The stigma around “leg day” is justified. The most popular exercises that beef up the legs — squats, dumbbell work, deadlifts — are exhausting and, after a while, make your legs feel like jelly. Nobody likes doing them.

Gym-goers don’t get the same “pump” out of leg workouts as they do upper-body. And, of course, you don’t get to show off your hard work for five-plus months out of the year because it’s too cold to wear shorts.

Lose The Rigor of Leg Day

© Can Stock Photo / jalephoto

If you’re not a fan of weight work but want to keep your legs from looking scrawny, consider these simple exercises that are bound to leave your legs sore the next day.

Go For A Bike Ride

No matter where you live, biking is a genuinely enjoyable activity. In a city, gliding through flat streets and parks while weaving between pedestrians and vehicles can be a fun challenge. The suburbs or countryside are usually more taxing due to hills, but the aesthetics and the peaceful nature of the ride make up for it.

Whether you opt to ride outdoors or on a stationary bike in the confines of your home, the constant movement and stress on your legs will make for a top-tier workout. It may not feel like you worked your legs until the end of your ride, or perhaps until the next day when they’re heavy and sore.

Run or Walk

Not only do running and walking work your legs, but they help your heart and lungs, too. Jogging can be very tiring, especially if you don’t regularly do cardio workouts. Even if you run a mile — a 10-minute workout at most — after not doing so for a while, you’ll be drenched in sweat and gasping for air by the time you finish. If you are a runner, try increasing the distance you run with each workout — you’ll be surprised how easily your body adapts.

Walking can be a useful leg and cardio workout, too, but you must put in the mileage. A one or two-mile walk every day won’t cut it. Three-plus miles will. If you’re a dog owner, use walks with your pup as an opportunity to exercise yourself! Try walking in a hilly area or on a forest trail for more of a challenge and a harder workout.

Play Soccer to lose rigor of leg day

For sports lovers who don’t like leg day at the gym, soccer is the answer. The world’s most popular sport is a great, unique way to exercise all areas of the leg. All you need is a stretch of grass, a goal, and a brick wall or a partner to play with. The repeated kicking of the ball, especially if you are booting it a long distance, will tire your legs quicker than you think.

If you choose to exercise your legs by playing soccer, make sure you use both legs. It’s easy to focus on kicking with just your strong foot, but to achieve a balanced workout, you should practice kicks with both feet.

Many people consider biking, running, walking, and playing soccer as cardio workouts. All four activities help more than just the cardiovascular system. While your legs might never look like tree trunks by working out this way, these exercises will make for healthy, strong legs without having to endure the dreaded “leg day.”

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