Leg-Shaping Cardio

Part 1: The Treadmill

I noticed while filming our series for “Mix It Up” how weak my cardiovascular endurance had gotten. I have mostly just been lifting heavy and doing steady-state cardio for a few years now, and I could feel it! I also noticed that I have done a good job of building plenty of muscle on my legs. So I thought it would be a great time to mix up my cardio and use it to “shape” my legs! Notice I said “shape,” not build— like I said, I have plenty of muscle, so I wanted to trim and shape them up without adding anymore size.

I know you’re probably thinking: Cardio to shape your legs? I used to be that way too, but I have used this successfully for years and it always does the trick. I also add in some movements off the machines as a bit of a circuit, so I am working several muscles in one session— plus, it makes the time go by much faster!

I think cardio has gotten a bad rap over the years. Personally, I have always liked cardio just as much as lifting weights. I grew up on a lake with lots of walking/running trails. I would go running all the time, simply because I liked it. I always felt better when I was doing cardio, rather than when I wasn’t. I understand it’s time consuming and it’s not easy— I find getting my cardiovascular system back in “shape” more challenging than hitting another PR in the weight room.

Now you may be in the percentage of those who dread cardio, but if you’re looking to up your cardio endurance and want to shape your legs without adding any size, here is what has worked for me.

I understand that every gym or home gym has a different selection of cardio equipment, so this week we will cover the treadmill, as this seems to be the most common piece that everyone has access to.

I am sure you have almost all been on a treadmill before walking or running, but we are going to add in some movements to help “shape” your legs, upper body and core while you burn calories! There are lots of ways you can tailor this workout to fit your personal fitness needs, so feel free to scale this up or down to your comfort level.

Here are the movements we will be doing

Walking

1. Walking

Try not to hold on to the machine unless you have trouble balancing.
Jogging

2. Jogging

You’ll want to be at about 60-70 percent of your max effort.
Walking lunge

3. Walking lunge

You’ll need to slow the machine down probably to anywhere from 1.5 – 2.5. You want to be able to perform these slowly with good form, pushing through your heels and not allowing your front knee to go over your toes.
Push-ups

4. Push-ups

Try to do standard push-ups for as long as you can. As you become more winded you may need to drop your knees. That is fine— as long as you are still working hard, you are still getting the benefit!

Crunch

5. Crunch

Keep your core tight, pull your belly button toward the ground and raise your upper body toward the ceiling, pause, slowly lower down and repeat.

The Workout

5-Minute Walking Warm-Up
30 Minutes Working
35 Minutes Total
**If you want to add more time or less time, just adjust your workout by the 5-minute intervals.

Incline on 0
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Incline on 1
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Incline on 0
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Incline on 3
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Incline on 0
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Incline on 5
• 3 minutes walking
• 1 minute jogging
• 1 walking lunge
• 10 push-ups
• 10 crunches

Callie Bundy

Callie Bundy is an IFBB Bikini Pro & StrongGirl Ambassador. She has a passion for sports and training, she played 3 sports in high school & NCAA Division 1 softball in college. She has previously worked as both a TV and Radio Host for a variety of programs.

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