You don’t need to hit the gym every day for a great leg workout. No need to waste time in your car, or carry around sweaty clothes in your bag. All you need is your bodyweight, some comfy workout clothes, and some space in your home.
Since the leg workouts listed in this article don’t require any equipment, you can easily modify and adjust them to your fitness level. At the gym, the machines and weights can be really heavy, especially for newbies. You can easily lose proper form and end up injured.
Another big advantage of bodyweight leg exercises is that they target different muscle groups in your lower body, as well as the entire core for a more complete workout. This gives you a serious heart pump, grows your leg muscles, and burns fat at the same time!
5 Home Leg Workouts You Can Do in 10 Minutes Without Equipment
#1 Squat Jump
Besides the core and legs (glutes, hamstrings, quads) this exercise also works the lower back and abs.
Note: Make sure to use the whole foot, not just the toes. Also, your shoulders shouldn’t lean out beyond your knees, as this can result in a back injury.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull in your belly button to engage the core.
- Begin by doing a regular squat, lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then jump up as high as you can.
- When you land, lower yourself, bending your knees to 45 degrees. Pause for a second, then repeat.
#2 Calf Raises
To maximize the results of this workout, do it on a set of stairs instead of on a flat floor.
Note: You can also use calf raises as a dynamic stretch before any workout routine.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Engage your core by tucking in the tailbone.
- Let your heels hang off the back of the step, then lift them up until standing on your toes. Make sure to keep your legs straight and your feet parallel.
- Stay for one or two seconds, then lower until your heels go below the top of the step. Repeat.
Lunges work your core and legs, including the inner thigh muscles which are usually hard to reach. Unlike squats, they are great for evening out muscle imbalances.
Note: If you want to make the exercise more challenging, hold dumbbells or water bottles at your sides.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your upper body straight and engaging the core. Your shoulders should be relaxed.
- Step forward with one leg, then lower your hips so that the knee forms a 90-degree angle with the ground. The front knee should be above the ankle and the back knee almost touching the ground.
- Come back up to starting position, then repeat with the other leg.
#4 Skater Lunges
If you want your legs to look great from every angle, this workout is just for you. Skater lunges work your thighs without putting too much strain on your knees.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly step your right leg back diagonally behind your left leg, lowering into a lunge until your knee nearly touches the ground.
- Reverse the movement to return to the starting position, then repeat with the other side.
#5 Side Lunges
Side lunges can be somewhat challenging for newbies due to the tightness in the ankle, hip, and groin. But the more you do this exercise, the easier it will get, as you’ll be strengthening the glutes and inner thigh.
Note: To tone your glutes, even more, add a pulse by slowly moving an inch up and down at the bottom of the lunge.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart.
- Take a big step to the left with your left foot, hinging at the hips to send your butt back.
- Bend your left knee and keep your right leg straight.
- Squat back, shifting the whole body weight to your left side and keeping your chest up.
- Return to starting position, then repeat with the other leg.
How to Do the 10-minute Home Leg Workout
This 10-minute home leg workout focuses on sets instead of reps. It targets all the major leg muscles, including calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings all at once.
Do the above-listed five workouts in a circuit: Do each one for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before starting with the next one. When you’re done with the last exercise, begin with the first one again, until the 10 minutes are up.
Note: Form is more important than speed. It doesn’t matter how fast you’re performing the exercises; you need to do them properly. The workouts should feel difficult, but if you feel pain, stop immediately.
Bonus: What Should I Eat to Build Strong Legs?
Proper nutrition is a vital part of every workout routine. If you want to have strong legs, you’ll need to focus your diet on the nutrients that keep the muscles and bones healthy.
For strong bones, make sure to consume enough vitamin D and calcium. You can get these two nutrients from dairy products, especially yogurt, dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, oily fish like tuna and salmon, as well as from seeds, nuts, and legumes.
In order to build muscle mass, you’ll need to consume plenty of protein. Besides helping you feel satiated, protein also helps the muscles to recover after the workout.
To be more precise, 10% to 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from proteins. This is especially important on the days when you’re working out. You can get protein from meat, fish, low-fat dairy, nuts, and beans.
Exercising at home is great for those who always manage to find an excuse not to go to the gym. These no-equipment leg workouts can be done anywhere. If your home space is too tight or cluttered, do them in the park or even at the office.