Who said you need a gym to get in shape? Actually, you don’t need a gym, a personal trainer or any equipment at all to get a great workout; although, sometimes those things do help.
But if they’re not your style or simply just don’t fit into your budget, you can still get fit and strong using bodyweight workouts.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different equipment-free exercises you can perform using just your bodyweight as resistance, but if you’re looking for some new and interesting ways to target your leg muscles, you can work on building your lower body strength with the following five bodyweight exercises.
Perform three to five sets of this five-exercise sequence following the repetition recommendations for each exercise.
1. Single-Leg Bridge
Lie on you back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground about fingertip distance from your rear. Raise your hips towards the ceiling to lift your bottom off the floor. Keep your core tight as you slowly lift your left leg off the ground and extend your knee to straighten it completely (as pictured above). Holding your left leg up, slowly lower your bottom towards the ground, tapping it lightly to the floor before lifting back up again. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps before switching legs and repeating on the other side.
2. Frog Jumps
With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart, begin in a low squat position with your hands on the floor (like a frog). Be sure to keep your chest upright and your core engaged. When you’re ready, push through your legs to jump up as a high as you can, reaching your arms above your head. Land as lightly as possible and return back to the starting position. Repeat at a moderate to quick pace for 10 to 15 reps.
3. Low Lunge Hover
Start standing with your feet about hip-width distance apart. Lower into a lunge by stepping your right foot back, making sure to keep your left knee aligned over your ankle and at a 90-degree angle. Raise your arms over your head, keeping them as straight as possible as you hinge slightly at the waist so that your chest moves towards your left thigh. Slowly lift your right leg off the ground as you straighten your left and hinge at the waist so that your torso is almost parallel with the floor. (Keep your core tight to maintain balance and only go as far as you feel comfortable.) Hold for 3 to 5 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps on each side.
4. Sumo Squat + Calf Raise
Start standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart and your feet turned slightly outward. Keep your core engaged and your chest upright as you slowly squat down, making sure to sit back into your heels while keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Slowly return to the starting position and then push up through your calves to rise onto the balls of your feet. Slowly lower down to a flat-foot position and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
5. Clam Shell
Lie on your left side with your knees slightly bent, one leg on top of the other. Support your neck with your left hand and place your right hand on the floor in front of you lightly. Slowly lift your right knee up and away from your left leg. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10 to 15 reps on each side.