Leg strength is an indicator of longevity; It’s also important to counteract our often sedentary lifestyle, as inactivity causes muscles to become weak and inflamed. So doing regular leg exercises can help keep you healthy now and in the future. A good leg workout doesn’t have to mean carrying a ton of weight, nor does it require suffering in the moment or after the fact. If you’re struggling with leg day, you may want to consider lower-body exercise that combines mobility work with strength training. So, you will be lengthening and strengthening in the long run.
What’s more, if you’re working out your leg muscles, your “time under tension” (or the time you’re using those muscles) doesn’t have to last forever. The important thing is that you push yourself to the point where you feel like you can’t do any more. Quality over quantity, essentially.
To see what we mean, here are seven leg workout videos under 20 minutes, from Pilates to plyometrics, that will make leg day something you finally look forward to.
1. A 9-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout Video
Already a pro at bodyweight movements? Loading exercises for the legs will challenge your muscles even more. This kettlebell workout will have you swinging and squatting to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
2. A 10-minute leg and core workout
We’re not going to lie, there are more than a few moves in this workout that stem from plank. But that’s because there’s nothing more effective at activating your core and legs than this killer starting pose. Fortunately, since plank variations burn both your core and lower body, you can target both areas in just 10 minutes.
3. A 12-Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout
Split squats and lunges and butt kicks, oh my! This leg workout uses both your bodyweight and dumbbells to execute all the classic kick-ass moves (and your hamstrings, quads, and calves).
4. A 12-Minute Resistance Band Leg Workout
The floor will be your anchor in this leg workout that uses a resistance band to build strength. From an all fours position, you’ll do a donkey on each side before moving to your side to raise your legs and do clams. As trainer Simone De La Rue says, “leg day: hooray!”
5. A 15-minute standing Pilates workout
Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves will get a stretching and balance challenge (as well as strengthening) during this quick workout.
6. A 15-Minute Sliding Workout
Whether you have sliders or just a few small towels on hand (you can also do this in your socks, FYI), this slider workout will require you to activate your leg muscles to keep your lower body stable. You’ll be surprised how much of a challenge something as simple as a slider can add to your workout.
7. A 17-Minute Lower Body HIIT Workout
If you want to work up a sweat while building muscle, this HIIT workout will get your heart rate up and your leg muscles on fire at the same time.