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This Workout Is Better for Your Health Than Running, Trainer Says

It builds strength, burns calories, and can improve your cardio conditioning.

Believe it or not, you don't have to run in order to lose fat and get in shape. For many people, it isn't the best method for improving your health and fitness… it's actually the opposite.

Many people who are overweight shouldn't be running when starting a fitness program because they don't have proper running form, and extra weight can place more stress on joints. If they're not careful, this can lead to overuse and injury.

Instead of running for your health, you can try a different workout instead. I like having my clients do "giant sets," aka at least 3-4 exercises back-to-back of the same muscle group. And the most calorie-torching giant set involves legs.

Related: Science Just Confirmed You Don't Need Cardio to Burn Fat

When you perform a giant set workout for your legs, it builds strength, burns calories, and can improve your cardio conditioning. It can even improve your flexibility and mobility—especially if you use your full range of motion for every exercise.

Not sure how to put a giant set lower body workout together? I gotcha covered. Here's a sample one you can do. Perform each exercise back to back with no rest, aiming for 3-5 sets total.

1

Dumbbell Front Squat x 10 reps

dumbbell front squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Keeping your core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Then, drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish.

2

Front Foot Elevated Split Squat x 10 reps each leg

front foot elevated split squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Place your working leg on top of a plate or elevated surface. Keeping your chest tall, come down slowly until your back knee touches the ground. Get a good stretch in the hips of your back leg, then drive through the front heel, flexing your quad and glute to finish. Perform all reps on one side before switching over to the other.

3

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift x 10 reps

dumbbell romanian deadlift
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

While standing, grab a pair of dumbbells and have them in front of your hips. Keeping your chest tall and knees slightly bent, push your hips back while dragging the weights down the length of your thighs. Once you get a nice hamstring stretch, drive your hips forward as you raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position, squeezing your glutes to finish.

4

Dumbbell Heels Elevated Glute Bridge x 15 reps

dumbbell heels elevated glute bridge
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by lying flat on your back with your feet elevated on a sturdy surface and knees bent. Place a dumbbell on your lap, then drive through your hips and heels, flexing your glute hard at the top. Come all the way down to starting position before performing another rep.

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Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu is a fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. Read more
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