Easy Leg Workouts You Can Do From Home or at the Gym!
Leg day, AKA the dreaded workout day. Your legs have some of the largest muscles in your body, which means working them out is draining and difficult. However, there are easy leg workouts that can make leg day much more enjoyable.
This post includes leg exercises you can do at home or in the gym. Are you an exercise newbie or worried about your knees? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too. We’ve also included easy leg workouts that are easy on the knees and great for beginners.
Easy Leg Workouts at Home
Can’t visit the gym? Not a problem! There are several easy leg workouts at home that are still effective. Whilst having access to gym equipment is always best, you can still see great results working out from home.
Easy Leg Workouts: Bodyweight Squats
Bodyweight squats are an easy leg workout that targets the muscles in your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. It’s important to maintain proper form when doing this exercise to target the right muscles and prevent injury.
To perform a bodyweight squat, follow these steps:
- Begin by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Angle your toes slightly outward.
- Bring your hands together in front of your chest and engage your core.
- Keep your core engaged, your chest lifted, and your shoulders pulled back. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backward as though you’re about to sit in a chair.
- Keep your heels planted and distribute your weight evenly across your feet.
- Allow your knees to bend as you continue descending, lowering your glutes directly down.
- Lower yourself as far as is comfortable, aiming for a minimum of a 90-degree bend at the knees. Remember to keep your torso upright and your knees aligned with your toes, avoiding any inward buckling.
- Once you’ve reached a comfortable depth, press through your heels and return to a standing position.
- As you rise, squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward.
Need an Easy Leg Workout? Try Walking Lunges
The walking lunge is an easy leg workout that focuses on strengthening the muscles of the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Here’s how to perform walking lunges:
- Begin with your feet together. If desired, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand to add resistance to the exercise.
- Keep your chest lifted and maintain a forward gaze, looking straight ahead throughout the movement.
- Take a step forward with your right leg, lunging until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Ensure proper weight distribution between your front and back foot.
- Push up through your right heel, using the strength of your leg muscles to return to the starting position.
- Step forward with your left leg, performing a lunge with your left thigh parallel to the ground. Again, maintain proper weight distribution between your front and back foot.
Easy Leg Workouts: Sumo Squat
The sumo squat targets the inner thighs and glutes. It also helps with knee creases. You can do this easy leg workout by doing the following these steps:
- Begin by standing with your feet positioned wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out. You can have your hands at your sides, clasped in front of your chest, or extended forward for balance.
- Activate your core muscles and focus on maintaining a lifted chest and a flat back throughout the exercise. You can shift your weight into your heels to ensure stability.
- Initiate the movement by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. As you lower into a squat, extend your arms forward to assist with balance and maintain proper form.
- Drive through your heels to stand back up, utilizing the strength of your lower body. At the top of the movement, emphasize squeezing your glutes to maximize muscle engagement. This completes one rep.
Reverse Lunge: Another Easy Leg Workout
The reverse lunge is one of the most efficient easy leg workouts. This exercise builds several muscles in the lower region of your body. Here’s how you do the reverse lunge:
- Begin by standing with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang naturally at your sides.
- Take a step backward with your right foot, ensuring a comfortable distance. As you step back, lower your body into a lunge position, with your left leg forming a 90-degree angle. Keep your torso upright and maintain a neutral spine.
- Push back up through your left heel, using the strength of your leg muscles, to return to the starting position. Ensure even distribution of your weight while engaging the muscles in your left leg.
Leg Workouts That Are Easy on the Knees
Several leg workouts are easy on the knees. These easy leg workouts will ensure that you build your leg muscles without straining your knees.
Let’s take a look at some of the leg workouts and how to perform them below.
Jump squats are excellent for developing your explosive movements. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do jump squats:
- Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, ensuring a stable base.
- Hinge forward at your hips, sitting your buttocks back into a squat position.
- Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, maintaining a controlled and stable posture.
- From the squat position, push through your feet and explode upwards, jumping as high as you can. Straighten out your legs and engage your lower body muscles to generate power.
- As you jump, swing your arms down by your sides to create momentum.
- Keep your back straight and chest lifted throughout the movement to maintain proper alignment.
- Land back on the floor with soft knees to absorb the impact. Immediately transition into another squat, maintaining the flow of the exercise.
Single-Leg Calf Raises – Easy Leg Workouts for Your Knees
Single-leg calf raise is an easy leg workout that doesn’t add too much pressure on your knees. This exercise is beneficial for calf muscle strength and improving balance.
Here’s how to carry out this exercise:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, ensuring a stable base for the exercise.
- Raise your left knee to hip level, pointing your toes.
- Position your hands on your hips or behind your head to maintain stability.
- Keep your core tight as you lift your right heel off the floor. Focus on balancing on the ball of your foot.
- Raise your heel as high as possible while maintaining balance and engaging the calf muscles.
- Hold the raised position for three seconds, then slowly lower the heel back down to complete one rep.
- Continue the calf raises for the desired number of reps.
- Once you have completed all the repetitions on one side, repeat the exercise on the other side. Lift the right knee to hip level and perform the calf raises with the opposite leg.
Easy Leg Workouts: Split Squat
The split squat is an easy leg workout that’s perfect for beginners. You can perform the split squat by following these steps:
- Position your feet underneath your shoulders.
- Step your right foot forward, similar to a forward lunge, while ensuring that your right heel remains firmly planted.
- Bend both knees to create 90-degree angles with your legs.
- Maintain an upright chest and slightly forward torso position, ensuring that your back remains flat without arching or rounding forward.
- Your right quad should be parallel to the floor, with your right knee positioned above your right foot.
- Engage your core and glute muscles throughout the movement.
- Push through your right foot to return to the starting position, extending your leg. This completes one rep.
- Focus on maintaining control and stability throughout the exercise.
- After completing the designated number of repetitions on one side, switch to the other side.
- Step your left foot forward and repeat the exercise with the same form and execution.
Eccentric Squat: Easy Leg Workouts for Beginners
One of the most common easy leg workouts for beginners is the eccentric squat. The eccentric squat is a variation of the traditional squat exercise.
To carry out the eccentric squat, do the following:
- Begin by standing tall with your feet positioned hip-width apart and engage your core muscles for stability.
- Send your hips back and slowly bend both knees to drop into a squat position.
- Allow your knees to bend to at least 90 degrees, ensuring that both thighs are parallel to the floor.
- The tempo during the lowering phase should be slower than in a standard squat, emphasizing the eccentric movement.
- To complete one rep, return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes and standing up quickly.
- Emphasize the contraction of the glute muscles during the ascent.
Easy Dumbbell Leg Workout
If you have dumbbells or do decide to visit the gym, there are easy dumbbell leg workouts you can perform. Adding resistance to your workouts with dumbbells helps you to progressive overload for muscle growth and strength.
Easy Leg Workouts: The Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is an effective dumbbell leg workout targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It promotes significant muscle growth, enhances coordination, and builds overall muscle strength.
- Stand approximately two feet away from a bench or step while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Position yourself to face away from the bench.
- Step your left foot back and rest it on the bench, ensuring a stable position.
- Bend your knees to lower your body as far as possible.
- Aim for your right thigh to become parallel to the ground while keeping your left knee slightly above the ground.
- Throughout the movement, maintain proper posture with your shoulders back and chest lifted.
- Pause briefly in the lowered position, then engage your glutes and press yourself back up to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise, completing all reps on one side before switching to the other side.
Easy Leg Workouts With Dumbbells: Dumbbell Calf Raise
The calf raise exercise is a highly effective and easy leg workout for strengthening your calves.
- Place an exercise step, or a similar raised surface in front of you, approximately 2-3 inches off the ground.
- Position your toes and the balls of your feet on the step while keeping your heels on the floor. Ensure that the arches of your feet do not touch the step.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, allowing your arms to hang naturally by your sides. This is your starting position.
- Push through the balls of your feet, engage your calf muscles, and raise your heels off the floor.
- Hold the raised position for a count of one, feeling the contraction in your calves.
- Slowly lower your heels back down to the starting position, allowing for a gentle stretch in your calves.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
Romanian Deadlift: Easy Leg Workouts With Dumbbells
Strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and calves while improving hip mobility with the Romanian deadlift.
- Hold a barbell or one dumbbell in each hand, ensuring a comfortable grip.
- Keep your back straight and maintain a forward gaze throughout the entire movement.
- Initiate the exercise by hinging forward at your hips, gradually lowering the weight toward the ground.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees as you descend. The weights should follow a path that is close to your legs. Also, you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings as you lower.
- Pause briefly when you reach the bottom position, ensuring that you maintain control and stability.
- Drive your hips forward to stand up, allowing your glutes to power the movement. Focus on engaging your glute muscles as you return to the starting position.
Bottom Line: Easy Leg Workouts
So, there you have it. Some of the best easy leg workouts that you can do from home or at the gym. Hopefully, these workouts will help to alleviate that stomach-sinking feeling of dread when it comes to leg day workouts.
Be sure to follow the proper form to ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles and preventing injury.
Results come with consistency, and you’re more likely to stick to slightly easier leg workouts compared to grueling ones. Give these leg workout ideas a shot and see if you find them any easier.