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Leg workouts are like the unsung heroes of your fitness routine. Simple, yet incredibly effective.

15 Leg Workout Exercises To Try Out
A man working out in the gym

When you put your legs to work with exercises like squats and lunges, you’re not just aiming for killer thighs; you’re signing up for a total-body transformation.

Think about your daily routine—walking, climbing stairs—it all starts with your legs. Strengthening them isn’t just about looks; it’s about building a solid foundation for your overall health.

Related: High Intensity Training: Secret to a Better Health

What is a Leg Workout?

What is a leg workout?

Regular leg exercises target key muscle groups, like the quads and hamstrings, giving you toned legs and a boost to your metabolism.

The beauty of leg workouts lies in their simplicity. No need for fancy moves—just straightforward, effective exercises that pay off in more ways than one.

Strong legs mean improved balance, better posture, and a reduced risk of injuries.

So, when you’re thinking about your fitness game, don’t underestimate the power of a good leg day. It’s not just about fitness; it’s about making life a bit easier and feeling stronger from the ground up.

Keep it simple. Keep it effective. Leg day, here you come!

Related: 7 Exercises That Increase Blood Flow To The Groin

15 Leg Workout Exercises To Try Out

It’s essential to target the different parts of the legs, such as the complete posterior chain, including the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lats, and the muscles along the spine, during leg workouts.

These efforts not only contribute to a well-rounded leg routine but also provide long-term benefits by enhancing overall performance.

1. Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift

How To:

  1. Grasp a barbell using a grip that is shoulder-width apart, and position yourself with your feet at a hip-width distance.
  2. Hinge at your hips, extending them as much as possible.
  3. Let your knees flex as necessary while lowering the bar along your shins until you sense a stretch in your hamstrings.
  4. Maintain the natural arch in your lower back throughout the movement.

Engage your glutes as you move back to the starting position. This action helps alleviate stress on your lower back. The Romanian Deadlift works on your Hamstrings.

2. Dumbbell Stepup

Dumbbell Stepup
Dumbbell Stepup

How To:

  1. Position yourself behind a bench or a raised surface that allows your thigh to become parallel to the floor when you place your foot onto it.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and step onto the bench, ensuring that your trailing leg hangs off the edge.
  3. Step back down to the starting position and repeat using the other leg.

Ensure that you place your entire foot on the bench or elevated surface as you step up. Avoid catching it with just your toe or heel, as this could lead to imbalance.

The dumbbell step-up works on the quads, calves, and glutes.

3. Swiss Ball Leg Curl

Swiss Ball Leg Curl
Swiss Ball Leg Curl

How To:

  1. Tighten your abdominal muscles while keeping your heels positioned on a stability ball.
  2. Elevate your hips upward while maintaining straight knees.
  3. Subsequently, flex your knees and roll the stability ball back toward your body.
  4. Maintain lifted hips consistently throughout the entire set.

Sustain activation in your core throughout the exercise to prevent your hips from dipping.

Additionally, perform this movement on a surface that facilitates smooth movement of the stability ball without the risk of slipping.

This works on your glutes and hamstrings.

4. Leg Press

Leg Press
Leg Press

How To:

  1. Modify the seat of the machine to ensure a comfortable sitting position with your hips below your knees and your knees aligned with your feet.
  2. Take off the safety mechanisms and lower your knees toward your chest until they are bent at a 90-degree angle, then push back up.

Exercise caution and avoid going too low to prevent your lower back from lifting off the seat, as this can pose a risk of injury. Leg press works the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads.

5. Walking Lunge

Walking Lunge
Walking Lunge

How To:

  1. Position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Take a step forward with your rear leg to initiate the next repetition.

To avoid drifting or zig-zagging while walking, identify a focal point and maintain your gaze on it. This will help you walk in a straight line with your knees kept straight. This helps your quads and glutes.

6. Dumbbell Squat

Dumbbell Squat
Dumbbell Squat

How To:

  1. Grasp the weights at shoulder level and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Lower your body into a squat position as deeply as possible without compromising the natural arch in your lower back.

Shift your weight onto your heels as you descend into the squat. This helps prevent your torso from leaning forward and maintains proper leverage during the exercise.

7. Jump Squat

Jump Squat
Jump Squat

How To:

  1. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are approximately parallel to the floor, avoiding a deeper squat.
  2. Leap into the air with maximum effort, aiming to achieve the highest point in your jump.
  3. Touch down with soft knees and proceed to initiate the next repetition.

Execute this exercise on a surface that is semi-soft yet sturdy to safeguard your joints. Suitable options include a workout mat, grass, or carpet.

8. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

How To:

  1. Assume a lunge position by kneeling down with your right leg in front, and if possible, place a towel or mat under your back knee for added comfort.
  2. Stretch your left hand overhead while allowing your right hand to hang by your side.
  3. Engage your left glute and push your hips forward, experiencing a stretch in the front of your hip.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

As this is a stretch rather than a lifting movement, you might instinctively sway into it.

Maintain a stable position and breathe steadily throughout the duration of the stretch to allow your muscles to fully experience the impact.

9.  Jumping Calf Raise

Jumping Calf Raise
Jumping Calf Raise

How To:

  1. Erect posture with both feet planted firmly on the floor.
  2. Leap vertically by flexing your calves, propelling yourself off the ground.
  3. Touch down gently, absorbing the impact by descending into a half-squat position.

Rather than landing flat-footed, which can place stress on your joints, initiate contact with the balls of your feet first.

Then, smoothly transition to your heels as you descend into the half-squat position.

10. Barbell Hip Thrust

Barbell Hip Thrust
Barbell Hip Thrust

How To:

  1. Position your upper back on a bench while sitting on the floor with your legs extended.
  2. Roll a loaded barbell up your thighs until it rests on your lap. Consider placing a towel or mat on your hips or attaching a pad to the bar for added comfort.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles and press your heels into the floor to extend your hips, lifting them until your thighs and upper body are parallel to the floor.

Maintain your feet flat on the floor throughout the entire repetition, avoiding the tendency to rise onto the balls of your feet.

Ensure that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle to support this stability.

11. Single-leg Glute Bridge

Single-leg Glute Bridge
Single-leg Glute Bridge

How To:

  1. Recline on your back on the floor and bend both knees, bringing your feet close to your buttocks.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift one leg just below the point of your bent knee, straightening it with your toes pointed upward.
  3. Contract your glutes, lift your hips, and press the heel of the opposite foot into the floor.
  4. Elevate your hips until your body forms a straight line.

Ensure that the hinge during each bridge stops at your upper back and does not extend to your neck.

12. Seated Calf Raise

Leg Workout
Seated Calf Raise

How To:

  1. Utilize a seated calf raise machine or sit on a bench with the balls of your feet positioned on a block or step. Hold dumbbells on your thighs to add resistance.
  2. Execute a calf raise, but maintain a 90-degree bend in both your hips and knees throughout the movement.

Strive to complete three sets of 15-20 repetitions.

13. Kettlebell Press-Out

Kettlebell Press-Out
Kettlebell Press-Out

How To:

  1. Grasp the weight close to your chest at shoulder level, holding the handle with both hands and ensuring that your palms are facing each other.
  2. Lower into a deep squat, then extend your arms and press the weight straight out in front of you.
  3. Return the weight to your chest and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions while maintaining the squat position.

The positioning of your feet is crucial for this exercise. Ensure that your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes slightly pointed outward.

14. Sumo Squat to Stand

Sumo Squat to Stand
Sumo Squat to Stand

How To:

  1. Lean forward at the waist, either reaching underneath your big toes or touching your palms to the floor.
  2. Maintain straight arms positioned inside your knees, pull your hips down until they are between your ankles, and lift your chest.
  3. Tuck your chin and endeavour to extend your legs, grasping onto your toes as you simultaneously straighten your hips and knees.

Move into the standing position slowly to allow yourself to feel the stretch without risking injury.

15. Weighted Wall Sit

Weighted Wall Sit
Weighted Wall Sit

How To:

  1. Lean against a wall, then slide your hips down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  2. Grasp a weight and hold it in front of your chest.
  3. Maintain this position for a minimum of 30 seconds.

While in the sitting position, ensure that your hips remain slightly above your knees to maintain optimal leverage.

Leg workouts aren’t just about building a pair of sculpted thighs. They’re the foundation of a stronger, more resilient you.

Whether you’re mastering squats, lunges, or exploring deadlift variations, the benefits extend beyond aesthetics.

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Strengthening the entire posterior chain, improving balance, and honing core stability contribute to toned legs and enhance overall performance and well-being.

So, the next time you lace up your workout shoes for leg day, remember that simplicity meets effectiveness, and the dividends go beyond the gym, empowering you to move through life with strength and confidence.

Keep it simple. Keep it strong.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What workout is best with legs?

1. Curtsy Lunges
2. Bottom Leg Lift Left
3. Bottom Leg Lift Right
4. Sumo Squat
5. Fire Hydrant Right
6. Fire Hydrant Left
7. Burpees
8. Glute Kick Back Left
9. Glute Kick Back Right
10. Wall Sit

2. Are 5 exercises enough for the legs?

It’s important to customize your workout based on your goals. If you’re focusing on strength, you might perform fewer exercises with heavier weights and lower reps.

For muscle endurance or toning, you might choose lighter weights with higher reps and more exercises. Listen to your body, and if you feel you need more or fewer exercises, adjust accordingly.

Always prioritize proper form and safety.

3. What is the best exercise to grow your legs?

Barbell Squats
Leg Press
Leg Extensions
Leg Curls
Calf Raises

4. What is the best day to work out your legs?

Any day of the week
Early in the week
Later in the week
Based on individual recovery
Based on a training split

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