Svelte Stems 11

A 15-Minute Leg Workout

After the last sparkle of glitter is finally gone, one glance at the calendar shows spring and warm weather destinations are looming in the very near distance. Even under the best of healthy intentions, a little holiday love can show up on the scale. The new year is busy and often blustery and getting to the gym isn’t always a priority in the cold weather. But maximizing calorie burn and targeting multiple muscle groups are crucial.

All of these exercises can be done at home while staying toasty warm. Targeted toning is key to ensure killer legs in time for shorts season. These at-home moves will use and tone multiple muscle groups. Since the leg muscles are the some of the largest in the body, the calories burned during and after the workout will be maximized.

For this workout, you will need a chair with a firm seat or a sturdy bench and a yoga mat/towel.

1. Sassy Skier

Muscles targeted: quads and quickfire muscles used for balance

Stand with arms at side and move to a forward right leg lunge with left leg straight out behind you, on your tiptoe. Placing all weight on your front lunged leg, swing your back leg to the left, then wide to the right crossing it behind you, then back wide left. Work up to three sets of 20 for each leg.

2. Slenderizing Step Up

Muscles targeted: quads and glutes

Standing in front of the chair facing the seat, place one leg on the seat with knee bent at a 90-degree angle, arms by your side. Using your quads and glutes on the bent leg while keeping your back straight, raise yourself to a full standing position in the chair and sweep the opposite leg up to a 90-degree angle. Lower yourself to the starting position, arms at side. Work up to two sets of 15 for each leg.

3. Fancy Frog

Muscles targeted: abs, quads and adductors

Lying flat on your back, arms at side with palms down, pull knees toward chest, lifting your feet off the ground. Stopping with feet over hips and heels flexed together in a “v” position. While keeping heels together, straighten legs out then return to original frog position. Work up to two sets of 20. Advanced version: To further incorporate abs, lower the angle at which you push the legs out from your body.

4. Straight Leg Staple

Muscles targeted: quads and protective move for knee

Lie flat on your back, arms at side with palms down and legs out straight. With toe flexed, raise right leg 12 inches off the ground and lower. Focus on keeping core tight and lifting with quadriceps muscle. Work up to two sets of 20 for each leg.

5. Slim Squats

Muscles targeted: quads and glutes

Stand in front of the chair as if going to sit down, legs spread to a width an inch wider than the chair, arms by your side. Using your quads and glutes while keeping your back straight, squat as if you are going to sit in the seat. As your lower, your arms should come up and be parallel to the floor. When you feel the chair on your bottom, pop up to a standing position with arms at side. Modified version: Go down as far as comfortable—no need to touch the seat. Work up to three sets of 15 reps.