Leg Day with Active Rest

Active rest is a style of training in which you take out your usual –sit on bench and text between sets–rest and replace it with active rest.  Active rest is an activity that spikes your heart rate.  This style of exercise helps you burn fat faster–you’re getting in a cardiovascular workout as well as weight training.  You can skip the treadmill today, you’ll have that part covered!  Active rest helps you to eliminate that –oops its been 7 minutes since my last set–rest period and actually take your muscles to at/close to failure.  It is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.  It is hard!  I would recommend doing it 1-2 times per week, any more and you’ll tire yourself out.  It is a great way to switch up your normal gym routine! 

Examples of active rest:

  • Jump rope
  • Squats
  • Step ups
  • Jump Lunges
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Run
  • High Knees
  • Skaters
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Goblet Squats
  • Medball Cleans
  • Tuck Jumps

You can perform any one of these in place of your rest during your workouts. Aim for 45-60 seconds, very minimal rest and transition right into the next round of your exercise.  Take your rest between exercises or supersets–but try for no longer than 2:00.

The Workout:

Front Squats: 5×5 increasing in weight

Superset: 5 rounds

  • Wide Stance Back Squats, 10-12
  • Good Mornings, 10-15


good mornings- back straight bend over with slight bend to knees return to standing position squeezing glutes at top


Here is where the active rest comes into play–feel free to switch out the exercise for something else listed above!

  • Leg curls 4 rounds x 8-12 increasing in weight
    • Active Rest (Skaters)
  • Leg Extension 4 rounds x 8 -12 increasing in weight
    • Active Rest (Jump Squats)
  • Hip Abductions 4 rounds x 10-12 increasing in weight
    • Active Rest (Jump Lunges)
  • Laying Leg Curls 3 rounds x 10
    • Active Rest (Burpees)

Then, I like to finish with a little plyometric work:

I usually do about 10 minutes worth (sets of about 20)

Examples: Box Jumps, Single leg hops, Step-up with high knee kick, lateral jumps.

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