These leg exercises will strengthen, tighten, and tone your butt, quads, hamstrings, calves, and more — and all without any clunky gym equipment. All you’ll need is a swiss ball, some dumbbells and a box to jump on to feel the burn in your legs.
Incorporate these seven exercises into your routine for toned, shapely legs that go on for days.
1. Calf Raises
Calves often go overlooked, especially by fitness newbies. Here, you’ll target those calves head on.
- Get a short step or platform and with your toes pointed straight ahead, slowly lift your heels to stand on your tiptoes.
- It should be a slow, deliberate movement that engages both calves.
- Hold the top of the movement for about a second before lowering your body to the initial position.
To add more resistance for greater muscle growth, you could do the workouts by holding a pair of dumbbells.
2. Box Jumps
This move may remind you of a game you played as a kid, but it’s more of a challenge than it might seem.
- You’ll need a sturdy box or platform that can comfortably hold your weight.
- Jump up onto the box and hold a squat at the top.
- Be sure to hold and tighten the muscles of your core.
- Don’t forget to keep your knees slightly bent each time you land with each box jump to cushion against the impact.
- Jump down and repeat for one rep.
3. Single-Leg Deadlift
Deadlifts are rightly renowned for building strong hamstrings and glutes, but the single-leg deadlift provides the added bonus of promoting balance and coordination with each downward movement.
- Stand on one leg and hold the other leg a few inches above the ground.
- While holding two dumbbells in both hands or a heavy weight like a medicine ball, lift the floating leg backwards and reach both dumbbells in your hands down toward the ground.
- Return to the start to complete a rep.
4. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges aren’t only great for your glutes, they also provide a great workout for your thighs, pelvic region and core.
- Begin lying face up on your mat, knees bent and your arms flat beside you.
- Lift your hips up toward the roof so your body forms a completely flat bridge between your arms and legs.
- With each thrust, hold the position at the top of the movement for about two seconds before returning to the starting position.
- The movement needs to be driven from your hips and should go through a full range of motion.
5. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls
You’ll need a Swiss ball for this exercise, which works both the glutes and hamstrings.
- Lie on your back on a mat and place your legs and heels on top of a Swiss ball.
- Raise your hips off the ground so that the shoulders and upper back bears the weight of your upper body.
- In one motion, pull the stability ball toward your butt and roll it back out to the starting position with your heels for one rep.
6. Wall Sits
These exercises are great for warming down after gruelling workout.
- Sit with your back against a wall.
- Be sure not to round your back when it’s against the wall.
- Your head should be held straight and only your upper and lower back areas should come in contact with the wall.
- It should appear as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair.
- Hold the position for a minimum of 40 seconds.
7. Bulgarian Split Squats
This exercise could be done with or without weights to give you tighter glutes and stronger quads.
- Find a bench or raised platform to place one of your legs on; the other leg should be supporting your weight.
- Slowly squat down on the supporting leg to form a 90-degree angle and come back up for one squat.
- Repeat the motion with the other leg.