At-Home Leg Workouts

Welcome to the ultimate guide on leg exercises at home!

Whether you have dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or no equipment at all, we’ve got you covered.

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  1. Squat
  2. Lunge
  3. Glute Bridge
  4. Deadlift (bodyweight deadlift)
  5. Calf Raises
  6. Tibialis Raise
  7. Conclusion

1. SQUAT (best leg exercise at home overall)

The squat is a fundamental lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

To perform a basic squat:
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Engage your core and keep your chest up.
  3. Bend your knees and hips simultaneously, lowering your body as if you’re sitting back into an imaginary chair.
  4. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as far as your flexibility allows.
  5. Push through your heels to return to the starting position, exhaling as you rise.
Variations:

 

Leg Exercise at Home - Squat Variations

  • Dumbbell Squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height or down by your sides to add resistance.
  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat: Hold a kettlebell close to your chest, maintaining the same squatting motion.
  • Banded Squat: Place a resistance band just above your knees, creating outward tension as you squat.
  • Bodyweight Squat: Perform squats without any equipment, focusing on proper form and control.
  • Sissy Squats: A more advanced variation, sissy squats involve leaning back while performing a squat to emphasize the quadriceps.
  • Bulgarian Split Squat: a single-leg strength exercise where one foot is elevated behind while the other performs a squatting motion, targeting various leg muscles (my favorite and most exhausting variation).
Sample Leg Workout (3 sets of 10-20 reps):
  1. Dumbbell Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps (Hold a dumbbell in each hand).
  2. Kettlebell Goblet Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps (Hold a kettlebell close to your chest).
  3. Banded Squats: 3 sets of 20 reps (Place a resistance band above your knees).
  4. Bodyweight Sissy Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps (Advanced variation, focus on form).

2. REVERSE LUNGES

The reverse lunge is a fundamental lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

To perform a basic reverse lunge:
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Engage your core and maintain an upright posture.
  3. Take a step backward with one leg, keeping your chest up.
  4. Bend both knees to lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles.
  5. Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and your back knee hovers just above the ground.
  6. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position, exhaling as you rise.
Variations:
  • Dumbbell Lunges: Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height or by your sides to intensify your lunges with added resistance.
  • Kettlebell Goblet Lunges: Increase the challenge by holding a kettlebell close to your chest while performing lunges.
  • Banded Lunges: Incorporate a resistance band just above your knees to engage your leg muscles more effectively during lunges.
  • Bodyweight Lunges: Focus on perfecting your form and control with lunges using only your bodyweight for a complete leg workout.
  • Walking Lunges: Take lunges to the next level by moving forward with each step, working on balance and coordination while targeting your leg muscles.
Sample Leg Workout (3 sets of 10-20 reps):
  1. Dumbbell Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps (Hold a dumbbell in each hand).
  2. Banded Lunges: 3 sets of 15 reps (Hold a kettlebell close to your chest).
  3. Bodyweight Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 20 reps (Place a resistance band above your knees)

3. GLUTE BRIDGE

The glute bridge is a fundamental lower body exercise that primarily targets the gluteal muscles while also engaging the hamstrings and lower back.

To perform a basic glute bridge at home:
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides, with your palms facing down.
  3. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your spine.
  4. Press through your heels, lifting your hips off the floor.
  5. Continue lifting until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  6. Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold the position for a moment.
  7. Lower your hips back down to the ground in a controlled manner.

This exercise helps strengthen the glutes, improve hip stability, and can be done effectively in the comfort of your own home.

Variations:

Ok, I will be 100% honest, the only variation I would do is to add some kind of weight on your hips. Add a Bible, maybe. A chair, your dog, your laptop. Leg exercises at home don’t need to be complicated.

Then once that’s easy, go get a light kettlebell and start doing reps with that. Once you can do 20 reps easily for 3 sets, get a new one but this time heavier. Do the same, repeat the process. Once you feel comfortable, I will try doing the bridge with both kettlebell. Of course, the process is easier if you get adjustable dumbbells.

But my healthy recommendation for your mind and schedule is to keep it simple and don’t overthink.

Sample Leg Workout at Home:

Exercise 1: Bodyweight Glute Bridges

  • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet hip-width apart.
  • Perform glute bridges as explained earlier with your body weight.

Exercise 2: Dumbbell Glute Bridges

  • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet hip-width apart, and place a dumbbell on your hips.
  • Perform glute bridges, lifting your hips while holding the dumbbell for added resistance.

4. DEADLIFT (the ultimate leg exercise at home)

The deadlift is a fundamental leg exercise at home that primarily targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and also engages the quadriceps and core muscles.

To perform a basic deadlift at home with either dumbbells or bodyweight:
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand or no equipment at all.
  2. Keep your arms extended downward, close to your body.
  3. Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine with your chest up and shoulders back.
  4. Begin the movement by hinging at your hips, pushing them back while slightly bending your knees.
  5. Lower your torso and the weights (or your hands) towards the ground while keeping them close to your body.
  6. Lower yourself until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings or when your back is parallel to the ground.
  7. Push through your heels and use your glutes and hamstrings to stand back up, returning to an upright position.
  8. Exhale as you return to the starting position.

With this you will get your leg exercises at home to the next level.

Leg Exercise At Home Variations:
  1. Dumbbell Deadlift: Perform deadlifts with a dumbbell in each hand, either using a traditional stance or a single-leg variation.
  2. Kettlebell Deadlift: Similar to the dumbbell deadlift, but using kettlebells for added resistance.
  3. Sumo Deadlift: Use a wider stance with your toes pointing slightly outward to emphasize the inner thighs and lower back.
  4. Single-Leg Deadlift: Stand on one leg while lifting a dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a household object with one hand. This variation improves balance and targets each leg individually.
  5. Romanian Deadlift (RDL): Focus on the hip hinge movement by keeping your legs relatively straight with a slight bend in the knees. Lower the weight while maintaining a neutral spine.
  6. Deficit Deadlift: Stand on an elevated surface, like a weight plate or a sturdy platform, to increase the range of motion and target the hamstrings and glutes more intensely.
  7. Stiff-Leg Deadlift: Keep your legs mostly straight throughout the movement to place more emphasis on the hamstrings and lower back.
  8. Single-Leg RDL: Combine the benefits of the single-leg deadlift and Romanian deadlift for a challenging exercise that targets the hamstrings and stabilizing muscles, great leg exercises to build unilateral strength.
  9. Trap Bar Deadlift: If you have access to a trap bar, this variation allows for a more upright torso position and can be gentler on the lower back. A leg exercise at home that requires trap bar, but I would invest in one.
  10. Dumbbell/Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand while deadlifting, focusing on core stability and balance.
  11. Elevated Deadlift: Place the weight on an elevated surface, like a sturdy box or step, to change the range of motion and recruit different muscle fibers.
  12. Banded Deadlift: Incorporate resistance bands to increase tension throughout the lift, making the exercise more challenging at the top of the movement.

5. CALF RAISES

To perform a calf raise at home:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart near a wall or a sturdy surface for balance.

Lift your heels off the ground by pushing through the balls of your feet and contracting your calf muscles, then lower them back down to complete one repetition.

Variations:

Not a lot of variation to do this leg exercise at home.

Follow the instruction, add some bands or dumbbells and do high reps.

It will make them stronger.

Sample Workout:

Add this exercise at the end of all your leg day, perform 2 to 3 sets for 20 to 30 reps.

6. TIBIALIS RAISES

Leg Exercise at Home - Squat Variations

Tibialis raises, also known as shin raises, are a lower leg exercise that targets the muscles in the front of the lower leg, specifically the tibialis anterior.

To perform them, sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Keeping your heels on the ground, lift your toes and the front of your feet as high as possible while contracting your shin muscles, then lower them back down. This exercise can help improve lower leg strength and stability.

Not a lot of variations in this one. You can do them on a bench, but I would highly recommend to buy a Tibialis Raise Bar:

tibialis raise bar leg exercise at home

CONCLUSION FOR LEG EXERCISES AT HOME

In conclusion, building strong and toned legs from the comfort of your home is not only achievable but also convenient.

The variety of exercises we’ve explored today ensures you have options, whether you’re using equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands or just your own bodyweight.

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