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I tried this 'slim legs in 20 days' workout — here’s what happened

a photo of emi wong doing a sumo squat
(Image credit: Emi Wong)

 If you fancy a beginner-style, bodyweight leg workout, I’ve found it. YouTube star and social media influencer Emi Wong has created a quiet leg day workout named, “Slim Legs in 20 days! 10 min No Jumping Quiet Home Workout” which has over 30 million views on YouTube. Intrigued, I unrolled my yoga mat to find out more. 

Wong claims that doing the 10-minute workout for 20 days will have you well on your way to Kendall Jenner pins. As a personal trainer, I will add that genetics plays a huge huge role in the shape of your body. Please don’t think that you can lengthen your legs (unless you want to experience some type of 14th-century torture machine — not recommended) doing any exercise. You can, however, make your legs look leaner and more toned with the right exercise regime.  

The Emi Wong legs workout consists of 10 moves, done for 30 seconds each with a 15-second break between each exercise. Emi has placed a timer in the top right corner of the screen so you know exactly how long is left. This is useful, particularly for the squat hold, when your legs are on fire. The workout itself is beginner-friendly, and as it’s a no-jump workout, it’s ideal for those who live in an apartment with people below them, or anyone who doesn’t want to disrupt family or friends that they live with. 

Throughout the workout, Emi is seriously motivational and her constant positivity is really contagious. If it’s calorie-burning you’re after, this workout racked up 67 calories according to my Apple Watch. If you did the workout a few times through as Emi recommends you do as you become more experienced, then you’d burn around 200 calories. Read on to find out what happened when I tried  Emi Wong’s Slim leg workout. 

What is the Emi Wong slim legs workout?

If you don’t fancy following along with the workout on YouTube I’ve written out the exercises below so you can do them in your own time. For any of the moves below that focus solely on one side, Emi repeats them on both sides. 

Outer leg lift and circle

Lie on your right side, with your right hand propping up your head and your right upper arm on the floor. Bend your right leg slightly, but the left leg above should be straight. For 15 seconds, pulse the left leg up and down, then for the next 15 seconds, make small, consistent circles with the left leg. At no point should the left leg touch the floor.

Ballet lift

For this move, you’ll want to be in the same position as the exercise above. This time though, life the leg left far higher before bringing it back down just above the right leg.

Bottom leg lift

Again, lie on your right side. This time, straighten the right leg, and bring the left leg over the top, bending the left knee and place the left foot in front. Make small pulses with the right leg up and down from the floor for 30 seconds.

Glute bridge hold

Lie back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and lower back off the floor so that your thighs and torso make a diagonal line from your knees down to your head on the ground. Hold this, squeezing your glute (bum) muscles for the whole 30 seconds. Here's more information on how to do a glute bridge hold

Donkey pulses

Start in a tabletop position on all fours. Straighten your right leg and extend it out behind you. Pulse the right leg up and down, squeezing your right glute throughout.

Squat and front lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, push your hips back and squat down, before pushing up through the heels to rise. Once you’ve stood up, immediately take your right leg in front, bend the knee and drop down into a lunge. Push up through the right heel, and place the right foot back into its squat position. Drop back into a squat then go straight into a left front lunge. Keep alternating lunges, with a squat in between. Here's more information on how to do a forward lunge

Side kicks

Stand tall, engage your core and kick out the right leg all the way to the side. Then, go again on the other side with the left leg. Keep alternating between the right and left leg for the whole 30 seconds.

In out squat

Start with legs close together, before pushing your hips back and dropping into a close-leg squat. As you rise, step the right leg out so your feet are hip-width apart. Then drop down into a squat, maintaining a flat back. As you rise, step that right foot back in and drop back into a close-leg squat. Keep alternating between the two squats, taking legs in and out.

Reverse lunge pulses and knee raise

Stand tall, engage your core and keep your back flat as you take a big step back with your left leg. Bend both knees as you drop down into a reverse lunge. Add two pulses, before you push up through the front right heel. As you bring your left leg back to the start, lift the left knee up to your torso before you place your left foot back on the floor. Then go again on the other side.

Sumo squat pulses

Take a wide stance for this, with your feet unnaturally wide and your toes pointing out slightly. Drop into a squat, back flat, and gaze forward, with hands together in front of your chest. Stay down for the entire 30 seconds, pulsing up and down.

Sumo squat hold

Drop down into the sumo squat, and stay here for 30 seconds.

I tried the Slim Legs in 20 days workout: here’s what happened 

I found some floor space, did a couple of lower body stretches, and off I went with the Emi Wong slim legs workout. I actually really rate Emi; she’s motivational without going overboard and she doesn’t waffle on for ages before or after the workout itself. Plus, she has a very cute dog.

After just two of the moves focused on my left leg, I was feeling a burn in my outer left thigh. I had to pause on the ballet lifts to compose myself. Some of the other moves, however, such as the glute bridge hold and the sumo squat pulses felt pretty pointless as I barely felt a twinge. However, I do train my lower body a lot and this may be why these bodyweight moves didn’t seem to do much for me.

That said, by the end of the 10 minutes, my legs definitely felt a little on fire. Perhaps some ankle weights would have added an extra layer of intensity to this workout as I’m not sure it would give you the results outlined without adding some weight. 

As a personal trainer, I will always encourage clients to add resistance-based exercises to their routine when they hope to help tone and target certain body parts. If it’s lean muscle you want, incorporating weights is an absolute must. That said, this short and sweet workout is an easy way to learn some new moves and activate the lower body muscles.

Read what happened when I tried (and didn't rate) this Daisy Keech workout. For more workout inspiration, check out the best free ab workouts on YouTube here, as well as the best plank variation to work your stabilizer muscles

Lucy is a freelance health and fitness journalist as well as a pre and post-natal personal trainer. Although a sweaty gym session (skipping rope is a must) is her favorite way to ‘relax’, she’s also a fan of bingeing on The Office, snacking on chocolate-coated raisins, and fizz-filled brunches with friends.