Jeans are one of the only clothing items you can actually wear year-round, and if you're truly a denim lover, you never really want to take them off. It's borderline obsessive: Sometimes you even sleep in them; you just can't seem to part ways. It's definitely a comfort thing. Your best friend could betray you and start dating your crush or your boss could send an email that says, “We need to talk. Come to my office now,” but you know everything will always be OK because you've got your favorite jeans on. But, let's be honest, exercising in jeans can be difficult. If you walk into the gym and see somebody doing squats in jeans, it's not the most pleasant sight because you know that non-stretchy denim is pinching every inch of skin on their legs. That's why we've come up with a set of exercises that don't make you sweat, so you can avoid taking off your favorite baby blues.
Although doing lower-intensity training might seem like it's for naught, these intermittent exercises compound throughout your day to add a workout that doesn't interfere with your already busy schedule, as Doctor of Physical Therapy Laura Mannering (Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Certified in MDT) confirms, these exercises have a positive effect on your health, "[Any type of movement] benefits many if not all of the systems in our body, such as our musculoskeletal system and digestive system." So keep trucking and keep those jeans; here are five exercises that won't make you sweat.
Want your quads to sparkle like Edward Cullen in the sunlight? Give them a burn with some jean-friendly leg lifts. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs bent slightly out in front of you. Hands should be relaxed behind you to hold yourself up. Then one by one, lift a leg up and keep it in the air for as long as possible. This slayed my quads, after just a few seconds I had to rest. The jeans add tension as well, ultimately making me feel like a goddess. You can also do this reverse, lying on your stomach and lifting your legs, which allows you to target your booty better.
Your quads, glutes, and calves are in for a party. The kind of party where everyone goes too hard, too fast until they pass out with their shoes on and people draw on their foreheads with Sharpies. Your legs are about to pass out. For this exercise, place your back against the wall and slide down to sitting position. Stay like this for as long as you can, and when your legs start trembling keep going, it means they're working hard. Or stop, drink some water, and admire how much more comfortable your jeans are now that they've gotten a little stretch.
Hamstrings, glutes, hips, oh my. This chair exercise is also great for your heart and reduces your chances of dying young, as a 2017 study confirmed. After three of these, I was gasping for air. It's easy to do at home because you can simply use a kitchen chair. Acting as if the chair is a stair, step up onto it until you're completely standing on top, then slowly lower yourself down with the opposite leg. The slower you do this, the more it works your legs. It's jean-friendly and the rhythmic motion can be quite relaxing.
Embrace your inner warrior with this exercise. These are regular forward-step lunges, accompanied with a punch. Each time you step forward and lunge, throw a punch, then retract back to standing position. I felt like Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Maybe even put on some boxing gloves and find something to punch. You can take it further by holding weights either down by your hips or up by your shoulders, which will increase the leg burn. Time your breathing in rhythm with your movements. As Dr. Williams confirms, controlled and rhythmic breathing helps with blood pressure, improves circulation, increases your metabolism, and relieves stress.
Pro-tip: if you watch the movie Fight Club at the same time, you're sure to morph into a real fighter.
This is the only exercise you may not want to do in public. You'll look like a dying bird. It works best if you hold a relatively light weight in each hand. Circle your arms slowly in windmill rotation while simultaneously running in place. This exercise focuses on centering your balance and working your limbs in unison. The burn I got in my arms and legs after 30 seconds is also no joke.
If you find that your jeans aren't freeing enough, invest in some jeggings, it's a happy medium. High-waisted, skinny, bell-bottom, no matter what type is your favorite, now you have a workout routine for whenever you don't want to change your pants. After mastering the Warrior Lunges, you won't be afraid to face your back-stabbing friend or your boss. Now you're a new woman. This isn't Fight Club, but you're officially part of Jean Club, which is way more fierce.
Welcome to No Sweat: an exhausted girl's guide to squeezing in fitness. This content package is for the woman who wants to find an exercise routine that doesn't feel like a chore. No Sweat isn't changing the shape of your body; it's about feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Because working out doesn't mean you have to break a sweat.