Being stuck at home during these strange times can cause muscle loss if you aren’t doing the right exercises. Most people are worried about losing upper body strength, so they get pull-up bars or dumbbells to workout arm, chest, and back muscle groups. If you don’t want to emerge from quarantine with skinny legs that have no muscle definition, engage in the exercises in this article.
At-home leg workouts are far easier than most people realize. You don’t need a squat rack, stair climber, or barbells with lots of plates to build lower-body strength. Your bodyweight, a chair, and a little motivation can help you strengthen your glutes, calves, inner thighs, quads, and hamstrings. Bodyweight leg exercises don’t have to be complicated and you definitely don’t need a gym membership. If you feel like taking them to the next level or increasing resistance, you can add weights.
Before we get into the exercises, it’s important that you feel like the exercises are working your muscles. If they are too easy, you can add weight, increase the difficulty, or practice supersets to build more muscle. Additionally, don’t make your rest periods too long because the goal is to maintain that elevated heart rate throughout your workout.
Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lunge forward with your right leg, bending your left leg until your knee almost touches the floor. Engage your right glutes and push through the heel of your right foot to propel yourself into the next lunge, this time leading with the left leg. Complete three sets of 12 reps for each leg.
Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing your toes ever so slightly outwards. Keep your back straight as you sit your butt back into a squat. Bend your knees, ensuring that they don’t extend beyond your toes. When your thighs are parallel to the ground, drive through your heels and stand back up. Keep your butt and core tight as you complete three sets of 12 reps.
High Knee Toe Taps:
Stand in front of a bench, box, or chair and keep your hands on your hips or by your sides. Don’t worry about speed at first. The important thing is to get the motion down, and then you can increase your speed for a great leg/aerobic workout. Tap your left foot on the bench in front of you and then quickly swap legs to tap your right foot. Continue alternating sides while keeping your chest up and back straight the entire time. Do this for 30 seconds.
Single Calf Raises:
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips, behind your head, or out to the sides (whatever helps you keep your balance). Engage your core as you bend your right knee to lift your right foot about six inches above the ground. Hold this position while you press up onto the ball of your left foot. Alternate sides after completing the suggested number of reps. Complete three sets of 12 reps per leg.
This takes the bodyweight squat to another level. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body down into the squat as described in the Bodyweight Squat description. Once you are in the squat position, explosively jump up as high as you can and then land softly with your knees bent. Return to the squat position immediately and jump up again to create one seamless motion. Complete three sets of 10 reps.
Place a box or sturdy chair in front of you and stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step up onto the box with your right foot, planting it firmly so that you are sturdy. Press off the floor with your left foot and then drive through the heel of your right foot, bringing your left knee up as high as you can. Lower back down and then repeat on the other side. Complete three sets of 12 reps per leg.