Leg day exercises can be your favorite part of your workout week or it can be what you dread most. There are also a lot of other reasons why we neglect leg day. For example, if you can’t get to the gym right now, don’t even have a gym membership, don’t have the time, don’t have the equipment, the list goes on. Whether you love them or you hate them, wouldn’t it be easier if you had some simple leg day exercises that you can do anywhere? Wish granted. We have a whole list of them! With summer coming up, you’ll be glad you didn’t skip leg day.
1. Classic squat with leg raise
Squats are one of many classic leg day exercises and are almost always apart of our work out routine. They are a great go-to because they are simple, easy and can be done in a small space. They also give your legs a good workout while only using your own body weight. So, start with your feet a little bit wider than hip-width distance apart. Bring your hands to fist and hold them up to your chest or straight out in front of you with flat palms. Squat down until your knees come to a 90-degree angle, and when you come up bring your right leg back behind you or you can bring your leg to the side of you for a quick leg pulse. When you bring your leg back down, do another squat. Repeat by alternating each leg after each squat. Do this about 25-30 times. This exercise will work both your thighs and glutes.
2. Lunges with a criss-cross jump
Lunges help strengthen your lunges and joints. These are also easy to do in a small area. First, stand up straight and step with one foot forward. Jump up and switch your legs so your opposite foot is forward, hence the criss-cross motion. Repeat this four times. Then, come back down with one foot forward just like how you began. You can step close or far away depending on how challenging you want the exercise to be. Bend into the step until your knee comes to a 90-degree angle. Come back up with both legs straight and begin the criss-cross jumping again. Be sure to come back down on the opposite leg than before. Do this about 25 times.
This is one of the more simple workouts for leg-day exercises, but when done multiple times, it can make you really feel the burn. This exercise works best if you have steps near you or even a block or chair would work. Stand in front of the step and step up with your right leg and come back down with the right leg. Alternate legs and turn up the pace. This works your thighs, glutes, and even adds an element of cardio to bring up your heart-rate.
This one looks just like it sounds, a clamshell. Begin laying on your side, with your legs stacked on top of one another. Bring your legs to a bend. Lift the top leg up like the opening of a clamshell. Repeat this opening and closing about 15-20 times each leg. You can also add a kick with eh top leg in-between the opening of the clamshell to add more of a work out to the glute.
5. Down-Dog with leg raise
This one is also easy and simple, but when done repeatedly for a long time, it can be a good work out. Start in Downward Dog. If you don’t know this yoga pose, just come on all fours and lift your hips to the air so your body is in an “A” shape. Once in this position, simply lift one leg as high as it can go, and set it back down. Alternate each leg and do this about 30 times. This not only works your legs but you’ll feel your core getting a work out as well as you hold the position steady.
6. Cafe raises
Another simple go-to is cafe raises. These are normally done with weights to really get a good exercise in, however, if you do these multiple times at a fairly quick pace, you’ll get the same results. So stand a hip-width distance apart. Raise up to your tip-toes and come back down with your feet flat on the ground. Complete this motion for about 25-30 times.
7. Jump-rope hops
Don’t have a jump rope or room to jump rope? No problem. You can still do the same action and get the same workout without actually jumping rope. Simply stand with your feet close together and begin jumping up and down. You can even hold your hands at your side like you are twirling the rope to help you keep the motion going. This will get the heart-rate up while working the leg muscles.
8. Sumo squats with leg circles
This exercise offers a twist on the squat or rather a circle. Begin standing with your feet together and raise your right leg up so your knee is to your chest and use your hip to move in a circular motion, opening up and landing on the right side in a large stance for a deep squat or sumo squat. Bring your left leg out of the squat, up to your chest and repeat the circular motion and coming back down into another squat. Do this about 20-25 times. This will not only work the glutes and thighs but also stretch out those hips which feels great!
9. Single-leg bend with toe taps
This will be one of the more challenging leg day exercises but still easy to do anywhere. Stand with your feet at hip-width distance. Come to a bend in your right leg, this requires some balance as you lift your left leg for the taps. Lift your leg to tap a spot directly in front of you and then lift up and slowly bring it to the side of you and tap. Do this about 15-20 times for each leg.
10. Donkey kicks
Really work those glutes with one of these leg day exercises. First, come on all fours and lift one leg to the air but keep it bent at the knee. Pulse your leg up and down about 20-25 times each leg. You’ll feel it in your core as you try to keep your balance, your arms as you keep yourself propped up, and of course, your glutes as you raise the leg up. This can also be done with elastic bands and weights if you have them.