Not only is it Chrismahanakwanza season and gain 15 pounds season, it’s also holiday party season. That means that more than likely, at some point in the next month, you will have to dress up in some sort of cocktail attire and squeeze your blistered, frozen, malformed toes into heels. But all those cookies likely didn’t do much good for your calves. You may be waltzing around sporting some cankles for all I know (gross).
Because this is the time of giving or something, here are five ways to get your legs heel-ready without having to go to the gym with the other losers promising themselves that this is like, REALLY the year they’re going to lose 10 pounds. Stop lying to yourself—I’ll see you at Taco Bell in February.
1. Planks With Leg Raises
Ugh, planks. Get into plank position, but lift your right leg up so it’s at least parallel to the floor, higher if you can. Put it back down and do the same with your left leg. Keep doing this till you die (or for 10-15 reps per side, whichever comes first).
2. High Knee Toe Taps
Grab a chair and put your hands on your hips like you mean it or something. Tap your left food on the bench, then swap and tap your right foot. Do this until you’re so tired you can’t breathe. This is more of a cardio exercise than a leg move, so go fast, like you’re running away from a guy who puts “good vibes only” in his Hinge profile. Anyway, with this exercise, go for bursts of 30 seconds and work up to longer intervals.
3. Side Lunges
You should know how to do a lunge, and if you don’t? Shame. Stand with your feet together, then take a big step to your left—bending your left knee and pushing your butt back—while keeping your right leg straight. Repeat on the other side, and alternate until the lure of cookies outweighs your desire to look nice. 10-20 reps per leg should be enough.
4. Inverted Inner Thigh Openers
These are my fav cause I can lie down and pretend I’m not actually working out. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, then lift your right leg up, keeping your thighs touching, and extend your leg up to the ceiling. Lower your right leg—still straight—out to the right side as far as you can without moving your hips off the floor. Repeat with your other leg until your boyfriend/husband/roommate comes in and laughs at you, or 10-20 reps depending on your fitness level.
5. Lying Side Leg Raises
Like planks, but easier! Lie on your side with one arm flat on the floor in front of you, or propping up into a side plank for some additional ab work. Leave the other arm at your side, behind your head, whatever is easiest. Place one foot on top of the other with your legs out completely straight. Keeping them straight, raise your top leg until you like, can’t bring it up anymore, then bring it down. Do this 10-20 times on one leg, then switch to the other side until you feel like you’ve reached a new plane of consciousness via exhaustion.