High-intensity legs and core circuit

Ready to dust off those cobwebs? Try something new this January with this high-intensity legs and core workout, which will get your heart rate pumping to the cardio zone in no time. It will help tone your legs and butt and work your core, but also targets an often overlooked muscle group - your traps - with the sumo high pull. Otherwise it fits nicely around an upper body-workout, so you’ll be able to hit your arms/chest/back the day after should you so please.

High-intensity legs and core circuit

Calories burned: 300-600

Time: 30 minutes with warm-up, 3 circuits and stretching - add 7 minutes for each additional circuit

Equipment needed: Mat, slam ball, kettlebell, treadmill (optional)

Level: Intermediate

How to do it: Start with a general warm-up for 10 minutes - the treadmill, crosstrainer or bike is good. Then do each exercise listed below for 1 full minute, back to back. After completion of all 6 exercises, rest for 1 minute, and then repeat from the first exercise. Start with at least 3 full circuits, and try to work your way up to 6! At the end take 5 minutes to stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves and abdominal muscles.


  1. Overhead slam
    Really focus on engaging your core on this one and keeping it tight throughout.

  2. Jump squat
    Instead of dumbbells as shown in the link, hold the slam ball in your hands. If that’s too difficult, use just your bodyweight and work your way up to holding the ball. If you need to regress the exercise further, do just a bodyweight squat.

  3. Air bike
    Don’t let your technique slack towards the end, and keep pushing through the burn.

  4. Running, treadmill
    I opt for the curved non-electricity treadmill, but a normal treadmill works just fine too. The goal here is to run as fast as you can for the full minute. If you don’t have access to a treadmill a good alternative is a high knee jog.

  5. Butt lift (bridge)
    Remember to squeeze and hold your glutes at the top! To really target my adductors I squeeze the slam ball in between my knees during the exercise. If this is too difficult, use just your body weight and work your way up to incorporating the slam ball.

  6. Kettlebell sumo high pull
    The high pull engages the traps, and helps work your core further.

Let me know how you get on in the comments - happy training!