There are many ways to get a great cardio workout and tone the legs and butt. Most of them involve some canned aerobic exercise like Buns of Steel, P90X, etc. However, I have a great routine that will not only strengthen and tone; it is a lot of fun.
Since I was 12, I would run the bleachers at my high school football stadium. In North East Ohio, football is a big deal and our stadium was rather large and lots of steps. At the time I did it because it was fun to see how quickly I could get to the top and later I learned about the benefits and how it could greatly boost my speed. As an added cardio benefit, the stadium was off-limits and usually resulted in security chasing us.
The premise of the workout is simple: run up the steps.
To formalize the workout and maximize the results there are some variations. Here are a couple routines I have used over the years:
Do a light lap around the track at the field and then race up the bleachers as quickly as I can.
Come down the bleachers at a fast pace, but not so fast that you will fall. Remember, your legs are going to get very tired by the end and your motor skills will falter a bit as your muscles begin to fatigue.
Next trip up the bleachers skip a step. This usually requires a bit of a jump and really pushes the legs to their capacity.
Come down again and then do a light jog around the track.
Then sprint up the bleachers again and this time hop down one step at a time.
Next, sprint up and walk down.
Repeat this process as many times as you can until security arrives or your legs give out on you.
Another workout I like to do is to run up the bleacher portion, then jog over to the steps and jog down the stairs. Then I run up the next section of bleachers and down again. I did this for the whole length of the stadium and then did a lap around the track and started over again.
I always used a lap watch when I did this workout and would track my times going up the stand and compare it to old times. It is always good to track progress with workouts like these.
If you do not have a stadium nearby, here are few other options:
Find a tall office building and take to the steps. Look for steps outside of a building like Rocky. Run up a hill. If all else fails, go to the gym and hit the stair stepper.