Going to the gym can be hard when you have a busy lifestyle. Even if your busy you want to stay in shape. One of the most important parts of the body to work is the legs because this area burns the most calories and stronger legs make you a better athlete over all.
Working the legs helps improve body composition, balance, strength and bone density. Having strong legs will help prevent injuries when you’re doing a cardio program such as biking and running.
We’ve put together some key exercises to help get your legs in shape from the comfort of your own home. The best part is you don’t need any equipment to do them.
Here is our guide to workout your legs at home
One leg squat
The one leg squat is one of my favorite exercises to work the legs and all you’ll need is a chair to get started. If your new to one leg squats you might need to use a book or pillow to elevate the body to make it a little easier. The one leg squat builds strength and stability. Muscles worked in the exercise are the glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors and abductors. Because of the balance component you’ll feel some of the smaller muscles in the legs firing. One of the reasons I like to use the one leg squat is that it balances the strength on each leg.
Here is a video showing you how to do the one leg squat. The video has modifications to help you get started if you’re new to the exercise.
Jump squats are a great way to get a cardio and strength workout from home. Every time my clients do them they end up out of breath by the end of the set. The jump squat works the glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors and abductors. If you notice your knees caving in when you land on the jump squat you should invest in an exercise band to work the abductors to correct the issue. Jump squats are a wonderful way to develop power in the legs by working the fast twitch muscle fibers. If you’re a running jump squats are good for adding a little power to your stride. You don’t need any equipment for the jump squat. If you have bad knees you may want to skip this exercise. This is a simple exercise for your legs at home.
Here is a video showing you how to do the jump squat.
One leg bridge
The one leg bridge is great for glute engagement and will complement the other leg exercises. The one leg bridge works mainly glutes and hamstrings. This exercise is a wonderful choice for runners because it works the muscles that you’ll need for the sport. If you work in an office you most likely will have tight hip flexors. Doing one leg bridges will help counteract the muscle imbalance from sitting all day.
Here is a video for the one leg bridge
Lunges are one of my favor exercises because it provides a nice stretch to the hip flexors while building strength in the glutes, hamstrings and quads. The lunge is an accessory exercise for squat and you should do your squat exercises before doing lunges. If you want to make the lunge more challenging, you can do jumping lunges instead of standard. It’s a easy workout for your legs at home.
Here is a video explaining how to do the lunge.
Calf raises are a great isolation exercise that you can do from home using one of your steps. Many people have balance issues because of weakness in the ankle joint. Doing calf raises can help build strength in the ankle joint which is pay you back as you age. The calf raise is an accessory exercise that should be done after all your big movements like the squat and lunge. I usually save this exercise until the end of my workout.
Here is a video explaining how to do the calf raise.
Sumo Jump squat
The sumo jump squat is one of my favorite exercises for clients. Many of my clients don’t share in the excitement for them because they make the legs burn quite a bit. I recommend them because it works the legs in a different way than the standard jump squat. The sumo jump squat provides some work in the frontal plane of motion which is important. The sumo jump squat is a great workout for the inner thighs (adductors). If you have bad knees you should skip this exercise.
Here is a video showing how to do the sumo jump squat.
Plank with leg lift
Yes, this is a core exercise but I like to add it into my leg day because it works the legs and the core at the same time. The plank with leg lift works all the core muscles, glutes and hamstrings. I recommend doing this at the end of the workout because it is an accessory exercise.
Here is a video explaining how to do the exercise
Working out at the gym can take up a lot of time and working out from home might help you save time. Working out the legs burns a lot of calories, helps build strength, balance, and bone density. Try adding these exercises into the mix and see how you feel after a few weeks.
Check out our article on how to burn calories while working out