5 Exercises for Unbelievably Toned Legs

Article posted in: Fitness

Think you need a Smith Machine or leg press to do the perfect squat? Maybe you think the only way you’ll get a good workout is with the help of a personal trainer? While gym equipment and certified trainers can certainly help you get in shape, there are some exercises you can do on your own, at home, and without any equipment. That’s right—the toned legs you’ve always wanted can be yours in five simple steps.

Today we’re focusing on leg exercises like squats, lunges and bridges that work your quads, glutes and hamstrings—not to mention your core and back. These multi-joint movements are excellent for your balance, flexibility and overall strength—not to mention helping you acquire those desired toned legs.

To ensure you’re doing the movements correctly, try exercising in front of a full-length mirror. Keep your shoulders back and chest up throughout all the standing exercises and look straight ahead to keep your back aligned. When you’re first beginning, try holding onto a table or the back of a chair, if needed, for balance.

Here are five simple exercises for unbelievably toned legs:

1. Squat Kicks

squat kicks

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your weight in your heels. Bend your knees and squat low, pushing your hips back (as though you were sitting on a chair). (Your knees should be behind your toes.) Return to standing and then kick your right leg out (only go as high as is comfortable). Squat again, stand, and kick out with your left leg. Repeat five times on each leg.

2. Front Lunges

front lunges

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg and squat down until both legs are bent 90 degrees. (Your right knee should not extend out over your right toe and your left knee should not touch the floor.) Return to standing, keeping your weight in your heels as you push back. Step out with your left leg, squat, and return to standing. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

3. Side Lunges

side lunges

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Step to the right with your right leg (approximately 2’ or 3’) and bend your right knee, ensuring it stays behind the toes. Keep your left leg planted and straight. Position your weight in your heels as you return to standing and then step out with your left leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

4. Sumo Squat Jump

squat jumps

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your weight in your heels and turn your feet so your toes are slightly pointed out. Bend your knees and squat, pushing your hips back (as though you were sitting on a chair). Use your butt and core muscles to explosively jump up in the air, returning to a stand. As you land, quickly drop back down into the initial squat position. Repeat 10 times.

5. Glute Bridge

glute bridge

Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Use your heels to push your butt and hips up off the floor as high as possible, keeping your shoulders planted and abs tight. Hold briefly and then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

For the best results, complete three sets of all moves. Be sure to take a two-minute rest in between each set!

Want to work on your butt? Check out 5 Easy Moves to a Way Better Bum right here! >