Knowing that the gym could be packed when you get off work, you might just head home – especially on leg day. It’s everyone’s least favorite body part to train, but on the other hand reaps the most benefits if we could stick to a plan. Although you may not hit the gym Friday after work – because you’ve put off your leg work out all week – wake up Saturday morning and hit this at-home leg workout and kick your weekend off to a great start.
At home you may have some basic dumbbells or you may not have any gym equipment at all. No matter the case all of these workouts will require only your body weight to blast your legs into new growth. No excuses and no whining – smash those wheels!
Exercise #1: Squat Variations
We’ll start off this at-home workout with the most basic leg workout known to man: the squat. Although you may not have any weights, these variations of squats will absolutely blitz your quads. Starting with the traditional body weight squat, we’ll include a giant set of squat jumps and sumo squats. Your legs will be pumped after the first set, but you’ll be torching fat and building muscle.
- Starting with squats, take a shoulder width stance and squat down and up on 2:2 cadence
- After completing those, start directly into jump squats
- Squatting down to about 90 degrees, explode out of the hole – jumping as high as possible
- Following the squat jumps, start right into the sumo squats – move your feet out a little wider
- For the sumo squat, take a wide stance with toes slightly pointing out and squat down and up as quickly as possible for a deep burn
Sets and Reps: 4 X 10 on each exercise- no rest between the three exercises but then 30 seconds at end of set
Top Tip: Knowing that your legs will be on fire, don’t take it easy during the first exercises to save some gas in the tank for later on. Smash every set and every rep like it’s your last.
Exercise #2: Exercise Ball Glute-Ham Raises
Like the back muscles, your hamstrings are probably under-worked due to them not being a mirror muscle like your quads. You can’t see them and they are usually covered up by shorts anyway. But what you may not realize is that the hamstrings make up half the size of the upper half of your legs! Hit those hamstrings with the same intensity as with your quads and reap the major benefits.
- Begin exercise by grabbing exercise ball in open area with heels on the ball, hips and core of the ground leaving only upper back/shoulders placed on the ground
- Engage the hamstrings and pull the ball as far into your body as possible squeezing them at the peak of the movement
- Keeping the hips high, slowly roll the back out to the starting position
Sets and Reps: 4 x 15
Top Tip: When performing these, your hips and core play a vital role in the effectiveness in hitting your hamstrings. Keep them tight and lifted off the ground for the best results.
Exercise #3: Stairwell Calf Raises
Don’t have a set of dumbbells to add any resistance for calf raises? No problem- this exercise will use nothing but your bodyweight but will be more than enough to blast your calves. Find a set of stairs or just a step in your house to use over again.
- Set this up by starting with feet shoulder-width apart and slowly raising and lowering on first step for 7 reps
- Go up to next step and put heels together and toes out wide and do another 7 reps
- Proceed to next step and have toes touching with heels out wide for another 7 reps
Sets and Reps: 1 set of however many steps are in your house. Shooting for right around 200 reps in total so if you don’t have enough stairs, go back down to the bottom and start over.
Top Tip: By changing your feet placement and angle you are able to hit each head of the calf muscle: both the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
Exercise #4: Lunges
To really blitz your legs after an already intense workout, the lunge is the perfect movement to hit all areas of the legs for a great finisher. Involving the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes and calves, this makes lunges the perfect exercise to end with.
- Start in standing position and step out if front of you while bending the front leg, keeping your knee over the toe
- While keeping the back leg as straight as comfortable, use bent leg to press through the movement and have straight leg meet bent leg and return to starting position
- Alternate legs in a walking fashion
Sets and Reps: 1 x as many reps as possible until failure
Top Tip: Keeping the knee directly over or even slightly behind the toe is key in this exercise to avoid knee problems and isolate the quad being worked.
Although you may choose to forgo the gym, you can still get an awesome leg workout. Be sure to push it to limit to really maximize your effort and movements. Remember to hit all areas of your legs and not to leave anything out because your legs do make up half your physique as well as being your base for all other exercises.