It's officially winter. This means layers, long sweaters and multiple pairs of long johns are totally acceptable (and even kind of trendy).
I'm a fan of the cooler months. They hide a lot of imperfections.
But as an advocate of body positivity, I’m not about to make this article about your body looking good in the winter.
Every body is different, and if I read one more piece about how to get a thigh gap, I will explode.
What I will do, though, is explain why it’s important to exercise your lower body-year round. These reasons have nothing to do with how you look, and they even provide some workout suggestions.
Exercising your lower body will reduce your risk of injury, improve your balance, allow you to move more quickly (and for longer periods of time), improve your metabolism, relieve lower back pain and increase your range of motion.
Your legs are basically half your body. You rely on them to do essentially everything.
Making dinner? You’re most likely standing.
Running to the bathroom? Still using your legs.
Tapping your foot during a long flight out of boredom? See?
I haven’t even mentioned exercising.
“Leg day” doesn’t exactly have an exciting reputation on social media. Everyone calls leg day the day they love to hate.
There is a lot of pain post your lower body workout, sometimes making it difficult to even sit down.
But it doesn't have to be so bad. Actually, you can learn to love leg day, especially if it means awesome results.
This is why I'm presenting you with three 10-minute videos (and who doesn't have 10 minutes?) to help you get super strong legs.
1. Ballet Beautiful: Lean Hips & Outer Thighs
The moves in Ballet Beautiful: Lean Hips & Outer Thighs are easy and can be done anywhere. If there’s room for you to lie down on the floor, you can do this video.
I do, however, recommend doing this routine on a mat. You may not be able to walk quite as easily the next day, but you’ll feel empowered and strong.
Plus, the video is quite elegant. It takes some of that leg day fear away.
I would recommend stretching and warming up your hips before pressing "play" for ultimate safety. Viewers are not required to have any previous ballet experience to make this one a favorite.
Check it out:
2. 30-Day Fat Burn: Legs And Butt Shaper
Interested in a little more cardio, but not too much? 30 Day Fat Burn: Legs And Butt Shaper is exactly that.
It’s great to pair this video with any other routine, as it involves many squat pulses, light cardio bursts and even some floor work.
All you need for this 12-minute routine is a mat, or at least something to put under your knees when the floor work begins. If I miss this routine on leg day, I feel like something’s missing.
It’s a must-try, low-impact aerobics routine for everyone.
Check it out:
3. BeFit Bikini Body Pilates: Lean Legs
Though BeFit takes the exercises in this video from traditional Pilates classes, they vary from beginner to intermediate.
Anyone can do them.
You don’t have to be a Pilates expert to be good at this. You can implement the moves into your regular workout routine.
Check it out:
Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. Simple movements can work, get you the strength you want and may very well be free.
No gym membership is required this winter.
But I’ll still keep the long johns. (They’re so comfy.)