Right now (in NYC at least) it’s hard to imagine going outside without at least three layers on. But if you can take yourself back to SS15, you’ll recall a slew of towering shoes, revealing skirts, and legs for days. We’re technically on the brink of warmer times, though, and thanks to frontrunners like Tom Ford and Anthony Vaccarello, next season’s look calls for skin from the waist down. Let’s get this out of the way: Your legs are perfect as they are. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. But, in case you want to tone up your legs before they re-enter the world, we’ve compiled a list of foolproof leg workouts from celebrity trainer Lacey Stone to boost your confidence.
I tried these out at the super-affordable Blink Fitness with my trainer Alexis Fotiou and I’ll shamelessly admit to feeling the burn in my quads mere minutes in. The best part about these leg workouts is they’re free, can be done at home, and are noticeably effective (with proper repetition, of course). So whether you’re doing them at home in front of Gaga on American Horror Story or to the tunes of Beyoncé at your own fitness center, they still count toward that spring wardrobe project you’ve been pinching pennies for all fall-winter.
Stability Ball Leg Curl
12 reps: Lie with your heels on a stability ball. Contract your abs and glutes, and lift your hips off the ground so your body forms a straight line. Bend your knees and roll the ball toward your hips. Pause, then extend your legs, keeping your hips lifted the entire time.
And to challenge yourself, do single-leg curls keeping the opposite leg raised up in the air.
Butt Bridge on a Medicine Ball
20 reps: Lie with your knees bent, with your feet on a medicine ball. Use your heels to dig into the ball for stability (knees bent and arms at your sides!). Tighten your abs and lift your hips off of the ground so your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Keep your knees aligned while you lift and squeeze your glutes off the ground. Slowly lower your hips without touching ground.
15 reps: Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart and lace your fingers behind your head. Keeping your elbows back, bend at your hips and knees, and lower yourself until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Then press back to standing.
Lateral Lunge w/ a Kick
10 reps: Step your left foot to the side and sit your hips back to lower into a lateral lunge (keeping your chest upright). Press through your left heel to shift your weight back onto your right foot, extending your left leg into the air with a high kick. Reverse the movement, stepping back into a lateral lunge. That’s one rep! Complete all reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Inverted Leg Lift
25 reps: Place your hands on the floor with your hips raised and legs straight. Slowly raise your left leg out to the side—and in an arc—as far towards the ceiling as it will go for a count of three. Pause, then reverse to lower your leg. Done!
Feeling it yet? Don’t forget: Practice makes perfect and there’s no better time than the present.