It’s not always possible to get to the gym, work commitments, family life, the weather, we all get those days from time to time. To help you out, we’ve put together 10 fantastic home leg workouts to try in the comfort of your own living room. Don’t forget warm up first, however!
A good old squat is the go-to stretch to really get those thighs and glutes working hard. Squats can be difficult at first as sometimes you naturally want to bend your knees. If you are sitting on a chair, lean forward, lift yourself up slightly, and remove the chair so the weight is on your heels. There’s your squat position!
Ever tied your shoelace? You’ve been lunging all this time, probably without even knowing it! If you’re going to be exercising at home then the lunge is a great home leg workout. Take a large step forward with a leg (as most people tend to use legs to move about) and lower the other leg. It’s important to keep your front shin vertical and your rear foot stretched out behind you. A successful lunge will work your hips, hamstrings, quads and glutes.
Single-Leg Calf Raises
Even standing on tiptoes can be a great stretching mechanism. Stand with your feet apart, and hands on hips, raise your left knee up to hip level, and then stand on your tiptoes on your right foot. It’s a lot harder on just one foot, isn’t it? But this is an absolute gem of a home leg workout to stretch those calves. Swap legs and repeat and you’ll be springing around the house in no time.
A little bit harder than the regular squat, but if you’ve mastered those, then give these a go. Instead of squatting on both legs, squat on one leg and keep the other straight. So while you’re sitting back into a regular squat on one leg, lift the other to about hip height. It’s trickier, but will really power those glutes into overdrive!
A natural progression from the standard squat is the squat jump. When you’re mid-squat, take a jump! Into the air, as high as you can (keeping an eye out for any low-hanging light shades), and when you land, go straight into another squat. It’s boss level squatting and a hugely effective home leg workout.
High Knee toe Taps
One of the benefits of doing leg workouts at home is that you don’t have to find any gym equipment. If you’ve got a hard chair, robust low table or perhaps a small wall if you’re doing it in the garden, you can utilise these in your home workout with a high knee toe tap. Put your hands on your hips and a toe on the chair, or whatever you’re using, and then swap legs and tap your right foot on the chair, alternating sides rapidly, or at a comfortable speed. It’ll certainly get your heart racing, and your legs moving. (Everyone Active takes no responsibility for any damaged furniture!)
Feared by PE students up and down the country, the wall sit is a true test of stamina and strength in the leg department. Yet, it’s one of the easiest home leg workouts you can do. Find a wall (a nice, smooth, vertical type), lean with your back against it and slide down until your legs are at a right angle. When the thighs are parallel to the ground, you’ll feel it! Your legs will be working overtime to keep you up, but don’t overdo it, you need those muscles to stand back up!
Leg raises are some of the best home leg workouts you can do. The best leg raises you can try when exercising at home are side and inner thigh. You need a bit of lying down room so find yourself a nice spacious bit of the house, lie down and try the raises. For a side leg raise, lie on your side with your legs straight, one above the other. Use your arm to prop your torso up so your upper body isn’t lying on the floor, and use your hip muscles to lift your top leg toward the ceiling, nice and steady.
For more of a challenge, shuffle around for the Inner Thigh lift. Instead of lifting your top leg to the ceiling, cross it over your bottom leg so the foot is in front of the other knee, and the foot is pointing the same way as your torso is facing. Now lift your bottom leg towards the ceiling. It won’t get as high, and it will feel more of a struggle, but a few of these will really boost your flexibility as those muscles grow.
Quad Hip Extension
You may know this home leg workout as the Glute Kickback. You’ll start on your hands and knees (so you’ll get a good close-up view of whether you need to do the vacuuming) and with your spine straight, making sure your upper body is completely straight and level. Then, lift one leg so your heel is pointing towards the ceiling, but keeping it straight and not bending your knee. This will give your glutes a tense squeeze and get the blood pumping.
Go For A Walk!
Okay, it might not be a bona fide “at home” exercise, but if you can, go for a short walk – alone, or with your family – down the road and back. Walking is vastly underrated as an exercise and frequent walks will improve your health, burn calories and build stamina.
And there you are, ten wonderful workouts to remind those legs that just because you’re in the house, doesn’t mean they can’t be doing something active! Whether you can’t get to the gym or you just prefer working out at home, there’s a wealth of warmups you can be doing in the comfort of your own home.