I’m not one of those people who adores the cold mornings of winter, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the fact that I can once again wear a nice pair of tall, riding, boots, with the requisite pair of skinny jeans, once again—I absolutely love boot season!
So, as summer nights begin to fade into fall mornings, my focus is less on what my legs look like in shorts, and more what they feel like in a pair of skin tight skinny jeans.
My weight fluctuates 3-5 pounds over the course of the summer—I tend to indulge a bit more than normal and my workouts get a bit sporadic due to my kids being out of school—but I try my best to keep my leg regimen honest during those months, so by October, I can be ready to splurge on a new pair of boots and jeans to add to my growing collection—vain, I know, but I don’t work this hard for kicks. The payoff is pretty clothes and nice boots. Kill me.
The following pic—taken while I was trying on a new pair of skinnies—is from last fall. I have on my favorite pair of boots in the pic; bonus, I was fresh from the salon so I was feeling great that day:
As noted, it’s been nearly a year since that pic, and I have a bit of work to do; namely, I’ll be needing to inject my weekly leg day regimen with a little more “umph”. I backed off the heavy lifting for a bit because I was dealing with far too much soreness in the days that followed. Also, I didn’t want to injure myself, so I thought it wise to scale things back a bit and let the cardio—I also bike and dance during the week—pull double-duty in the leg department.
That said, when you put on a pair of tight jeans, everything shows—EVERYTHING—so you have to take care to do the types of exercises that will lift and tone the glutes (ex.: Donkey Kicks, Bridges, and Lunges), give great form and definition to the quads and hamstrings (Squats, Squats, and More Squats), as welll as strengthen the calves ( a forgotten body part in most regimens)
Below is a common leg day routine for me, during the cold season. It’s just the strength portion, so it doesn’t include what I do in between reps—HIIT bursts—or afterwards. I typically couple or triple these up as supersets so I can move through my workout fairly efficiently.
- 3 x 10 Hack Squats (75 Pound Barbell): this is a really challenging exercise to do, so if you opt to try it, I recommend doing it with as little weight as possible. Form is always key and this exercise is no exception.
- 3 x 30 Forward Lunge (15 per leg/set)
- 3 x 30 Side Lunge (15 per leg/set): I add a knee raise and use a set of dumbbells for this one, but the movement alone is plenty. Trust me.
- 3 x 25 Prisoner Squats
- 3 x 20 Hip Lifts (25 pound weighted plate/body bar)
- 3 x 30 Reverse Lunge (15 per leg/set)
- 3 x 30 Donkey Kicks (15 per leg/set)
- 3 x 12 Dumbbell Thrusters (20 pounds)
- 3 x 25 Calf Rocks
- 3 x 25 Calf Raises
I vary the exercises I do from week to week—some weeks the ‘Hack Squats” are traded out for regular Barbell Squats, or I might ditch the “Donkey Kicks” for “Hydrant Raises” for example—and I only work my legs, to this degree, once per week; the other four days are reserved for targeting other muscle groups. That said, my legs are always inadvertently receiving attention because, as I said earlier, I also include dancing, biking, HIIT, and other cardio activities into my regimen.
Yes, “Boot Season” is finally around the bend, and I cannot wait.