The Leggings Workout: Sprint Your Way Slim

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By Nora Tobin

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The weather is turning, which means we get to pull out those adorable leggings! With designers providing us with endless patterns and prints, there is no shortage of fun, fashionable leggings to choose from. The next step is to take your leg workout up a notch and be an absolute knockout in this slim fitting fall staple.

It’s time to get your sprint on! Sprinting is such an effective way to tone the legs, shape the booty and give you and overall lean look. Sprinting is a high-intensity exercise that burns fat while building lean muscle and it does not even take a whole hour! All you need is a flat surface and a good pair of tennis shoes.

Sprint Mechanics

1. It is important when sprinting to maintain proper posture. The easiest way to think about this is forming a straight line from head to feet. Your hips will be in line, forming a 45-degree angle with your body.
2. Foot and shin will be at a 90-degree angle. Land on the balls of your feet and drive the knees up as high as possible.
3. Put as much force into the ground as possible, while keeping hips underneath you. Keep stomach tight, shoulders relaxed and head in the same line as your chest.

The Workout

Warm Up:

The warm up is crucial when performing a sprint workout. Since sprinting is very high intensity, it’s important to move the body in different ranges of motion prior to the workout in order to avoid injury and maximize performance. These dynamic moves will prepare the body for movement.

Perform these exercises right before you sprint. Have fun, track star!

1. Leg Swings

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Hold onto a wall or pole. Place all the weight on your right foot. Swing the left leg across your body then back out to the side. Keep core engaged and torso upright the entire time. Switch legs after 30 seconds.

2. Kareoka

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Cross right leg over the left, then step left leg out and cross left leg over right. Continue to crisscross the legs at a quick pace. Move 10 yards in one direction and 10 yards in the other for 1 minute.

3. Side Shuffles

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Stand with feet hip-width apart. Deeply bend knees, shift hips back and lower down until thighs are parallel with the ground. Shuffle the feet, staying in a low stance for 10 yards in one direction. Quickly switch direction and shuffle the other way. Perform shuffles for 1 minute.

4. High Knee Skips

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Place all the weight on your right foot. Explosively drive left knee up to hip height as you jump off the right foot. Land softly and switch sides, driving the right knee up to hip-height. Continue to alternate for 1 minute.

5. Overhead Squats

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Stand with feet hip-width and parallel. Lift arms directly overhead, turning palms to face inward and drawing shoulders away from the ears. Deeply bend both knees, shift hips back and lower down until thighs are close to parallel with the floor. Keep chest lifted and core drawn in. Press through the entire foot to come back up to standing. Repeat that movement for 1 minute.

Mainset:

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1. Perform a 20-yard sprint at 80 percent of your max effort (not quite your fastest).
2. Rest for 30 seconds to 1-minute.
3. Perform a 20-yard sprint at 80 percent of your max effort.
4. Rest for 30 seconds to 1-minute.
5. Perform a 20-yard sprint at max effort (as fast as you can go).
6. Rest for 30 seconds to 1-minute.
7. Repeat step 5 (20-yard sprint at max effort).
8. Rest for 30 seconds to 1-minute.
9. For the remaining workout, perform six 20-yard sprints at max effort with 30 seconds to 1-minute rest after each one..

Cool Down:

Perform each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

1. Forward Fold: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a slight bend in both knees and fall forward over your legs. Let arms and head relax.

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2. Downward Dog: Place hands on the floor and step legs back straight behind you, forming a straight-arm plank. Shift hips up and back pointing the tailbone toward the sky. Let head and neck relax.

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3. Warrior II: Step feet wider than hip-width. Turn right toes out and left toes in. Deeply bend right knee directly above the ankle while keeping left leg straight. Extend arms up to shoulder height. Hold for 30 seconds each side.

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For additional workouts, recipes and more, please check out my blog http://www.stumblinginstilettos.com and follow me on Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/NoraTobin

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