Some chick once told us that just working the upper body isn’t enough. She was ugly so we didn’t care what she said, but after a little research, we discovered that most of us do neglect the lower parts when it comes to exercise. And no, we are not referring to your ‘alone times’. We are referring to when you actually decide to get off the couch and go to the gym. Legs always get neglected, but that can change with this routine. It’s not too time consuming and can be done once a week in place of one of your cardio outings. Provided you actually do that sort of thing.

FYI, this routine is a cycle, so you will do one set of an exercise, then move onto another set of a different exercise within a few seconds. The only rest you will have is when you are doing the calf raises in between sets — which technically is not a rest. You can do them in any order, but make sure to do four total cycles. And try not to cry.

Lunges

They hurt. There’s no way around that. But lunges are one of the best leg exercises you can do. The process hits almost all of the muscles in your legs and kicks in a little cardio to boot. Celebs have been doing them for years in order to get their legs and rear area in shape for nude scenes. Sylvester Stallone told us that. Or maybe it was Gary Busey. We don’t remember.

How to do them:

Start from a standing position — if you can do that. Take a big step forward with your right leg, while bending at the knee with your left leg. Kneel down and touch your left knee to the floor. Then return to a standing position with both feet beside one another. Repeat, except switch legs. Do 15 reps per leg for four sets. You’ll be begging for mercy soon after.

Reverse Lunges

If you can master the regular lunges, then you’re on your way to mastering these. Basically…do them backwards. It works similar muscle groups (aka, everything in the legs), but requires a different control. You’ll be hitting the sides, fronts, and backs of muscles you didn’t get with the regular lunges.

How to do them:

Start from a standing position and take a big step backwards with your right leg, while bending at the knee with your left leg. Kneel down and touch your right knee to the floor. Then return to a standing position with both feet side-by-side. Repeat, except switch legs. Do 15 reps per leg for four sets.

Calves

This part of the body is oftentimes a lose-lose. For a lot of us, you can do a million calf raises and never really gain any muscle there. For others, all the excess fat migrates to the calves and you start looking like you do not own ankles. The perfect middle ground is to keep the calves worked out, so they will reflect your overall shape. Meaning, if you have leaned up in your overall appearance, your calves will likely appear lean and muscular. If you are on a bulking up period, your lower leg muscles will grab some of that bulk. Do 15 calf raises between each set of your other leg exercises. This will keep them active while you are ‘resting’, but you also won’t have to spend precious workout minutes focusing just on calves.

How to do them:

Stand. Raise up on the tip of your toes. Lower. Repeat. It’s really that simple.

Explosives Squats

While this exercise may sound like something that happens after a night of drinking and eating lots of Mexican food, it is actually a great workout for your lower body. You do a normal squat — the kind your 8th grade gym teacher made you do for those damn physical fitness tests — except when you stand back up, you spring up. You go from a squatting position to jumping as high as you can when you stand. Do 15 reps each for four cycles.

How to do them:

Squat down until your ass is almost against your calves. Then jump as high as you can and then back down to a squat. This builds strength and increases athletic performance. For all you NFL players out there.

Leg Press

Your gym will likely have a leg press machine, which is a piece of equipment that allows you to add a ton of weight and then try and push it with your legs without getting a hernia. Mkae sure to pack some tunes for added inspiration. If you are just starting out, don’t try and be a hero because groin injuries suck big time. Start with a moderate weight level and crank off 15 reps of four sets. Increase weight over time.

How to do them:

Put weights on the bars (they will be on either side of the machine, Rookie). Sit on the machine and place your feet against the push plate. Grab onto the handles and push with your legs. Extend your legs fully, then go back to the starting position.That’s one rep. Feel the burn?

Weighted Kicks: Forward and Backward

Doing 15 reps each of these for the four cycle will have you walking a little strange by the end of this workout. But that’s a good thing.You will need a pulley machine with a strap made for wrapping around your ankle. Do the front motion on each leg, then the back motion on each leg.

How to do them:

Select weight on pulley machine. Attach strap to ankle and grab handles (usually above you on the pulley machine) for support. Kick forward with your leg until it is about waist high. Like kicking a soccer ball. Repeat for 15 reps, then switch to your other leg. For the back motion, it is the same process, just turned the other way. Make sure to keep your legs straight while doing each of the exercises. So it’s all official.

Jumping Jacks

They were the bomb in the 70’s and 80’s in all those Richard Simmons videos, but add them to your routine today and you’ll be the golden boy of the gym. They give you a nice cardio boost to go with your leg workout and keeps your legs moving. While they may not built serious muscle, they keep your legs fresh and doing something other than sitting.

How to do them:

Um, do we really have to explain how to do jumping jacks?

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