Workout Routines

The ultimate legs workout to look damn good in a short swimsuit

No longer will you have to fear #SkiesOutThighsOut—stack some muscle on your quads and hamstrings with this powerhouse lower-body routine.

Man deadlifting barbell
Christopher Kimmel / Getty
Christopher Kimmel / Getty
Duration 30
Exercises 12
Equipment Yes

These days, the inseams of men's shorts seem to be getting shorter and shorter.

So whether you're tired of baring your chicken legs at the beach or simply looking to bulk up your legs for a season in which they're most likely showing all the time, we have the workout to bulk up your quads, hamstrings, and calves. Sculpt a thicker, more muscular lower half with this mass-doubling routine, courtesy of trainer Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S., who's worked with celebrities like Rumer Willis and Katie Holmes.

After a few weeks of this, you'll not only look damn good in whatever swimsuit suits your body type, but also be more productive during heavier lifts, since your legs and core are what give you the most power. Strong legs can also prevent injuries. And if you've been neglecting legs day, you're more likely to have muscle imbalances and run the risk of pulling a hamstring or tearing your ACL.

How it works

This routine has two workouts. Rest for three or four days between these workouts, because they're definitely intense. Add this workout into your routine for at least four weeks for best results.

Almost any compound legs exercise will hit both your quads and hamstrings. Day one focuses on your quads and glutes, while day two focuses on your hamstrings.

Directions

Donavanik has divided each workout into several "blocks." In cases where the exercises of each block are labeled with 'A' and 'B,' like supersets, do the 'A' exercise, then go directly to the 'B' exercise without rest. Rest 90-120 seconds between blocks.

Exercises labeled with a rep scheme 10+10* are performed as drop sets: Complete 10 reps at heavy weight and a regular pace, then drop to a lighter weight and complete 10 more reps at a slow, controlled pace.

By the way, Donavanik says that the 10-minute block of deficit reverse lunges at the end of day one is not a joke—and after a few weeks of this routine, your leg gains won't be, either.

The workout to look good in a short swimsuit Day 1: The workout to light up your quads

Exercise 1A.

Squat You'll need: Squat Rack How to
Squat thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Jump Squat You'll need: No Equipment How to
Jump squat thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

Walking Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Walking Lunge  thumbnail
4 sets
10 each leg reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Jumping Lunge You'll need: No Equipment How to
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
10 each leg reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
4 sets
10+10* reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

One-Arm Deficit Reverse Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Deficit Reverse Lunge thumbnail
-- sets
As many as possible in 10 min. reps
As needed. rest

The workout to look good in a short swimsuit Day 2: The workout to hammer your hamstrings

Exercise 1A.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Kettlebell Swing You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Kettlebell Swing thumbnail
4 sets
15 reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

One-Arm Deficit Reverse Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Deficit Reverse Lunge thumbnail
4 sets
10 each leg reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Explosive Stepup You'll need: Box How to
Explosive Stepup  thumbnail
4 sets
15 each leg reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Hamstring Curl You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Hamstring Curl thumbnail
4 sets
10 + 10* reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Single-leg hip thrust You'll need: Bench How to
Single-leg hip thrust thumbnail
-- sets
As many as possible in 10 min. reps
As needed. rest
Alternate legs every 30 sec. for 10 min.
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