One of the easiest ways to increase the intensity of a bodyweight workout is by simply strapping on some ankle weights.
The following five moves (plus ankle weights!) are not to be taken lightly, and will no doubt test you in newfound ways. With these exercises, you’re well on your way to sculpting your legs, glutes and abs like never before. To up the ante, try completing the circuit twice for a 10-minute workout.
1. Donkey Kicks
Donkey kicks are perfect for strengthening your glutes, thighs, and hamstrings. They are simple and require no equipment, but a mat will make the exercise easier on your knees.
- To perform a donkey kick, start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Shift your weight to one knee, then lift the other leg up into the air behind you.
- Make sure to keep your torso and arms steady, using mostly your hips to lift your leg.
- Do each leg for 30 seconds.
2. Bicycle Crunches
This is an ab move that will also work your legs, due to the weights.
- Seek out a soft surface, preferably a yoga mat to perform this exercise.
- To begin, lie on your back with your hips bent at a 90-degree angle, and your hands behind your head.
- Next as you curl your body—just as you would in a traditional crunch motion—bring your left knee toward your right elbow and extend your right leg out to 45 degrees.
- Keep your shoulders off the mat as you alternate sides for one minute.
3. Weighted Hanging Knee Raises
- To begin,secure the appropriate weighted ankle weights and seek out an open knee raise chair or chin-up bar. If using a bar, grab the chin-up bar using an overhand grip and allow for your legs to hang fully relaxed.
- Now the fun starts — bend your knees and bring your legs up to your stomach (or as high as you can; this exercise can be quite difficult when first getting used to it).
- Hold legs up at your stomach for 2 to 3 seconds, and slowly return your legs to their original slack position. Continue for one minute.
4. Weighted Mountain Climbers
- To begin, set yourself up on a soft surface and in a push-up motion. Your ankle weights should be securely fastened.
- Next, maintaining a straight back and keeping your butt down, alternate bringing each knee in towards your chest.
- Do this quickly for one minute.
5. Weighted Seated Knee Tuck
- Locate an available bench or sit comfortably on at a mat. and set Make sure you’ve securely fastened your ankle weights.
- Balancing on your butt while keeping your shoulders off the mat, extend legs out in front of you so that your body forms a straight line. Hold onto the bench for added support if you need it; otherwise, keep your hands flat on the floor for support as you gradually crunch your torso forward and bring your knees in towards your chest.
- Do this for one minute.