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HomeHealth and MedicalThe 16 Best Leg Workouts You Can Do Absolutely Anywhere

The 16 Best Leg Workouts You Can Do Absolutely Anywhere

WHEN YOU THINK leg day workouts, you probably think about lifting big time weights. That makes sense. Your lower body is home to the massive muscles like your glutes (and your quads and hamstrings, too), all of which allow you to work with the heaviest loads out of any exercises you’ll do in the gym—think the serious barbell exercises like squats and deadlifts that give you the chance to load up as many plates as you can handle onto the bar. If you’re exercising outside of a fully-stocked gym or at home, however, you might not have access to all of the gear and weights you’ll need for that type of training. This is when bodyweight leg workouts will be your best option.

Bodyweight workouts give you the flexibility to move outside the squat rack without heavy loads while still challenging your lower body muscles. That’s something that you should think about doing whether you’re forced to work without gear or not—but it’s especially useful for the type training you’ll need to do at home. These workouts are less limiting than you might expect. You might not be able to build muscle and strength the same way that you would with weights, but there are tons of exercises that will still push you and lead to major gains.

Whether you’re doing squats, lunges, or even explosive movements like jumps, these types of bodyweight home workouts allow you to get moving wherever you find yourself. Check out some of our favorite routines to start getting fit in your living room, basement, backyard—any place you want to sweat.

Benefits of Leg Day Workouts Without Weights

  • Accessible for beginners
  • Move in multiple planes
  • Work out anywhere

Bodyweight movements are a great first step for beginners, and you can still squat, lunge, and hinge without your weights—but when you’re unencumbered by barbells and other fixed loads, you’ll have an easier time working in multiple planes of movement, which is essential for a more well-rounded workout, enhancing your athleticism, and mimicking the actions you perform in real life outside your training plan. You’ll be able to jump and leap without the weights pulling you down, pushing the pace of your training and ratcheting up the aerobic challenge.

But those perks aren’t even the best part of adopting a bodyweight regimen: You can do these workouts anywhere—your living room, a hotel suite, a park—as long as you have about six feet of floor space and an elevated surface (like a bed or box) handy. That makes these workouts the ultimate zero-excuse leg burners.

How to Do Bodyweight Workouts at Home

One key to training your legs sans weights is to swap those heavy loads for high volumes. By ramping up your rep counts, you’ll be able to challenge your lower body to gut through the extended sets and develop muscular endurance. Jack up your heart rate by setting a timer, working with different challenging protocols, and cutting down your rest time. And best of all, no squat rack or bench to use for rest might help you to break bad distracted workout habits.

No-Weight Leg Workouts You Can Do at Home

7-Minute Leg Day Conditioning Blitz

preview for Legs | 7 Minute Blitz

Men’s Health Next Top Trainer winner Jah Washington uses this routine as a standalone workout to add a conditioning element to leg day. You’ll start with a quick warmup, then move straight into the session.

The Warmup

Hamstring Walkout to Lunge

30 seconds

The Workout

Block 1 – Bodyweight Squats

Complete 6 reps as quickly as possible in each 10 second round. Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Block 2 – Side Lunges

Complete 6 reps as quickly as possible in each 15 second round. Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Block 3 – Split Squats

Complete 6 reps as quickly as possible in each 20 second round. Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Block 4 – 6x6x6 Circuit

Complete 6 reps of pulse squats, jump squats, and high knees as quickly as possible in each 25 second round. Repeat for 5 total rounds.

The Super 6 Leg Day Finisher

preview for 20-Minute Metcon: Super 6 Leg EMOM Finisher

Washington uses this routine as a standalone workout or a brutal finisher to end a leg day. Set a timer for 6 minutes. At the start of each minute, perform 6 reps of each movement, then rest for the time remaining. When the next minute begins, start with a fresh round of reps. Continue until the timer ends.

  • Reverse Lunges
  • Side Lunges
  • High Knees
  • Seal Jacks

Da Rulk’s Functional Bodyweight Leg Day

preview for Chris Hemsworth Trainer Da Rulk Bodyweight Workout

Tough as nails trainer Da Rulk (a.k.a. Joseph Sakoda) demonstrates a workout session that uses some common moves, like running in place, alongside next-level bodyweight exercises like side gorillas. Get ready to get up and down with crawls, pulses, and more to challenge your lower body. The half-hour workout consists of three clusters of three exercises. You’ll perform each movement for 40 seconds, then rest for 20. Repeat each cluster set three times to finish.

Cluster 1

  • 3-Step Drop
  • Forward to Reverse Crawl 50%
  • Running in Place

Cluster 2

  • Side Gorillas
  • Modified Switch
  • Modified Hostages

Cluster 3

  • Crawl Hold
  • Forward to Reverse Crawl 100%
  • Ballistic Pulses

MFLD

preview for Bobby Maximus' MFLD Workout

Yes, that MF stands for exactly what you think it does. Tough-talking trainer Bobby Maximus is here with a killer leg day session that will smash your lower body, sans weights.

Repeat for 10 rounds, resting as needed

  • 10 Bulgarian Split Squats (right)
  • 10 Bulgarian Split Squats (left)
  • Bodyweight Squats

The 7-Minute Blitz Quad Blast

preview for Lower Body | 7 Minute Blitz

Do you have 10 minutes to train? You can do this gear-free workout from Washington and have time to spare.

The workout consists of three blocks, each of which features three separate exercises. You’ll perform each exercise for 20 seconds, then repeat for a total of two rounds. You’ll have a quick 30 seconds of rest at the end of the block—just enough time for Washington to introduce the next series before you go back to work.

Block 1

  • Up-Down Squats
  • Duck Walk
  • Foot Fires

    Block 2

    • Reverse Lunges
    • Side Lunges
    • Broad Jump to Shuffle

      Block 3

      • Split Squats (L)
      • Split Squats (R)
      • Skater Lunges

      The Do-Anywhere Leg Workout Challenge

      preview for Running Lunge and Stepup

      If you’re ready for an extra bodyweight challenge, give this workout a try. You’ll perform each move for 10 minutes, which will test your lower body power and stamina for almost an hour. This one’s a killer.

      Box Squat Jumps

      Perform 10 box squat jumps every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. That means that you should set a time for 10 minutes, then do 1o reps every time a new minute starts. Rest during the remainder time for each period.

      Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps

      Exploding up on one leg can be tough for beginners, so it’s okay to try the jump-free version of the move instead. Perform five sets of 10 reps per side, every minute on the minute.

      Box Squats

      Set a timer for 10 minutes, then perform 30 box squat reps per minute, resting during any remaining time in each period.

      Bulgarian Split Squats

      If you subbed out the jumping version earlier, either repeat the exercise or think up an appropriate substitute, like performing 20 calf raises per minute. For the split squat crowd, try five sets of 15 reps per side, every minute on the minute.

      Alternating One-Leg Box Squats

      The finale is simple, but tough to complete without shaky legs: 10 straight minutes of alternating one-leg box squats. Focus on the slow eccentric lowering movement, then spring back up. Good luck walking the next day.

      The Quad Killer Workout

      preview for Quad Killer

      This quick circuit is designed to obliterate your quads. Perform each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds — that’s 1 round. Perform 3 to 5 rounds for a full workout, resting for 30 seconds after each round.

      • Quick toes
      • Run in place with short, quick steps, putting your weight on the front of your foot with each step.
      • Duck Lunge (R)
      • Hinge at the hips to crouch low, with your right leg forward. Step your left leg forward and back, keeping your right foot squarely planted.
      • Duck Lunge (L)
      • Hinge at the hips to crouch low, with your left leg forward. Step your right leg forward and back, keeping your right foot squarely planted.
      • Low Split Switch
      • Hinge at the hips and crouch low. Jump into a lunge with your left leg forward, pause for a beat, then jump to switch to the opposite leg position.

      Lethal Lower Body Superset

      preview for Lethal Lower Body Superset

      There’s just one move for this workout, but the volume makes it a doozy. Perform 10 Bulgarian split squats with your right foot forward, then switch to 10 reps with your left foot forward. Complete these reps every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 10 minutes.

      Lower Body Lunge Fest

      preview for 15-Minute Bodyweight Lunge Cardio Circuit

      This 15-minute burner won’t just work your legs — the routine also pushes your cardio conditioning. Don’t underestimate these simple moves, either. After 3 or 4 minutes, your legs will be screaming for relief. Perform each move for 5 minutes, then move immediately to the next. To really challenge yourself, try 2 rounds, back to back.

      • Walking Lunges – 5 minutes
      • Lateral Walks – 5 minutes
      • Bear Crawls – 5 minutes

      Sore Legs, No Equipment

      preview for Sore Legs, No Equipment

      Bobby Maximus’ bodyweight workout is simple, but it won’t be easy. It’s just two moves—but the descending ladder structure means you’ll do a ton of reps.

      • 20 Lunges, right and left leg
      • Wall Sit – 30 seconds
      • 19 Lunges, right and left leg
      • Wall Sit, 30 seconds

      Continue down the ladder until you reach 1 lunge per leg. Finish with one last 30 second wall sit. Good luck walking the next day.

      Lower Body Finishers

      preview for MetaPump: Lower-Body Finishers

      You don’t need a blood restriction band to take on these four one-move finishers—just try them with your bodyweight. Start a timer for 5 minutes, and repeat the movements as directed to close out your leg day with a killer challenge.

      Split Squat

      Repeat for 5 minutes

      • 30 seconds on right leg
      • 30 seconds on left leg

      Constant Tension Squat

      Repeat for 5 minutes

      • 40 seconds of reps
      • 20 second hold

      Shoulders Elevated Hip Thrust

      Repeat for 5 Minutes

      • 20 seconds of reps
      • 10 seconds of hold

      Calf Raise

      Repeat for 5 minutes

      • 20 seconds of reps
      • 10 seconds of hold

      Elevated Lunge Series

      preview for Elevated Lunge Series

      All you need is a short platform for this lunge routine. Start a timer for 10 minutes, switching variations at the 5-minute mark.

      • Reverse Lunge from Deficit
      • Start on the platform and lunge back, alternating between legs.
      • Forward Lunge from Step
      • Step forward and lunge down, pressing hard off the ground using your quads to step back to the platform.

      Single-Leg Walkout Series

      preview for Single-Leg Walkout Complex

      Repeat this flow from trainer Andy Speer for 3 to 5 reps for each leg. You can use it as a warmup series for a leg day or full-body training day, or as a standalone exercise to boost your mobility.

      • Start in a single-leg deadlift
      • Reach both hands to the floor and walk out to plank.
      • Hop the back foot in.
      • Stand up, keeping the knee up and foot elevated.
      • Perform a single-leg toe touch.
      • Finish with a reverse lunge.

      Running Lunge and Step-Up Circuit

      preview for Running Lunge and Stepup

      Want to be a better runner? You’ll need to work on your form. If you want to improve your mechanics, strengthen your glutes and hip flexors, and boost your mobility, try this two-move circuit.

      Start a timer for 12 minutes. Perform the Runner’s Lunge for 50 seconds on one leg, rest for 10 seconds, then switch to the other. After 6 minutes, switch to the Running Step-up, working with the same splits on each leg.

      • Runner’s Lunge
      • Step back into a rear lunge. Once you get to the bottom of the movement, press off the floor and drive your knee straight up, tucking your knee to your chest and working your opposite arm up. Add a hop to make it a more powerful move.
      • Running Step-Up
      • Step up onto an elevated surface with one foot. Drive the other leg straight up to your chest. Step down to finish the move.

      12-Minute Bodyweight Muscle Burner

      preview for 12-Minute Bodyweight Muscle Burner

      You’ll work more than just your legs here—but your lower body will be challenged during this do-it-all muscle burner. Finish 4 rounds of the non-stop action challenge for a super-quick workout challenge.

      • Side Plank (R) – 30 seconds
      • Side Plank (L) – 30 seconds
      • Pushup – 30 seconds
      • Spider Lunge with Rotation – 30 seconds
      • Squat Hop to Plank – 30 seconds
      • Lateral Lunge Jump – 30 seconds

      Home Workout From Hell

      preview for Home Workout From Hell

      Another full body workout with major leg moves, this home workout will burn like a run through hell. Every minute has a different protocol of exercises, so just when you start to flame out, you switch up the set to stay engaged. It only takes 5 minutes—if you can even last that long.

      Minute 1

      As many rounds as possible

      • Squat – 6 reps
      • Skater Jump – 6 reps

      Minute 2

      As many rounds as possible

      • Pushup – 15 seconds
      • Superman – 15 seconds

      Minute 3

      • Running Step-Up to Reverse Lunge (L)

      Minute 4

      • Running Step-Up to Reverse Lunge (R)

      Minute 5

      Flow non-stop

      • Mountain Climber – 5 seconds
      • Side Planks – 5 seconds

      Headshot of Brett Williams, NASM

      Brett Williams, NASM

      Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

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