted leg keeping your body still and flat on the floor. If your hips begin to lift make smaller circles. Repeat the prescribed number of reps tracing the circle counter clockwise. Repeat on the other side. Targets: abs, hips, hamstrings, inner thigh, outer thigh.

Jump Squat (1) Stand with your feet hip width apart with toes pointed outward. (2) Lower yourself down until your quads are parallel to the ground, abs are tight, shoulders over the hips. (3) Then, from the mid-point position, exhale and explode upward as high as you can. Imagine pushing away from the floor with your feet. (4) Land back down in a firm stance, reset quickly and repeat. Be conscious of keeping your spine straight. Keep you eyes focused on the ground in front of you. Don't arch your back. Pull your belly button upward. Perform the prescribed amount of time. Targets: quads, calves.

Scissor Leg Planks (1) Begin in plank position with each foot on a towel, paper plate or gliding disc. (2) Engage your core, keep your hands in line with your shoulders and your back flat. (3) Keeping your upper body stable and your hips squared to the floor, slide your feet apart opening your legs as wide as comfortably possible while maintaining proper form. (4) Slowly squeeze your inner thighs together to slide your feet back together. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps. Targets: arms, chest, core, glutes, inner thighs, outer thighs.

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