25 Leg Exercises for the Best-Ever At-Home Workouts

Plié Squat

Exercise type: bilateral

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes

How to do it: Hold one dumbbell in front of you by holding each end in one hand. Step your feet out wider than hip distance apart. Rotate your feet so your toes are pointing at a 45 degree angle. Sit your hips back and down, making sure your knees are tracking over your toes. Squeeze your butt to stand then repeat.

Zercher Squat

Exercise type: bilateral

Muscles worked: biceps, upper back and lower back, core, quads

How to do it: Get your longer resistance band and step your feet on the inside of the loop. Make sure that your feet are slightly wider than hip distance apart before you begin. Then grab one end of the band with both hands. Hook the band right in the pits of your elbows. Flex your biceps to about 90 degrees to keep that band from flying off. Stand tall. Sit your hips down and back to get into as low of a squat as you can without losing tension in the band. Squeeze your butt to stand back up and repeat until time’s up.

Frog Squat

Exercise type: bilateral

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, hips

How to do it: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes slightly outward — about 45 degrees. Reach for your toes, the tops of your feet, or the bottom of your shins. Bend at the knees to sit into a deep of a squat as you can without losing your grip. Straighten your legs to return to the forward fold. Repeat until your timer is up.

Cossack Squat

Exercise type: Bilateral

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, hips

How to do it: Stand with your feet half a foot wider than shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your left foot and straighten your right leg as you sit low into a lateral lunge. Allow your right toes to lift off the floor if you need to in order to keep your knees tracking over the toes and your chest up high. This is one rep. From here, you can either stand and switch over to the other side or stay low and shift your weight into a lateral lunge on the left side. Standing up in between reps will give you a little breather; staying low will be more of a burner. It’s your choice as to how you want to spend your 45 seconds!

Squat Hold

Exercise type: bilateral

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, calves, core

How to do it: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Sit low as if you’re sitting back into a chair and keep your chest up. Make sure to squeeze your glutes to keep your knees from caving in towards each other. If it feels good, you can hold your arms straight in front of you for balance and some extra shoulder work. Hold it here until you feel your form collapsing or until you reach that 45 second mark.

Split Squat Hold

Exercise type: bilateral

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, core

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and right beneath your hips. Step your right foot forward into a lunge, making sure your right heel is glued to the ground and your knee is tracking over your toes. Keep your chest high. Hold this position for 45 seconds or until you find your form gets shaky. Next: switch to the other leg and do it all over again.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Exercise type: unstable

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves

How to do it: Find a chair, bench, couch or something that you can use to elevate your back foot. Place the top of your left foot on that higher surface then step your right foot far enough that you can comfortably sit into a lunge (i.e. your front heel shouldn’t be lifting up in order for you to get there, nor should your knee be tracking past your toes). Stand tall with your arms at your hips for balance then sit into a lunge. Press your right heel into the floor and squeeze your right glute to stand. Repeat until the timer says you’re done then repeat on the other leg.

B-Stance Romanian Deadlift

Exercise type: unstable

Muscles worked: lats, upper and lower back, hamstrings, glutes, quads

How to do it: Grab a longer resistance band and place it under your left foot. Step your right foot about half a foot behind your left and slightly bend the right knee. Bend over and grab the ends of the resistance band in each hand. Squeeze your glutes and stand up tall. To begin your first rep, hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back flat. Slightly bend your left knee as your hands reach shin-height. Once you start to feel the band go slack, squeeze your butt and stand. Repeat until you’ve finished the interval then repeat on the other leg. bogorupdate

Single Arm B-Stance Deadlift

Exercise type: unstable

Muscles worked: lats, upper and lower back, hamstrings, glutes, quads

How to do it: This move is very similar to the regular b-stance deadlift however, holding the band in one arm forces your body to resist rotating towards the floor and engages your abs in a whole new way. So this time, get a longer resistance band and loop it around left foot. Step your right foot about half a foot behind your left and slightly bend the right knee. Bend over and grab the end of the band with your right hand. Squeeze your glutes and stand up tall. To begin your first rep, hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back flat. Slightly bend your left knee as your hands reach shin-height. Once you start to feel the band go slack, squeeze your butt and stand. Repeat until you’ve finished the interval, then repeat on the other leg and arm.

Reverse Dumbbell Lunge

Exercise type: unstable

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings

How to do it: Hold one dumbbell in front of your chest by grabbing each end of the weight in each hand. Stand with your feet together to start then step your left foot back into a lunge. Your front knee should be bent to 90 degrees in this position. Press out of your front heel and squeeze your butt to stand. Continue lunging on the same leg until the end of the interval and then switch to the other side.

Reverse Lunge Pulses

Exercise type: unstable

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes

How to do it: Hold one dumbbell with both of your hands then step backwards with your left foot into a lunge position. Keep both of your knees bent at 90 degrees and your right knee over your ankle. Hold this position then pulse up and down. Initiate this movement pushing through that right heel to lift ever so slightly and straighten out the front and back legs a bit. Don’t stand up all the way, though. Sit right back down into the lunge to complete one pulse. Keep it up until the clock’s run out then switch to the other leg.

Forward to Reverse Lunge

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, calves

How to do it: Stand with your hands by your side, feet together right under your hips. Starting with your right foot, step forward into a lunge with your heel landing flat on the floor and your knee tracking over your toes. Press through your right heel to step backwards into a lunge. Keep lunging forward and backward with your right leg until you’re complete. Then do the same thing on the left side.

Lateral Lunge with a Twist

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, core,

How to do it: Stand with your feet together and your hands clasped behind your head. Step out far to your left — far enough that you can sit low into that left hip and straighten out that right leg. Then press out of your left heel to shift your weight to your right leg as you pick up the left knee. Balance on that right leg as you twist your torso and reach your right elbow to the left knee. Return to that left leg lateral lunge and repeat until time’s up. Perform the same movement on the other side.

Lateral Lunge to Curtsy

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes

How to do it: Stand with your feet together beneath your hips. Step out far to your left—far enough that you can sit low into the left hip and keep your right leg straight. Then press out of your left heel to shift your weight to your right leg. Bend your right knee as you pick up that left foot to step behind you for a curtsy. Step back out to the left for another lateral lunge. Continue moving in this way until 45 seconds is up. Then switch to the other side.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: hamstrings, glutes, core

How to do it: Hold one dumbbell in your right hand by your side and stand with your feet together. Lift up your right knee to that it’s bent at 90 degrees at hip-level. Slightly bend your left knee then, with control, hinge at the hips to let your torso come forward (your arms will naturally move down towards your shins as you do this). At the same time, kick your right leg straight and back behind you. Aim to keep your back straight and your leg in line with your spine to make a “T” shape. Next: bring that right knee back to 90 degrees in front of you as you continue to balance on that left leg. Move as slow as you need to to maintain control throughout your interval. Perform this on the other side once you’re done.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Pulses

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings

How to do it: Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and hold it by your side. Stand with your feet together then bend your right knee to lift your right foot off the floor. Hinge at the hips to lean your torso slightly forward and keep your back flat. Bend your left knee to sit into a mini-squat then straighten the left leg until right before your knee locks out. Keep pulsing this way until the interval is done then hop over to the other side.

Kneeling Step Ups

Exercise type: single leg

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings

How to do it: Grab a dumbbell by holding each end and kneel with both knees on a floor. Step your right leg forward to a kneeling lunge position. Press through the heel to stand. Reverse the steps to return to kneeling. Keep this up until you’ve finished your set and then repeat on the other side. If your knees don’t love kneeling in this way, you can perform regular step ups on a stair, a chair or any flat, sturdy surface that is elevated.

Banded Squat Jacks

Exercise type: jumps

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings

How to do it: Loop a mini-band right above your knees and stand with your feet directly beneath your hips. Hop up and sit into a squat. Make sure to squeeze your glutes so that your knees track over your toes (no caving in!) and that your feet lands outside your shoulders so you can sit low. Jump back to standing to complete the rep and keep repeating until the time is up.

Broad Jump with Duck Walk

Exercise type: jumps

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves

How to do it: Stand up tall with your feet under your hips. Bend your knees then jump three to five feet in front of you. Land softly but don’t stand up just yet. Stay in that squat position as you take four steps backward. Now you can stand up tall and do it all again. Repeat until the clock says,“Stop!”

Lateral Jumps

Exercise type: jumps

Muscles worked: calves, quads, hamstrings

How to do it: From a standing position, slightly bend your knees then push out of your right foot to hop laterally and land on your left foot. As you land, that left knee should be slightly bent. You can keep that right foot in the air or place the right toes behind you for extra support. Now hop and land on the right foot to give the other side some love. Keep jumping back and forth until your interval is over.

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