Participating in gym class growing up was a dreaded activity for one reason – I absolutely hated doing leg squats. I still don’t enjoy them, but at the same time, I’ve come to the realization that it’s a staple leg exercise for a reason. After all, we can’t sit all day and expect to have strong legs. That’s why I’m focusing on 4 super easy leg exercises that anyone can do at home without using equipment.
Focusing on strength training for your legs is important for many reasons. The human leg is comprised of six groups of leg muscles and focusing on them with strength training increases your stability, flexibility, power, posture, and balance. While leg exercises may not always be “fun”, they will definitely help you in the long run.
The below exercises can be done at home and require no equipment. Just use your body weight to get the job done. Feel free to increase your time or exercise sets if you need more of a challenge. Now, let’s start with…
#1 Squat Jacks
Here’s a great exercise to begin that will definitely get your heart racing. With your feet shoulder length apart, lower into a squat keeping your knees behind your toes and pushing into your heels as much as you can. Now, jump as high as possible, bending your knees to a 45-degree landing as much as you can. Stay in the squat position for 2 seconds and then repeat. To work up a good sweat, try doing this exercise for 1 minute.
For a how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVaEhXotL7M
Lunges help strengthen the whole lower body. They work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles. The lunge is a great functional exercise to tone your legs (especially the muscles around your knees) for everyday activities.
Just try putting your right foot forward keeping it about 3 feet away while lowering your left knee to about 1 inch off the ground. Bend your right foot along the process and then push the right heel to come back to the starting position. Try doing 20 on one leg — and then switch.
To learn how to lunge the right way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOVaHwm-Q6U
#3 Side Lunges
Now that we’ve mastered the “regular” lunge, let’s try a variation. Start with your feet shoulder length apart and then sweep your left leg out to the side while keeping your toes facing forward. Bend your left leg and keep your right one straight. Feel the stretch (and the burn!). Hold that pose for 5 seconds and then lift back up to a standing position with your feet still shoulder length apart. Try the other leg and repeat for one full minute.
How to do it? Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvqLVxYqEvo
#4 Hip Raise
This exercise is a great way to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings while building stability in your lower back. However, a warning: you’ll have to lie on the floor so you might want to use a mat. To begin, start by lying back and keeping your arms to the side. Then keep your left leg straight and the right leg bent at the knee. Raise your left leg up enough so it comes in line with your right thigh. Now push your hips up, while squeezing your glutes. Pause for a second and return. Complete one side for 30 seconds and repeat for the other side.
If you need visual instruction, try this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPcXgTL09lU
So, did these leg exercises work for you? Is there a leg exercise that you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts at email@example.com. If you’d like to utilize more blog posts focusing on leg exercises, start here and read this post. And please subscribe below to receive more great tips like these straight to your inbox.