Are you sick of performing the same squats and lunges over and over?
While it’s true that these basic, foundational exercises are awesome for strengthening and toning your lower body, there are plenty of other exercises you can do to target your glutes, quads, calf muscles and hamstrings.
Here, we’ve put together a killer, lower-body workout comprised of six leg circuit exercises.
Try it out for yourself!
1. Calf Raises
There’s no excuse not to work your calves, which need toning too; the best workout for calves are calf raises.
- Stand on the edge of a short step or platform with your toes pointed forward, and slowly raise your heels to stand on your toes.
- It should be a slow, gradual movement.
- Hold the top of the movement for about a second and return to the start position.
- To add more resistance and really grow your calf muscles, you could do the workouts while holding a pair of dumbbells.
- Be sure to stretch out your calf muscles and Achilles tendons before the workout.
2. Lateral Box Jumps
Lateral box jumps might seem like kids’ play before you start, but when you get going you’ll soon realize they’re much more taxing than they look.
- You’ll need a sturdy box or platform that can carry your weight.
- All you have to do is to jump sideways on the box while switching feet on the box.
- Be sure to tighten your core for maximum engagement.
- Bend your knees slightly each time you land with each jump.
3. Single-Leg Deadlift
Deadlifts are excellent exercises for building the major muscles of the legs, but the single leg deadlift adds an extra dimension of promoting balance and coordination. Restricting all the explosive movement of a deadlift to a single leg greatly intensifies the strengthening process of each muscle.
- Stand on one leg and lift the other leg slightly off the ground while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Stretch the hanging leg backward and reach both dumbbells in your hands down towards the ground.
- Return to the starting position to complete one rep.
4. Hip Thrusts
Apart from being great for your glutes and hamstrings, these exercises are also great for your entire lower body area.
- Start the exercise seated on the ground with your hands behind your shoulders and supporting your upper body.
- Your legs should in front of you, with your knees pointed toward the sky.
- Lift your hips up toward the ceiling so your body forms a table supported by your arms and legs.
- Hold the position at the top of the movement for about two seconds, and return to the starting position.
- The movement needs to be driven from your hips and should go through the full range of motion.
5. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls
You’ll need a Swiss ball for this exercise to really work the glutes and hamstrings.
- Lie on your back on a mat and place the Swiss ball under your heels.
- Lift your hips off the ground so that the entire body rests on your shoulders and your arms.
- Pull the stability ball to your butt with your heels and roll it back out to the starting point for one rep.
6. Wall Sits
These leg workouts are great for rounding off your full leg routine.
- Sit with your back against a wall with your shoulders and your lower back against the wall.
- Your hips and legs should form a 90-degree angle to the floor.
- Sit and hold the position for 40 seconds.