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Exercises That Can Enhance Your Leg Strength

When it comes to fitness, leg day is often met with reluctance. This could be due to the intense burn from exercises like Bulgarian split squats or jump lunges. It might also be because the simple act of walking can feel like a daunting task post-workout. However, from a personal standpoint, I find a lower-body workout incredibly empowering, especially when I challenge myself with heavy squats. My legs exude strength; they are a force to be reckoned with!

The strength of your legs is a pivotal factor for longevity and is crucial to counter the effects of our predominantly sedentary lifestyles which can lead to muscle weakening and inflammation. Regular leg workouts are vital for maintaining both current and future well-being. A successful leg workout does not necessarily involve lifting heavy weights or enduring immediate or prolonged discomfort. For those who struggle with leg day, a combination of mobility exercises and strength training for the lower body can be beneficial in the long run by promoting both flexibility and strength.

Moreover, when exerting your leg muscles, the duration of your “time under tension” does not have to be extensive. What matters more is pushing yourself to the threshold where further engagement seems impossible. Overall, focus on quality rather than quantity.

For a practical example, below are seven leg workout videos lasting under 20 minutes—ranging from Pilates to plyometrics—that can transform your view of leg day into something you eagerly anticipate.

1. A 9-minute kettlebell leg workout video

If you are comfortable with bodyweight exercises, incorporating kettlebells can intensify your muscle engagement. This kettlebell routine targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads through a combination of swings and squats.

2. A 10-minute leg and core workout

This workout features various movements originating from the plank position, known for its efficiency in activating both the core and legs. By including plank variations, you can effectively engage both areas within a short 10-minute session.

3. A 12-minute leg workout with dumbbells

Consisting of split squats, lunges, and butt kicks, this leg routine incorporates bodyweight and dumbbell exercises to target your butt, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

4. A 12-minute resistance band leg workout

In this workout utilizing a resistance band, you will engage in exercises like donkey kicks and leg raises to enhance leg strength. Trainer Simone De La Rue aptly describes it as a “leg day: hooray!”

5. A 15-minute standing Pilates workout

Experience a blend of stretching, balance challenges, and strengthening for your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves in this swift Pilates session.

6. A 15-minute slider workout

Utilizing sliders or towels to stabilize your lower body, this workout requires activation of your leg muscles, providing a significant challenge to intensify your routine.

7. A 17-minute, lower-body HIIT workout

This HIIT workout combines muscle-building and cardio to elevate your heart rate and intensify the burn in your leg muscles simultaneously.

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