Leg strength is an indicator of longevity; It’s also important to combat our often sedentary lifestyles, as inactivity causes muscles to weaken and become inflamed. So regular leg workouts can help keep you healthy now and in the future. A good leg workout doesn’t mean loading on a ton of weight, nor does it require grief in the moment or after the fact. If you struggle with leg days, you may want to consider lower body exercises that combine mobility work with strength training. Then, you’ll be longer and stronger for the long haul.
What’s more, if you push your leg muscles, your “tension time” (or the muscles you’re using) doesn’t have to last forever. What matters is that you push yourself to the point where you think you can’t do anything else. Quality over quantity, basically.
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’ve finally looked forward to.
1. A 9-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout Video
Already a pro at bodyweight exercises? Loading leg exercises will challenge your muscles even more. This kettlebell workout will have you swinging and squatting to build your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
2. A 10-minute leg and core workout
We won’t lie, there are a few moves in this workout that come from the plank position. But that’s because there’s nothing more to activate your core and your 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 leg workout with dumbbells
Split squats and lunges and butt kicks, oh my! This leg workout uses both body weight and dumbbells to hit all the classic moves to kick your butt (and 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 raise your legs and do the ass on each side before moving to your side for clamshells. 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 stretch and a balance challenge (in addition to strengthening) during this quick workout.
6. A 15-minute slider workout
Whether you have sliders or some small towels handy (you can even do this in your socks, FYI), this slider workout requires you to activate your leg muscles to stabilize your lower body. You’d be surprised at how much 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 burn your leg muscles at the same time.