No matter if you’re a fitness newbie or fitness junkie who loves the gym, bodyweight training is always a great choice. You can do different body weight exercises for legs anytime, anywhere.
In today’s article, I will tackle a lot of bodyweight exercises for legs that don’t require lifting weights but will help you activate and tone your legs and butt in the comfort of your home.
I will explain what each exercise targets specifically and provide a step-by-step video on how to perform them. That being said, let’s kick things off with some killer exercises for calves.
What Exercises Are Good For Calves?
You can easily strengthen your calves by walking, running, and hiking, especially when you move uphill. Note that the steeper the hike, the bigger the pressure on your calves.
I prefer running sports such as basketball, soccer, and tennis because they require jumping, running, and pushing off calf muscles to extend and change directions pretty quickly.
However, body weight exercises for legs such as double-leg calf raise, single-leg calf raises, and seated calf raises can also help you develop your calves. Now, let’s discuss each exercise.
Best Calf Strengthening Exercises
Double-leg calf raise
Calf raises make the ideal strengthening exercise because it targets your calves. The double-leg calf raise utilizes your weight to activate and strengthen your soleus and gastrocnemius.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do Double-Leg Calf Raise
Single-leg calf raise
If you want to step up your calf game, you can try a single-leg calf raise. This variation of the exercise puts more pressure on your calves and since you’re doing raises on one leg at a time.
Watch this Video: Guide On How To Perform Single-Leg Calf Raise
Seated calf raise
You can do seated calf raises both at home or your favorite gym on the calf exercise machine. It targets both your soleus and gastrocnemius and provides great results over time.
Watch this Video: Learn How To Do Seated Calf Raises
Best Bodyweight Exercise For Hamstrings
Hamstrings aren’t popular muscle groups that people think of strengthening. However, they play a great part in developing your legs and gaining that look of toned legs. That being said, let’s learn exercises that can help you tackle your hamstrings and obtain overall well-developed, toned legs.
This seemingly simple exercise stretches the hamstrings and glutes of your front legs. It also targets your back leg and hip flexors.
I love this exercise because it’s ideal for toning your hamstrings, ankles, calves, thighs, low back, hips, as well as improving balance.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do Knee Hugs Properly
The popular hand walk doesn’t only lengthen hamstrings and lower-back muscles but also boosts your stability in your core and shoulders.
During the walkout, you will feel every part of your body being tackled. It’s a great way to target many parts of your body including your abs.
Watch this Video: Beginner’s Guide On Hand Walk
The inverted hamstring doesn’t only activate your hamstrings but also tests your core strength and balance. It’s a great way to boost your mobility and flexibility throughout your hamstrings.
Watch this Video: Tutorial On How To Perform Inverted Hamstring
This move strengthens your hamstrings, hips, glutes, quadriceps, and calves while also putting pressure on your inner thighs and abductors.
It’s a great way to boost flexibility in your hamstrings. Just place your feet broader than hip-width apart. The exercise is simple but effective.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do Sumo Squat-To-Stand Properly
Unweighted Romanian deadlift
The unweighted Romanian deadlift is a popular hamstring exercise that helps develop better strength in both your hamstrings and back.
You can use a broom handle or something similar for this exercise. Keep your back flat and tilt your hips. This will target your hamstrings.
Watch this Video: Learn How To Do The Unweighted Romanian Deadlift
Lunge elbow to instep
You can use this exercise as a warm-up. Also known as the world’s greatest stretch, this motion targets your hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, lats, obliques, and groin.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Execute Lunge Elbow To Instep With Rotation
The lateral lunge plays a key part in different spots as well as everyday movements. However, it’s usually ignored at the gym which is devastating because it targets your glutes, quads, and of course, hamstrings. It also helps develop strength, stability, and reduces cellulite.
Watch this Video: See If You’re Doing Lateral Lunges The Wrong Way
Sliding leg curls
If you’re looking for a good alternative to seated leg curls, opt for sliding leg curbs because they activate your hamstrings and engage your glutes, core, and lower back.
With sliding leg curls, your bodyweight acts as resistance. Therefore, it’s the perfect choice for newbies or individuals recovering from injuries and need a little stretch.
Watch this Video: Guide On How To Do Sliding Leg Curls
This exercise helps with power production. It helps you obtain better control over your hips, ankles, and knees during explosive moves.
It targets specific muscles such as your core, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calf muscles. However, it’s still considered a full-body workout.
Therefore, if you want to boost your leg power and seriously challenge your hamstrings, give the lateral bound a try during your training.
Watch this Video: Tutorial On How To Do Lateral Bound
Lastly, I have a move that will put your hamstrings to work while also improving your coordination. This stretching and cardiovascular exercise also target your hip flexors, glutes, and calves.
Watch this Video: Demonstration Of Straight Leg-Skipping
How Do You Strengthen Your Hips And Quads?
The quads include four muscles situated at the front of your thighs. And they’re the strongest muscles in your body that extend your legs right at the knee joint and stabilize your knee.
Meaning, they work together to help you walk, run, stand, or move around. The hips, on the other hand, operate together with your quads, glutes, and hamstrings and carry your body’s weight.
When training your hips, you’re actually activating your hip flexors and adductor group of muscles. They act as stabilizers and movers, so they’re responsible for extension, flexion, and rotation.
However, which exercises offer the best results for these muscles? Squat and squat variations along with lunge and reverse lunge work best, so let’s take a closer look at these exercises.
Squat and squat variations
The squat is the most popular body weight exercises for legs that even bodybuilders do to enhance the muscles in their legs but they usually do it with heavyweights for even more explosive results.
However, doing squats without heavy weights can also deliver excellent results. So, to get the most from your squats, keep the squat position for a couple of seconds before pulling yourself up.
Usually, slower and controlled moves deliver better results with most exercises including squats so keep that in mind. Doing this will fully engage your muscles and you will notice the difference.
Variations of squats can also provide a great leg workout. A couple of squat variations that don’t require any weights that offer great results include pistol squat, shrimp squat, and split squat.
Watch this Video: 21 Bodyweight Squat Variations
Forward and reverse lunge
Lunges target your hamstrings (the muscles on the back of your upper legs). However, they also activate your glutes and hip flexors, especially if you do a reverse lunge. Both exercises also decrease the chance of developing a muscle imbalance, so they come with different benefits.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Perform Forward and Reverse Lunges
How To Tone Up Legs And Bum Fast?
You can easily tone up your legs and bum quickly with the help of a few exercises that will deliver results in just 2-4 weeks after you start your bodyweight leg workout at home.
They will also help you jump, walk, and balance better. The key exercises that can tone your legs include squats, lunges, plank leg lifts, single-leg deadlifts, and stability ball knee tucks.
However, other exercises like step-ups, box jumps, speedskater jumps, resistance band leg presses, and bridges can also activate your whole legs and provide great results over time.
Squats and lunges work your legs, butt, abs, and hips but they’re also excellent for resolving back issues. The plank leg lifts, on the other hand, target your core, hips, and upper body.
The same goes for single-leg deadlifts and stability ball knee tucks. They will put your hips, butt, and legs to work and improve your stability. They’re straightforward but very effective.
The step-ups, box jumps, speedskater jumps, resistance band leg presses, and bridges also activate your legs, hips, butt, and thighs, but also boost your lunging power and flexibility.
Watch this Video: Intense 5 Minute Hip and Glute Workout At Home
Extra Tips on How to Tone Up Legs And Bum Fast
Everyone wants toned legs and butt. And everyone seems to think that improving their backside is very hard. However, they couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s rather simple!
As you probably know, your butt is basically another muscle that you can strengthen. The same goes for your legs since they’re composed of muscles that can be targeted and improved.
However, training isn’t the only thing that matters. Cleaning up your diet is also important. While doing that, include the exercises mentioned above and consider the following tips.
You can achieve great results with only body weight exercises for legs. However, utilizing dumbbells will speed up the process. You can either purchase them or use the ones at workout centers.
Watch this Video: Best Dumbbell Exercises For Butt and Legs
Try Pilates or yoga
Although Pilates and yoga will relax your body and improve your flexibility, they will also activate various parts of your body such as your butt, so you can try either and see the results!
Watch this Video: Learn The Difference Between Yoga And Pilates
Body Weight Exercises for Legs with Added Weight
Adding 5-10 pounds weights to your regular leg and butt exercises will provide faster results. So, opt for the heaviest weights you can lift. You will do fewer reps but get better results.
Watch this Video: Workout At Home For Beginners (Dumbbells Only)
Can You Build Leg Muscle Without Weights?
I will wrap up this article with a short answer to this common question. Yes, you can definitely build leg muscle without weights but different people will benefit from different exercises.
And some will experience better results than others based on many factors such as consistency and diet. Bodyweight training is also a great way to increase strength, flexibility, and persistence.
For instance, doing 100 squats per day for a month will help you strengthen your leg muscles and lower body. What’s your opinion? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below! Let us know your favorite body weight exercises for legs from this list.