It’s leg day, but we’re not talking about doing heavy squats! Instead, bypass the barbell and use your bodyweight to sculpt your pins with this at-home leg day workout…

By Lucy Miller (Photography: Eddie Macdonald | Clothing: Gymshark)

When you think about trimming and toning your legs, you probably imagine a loaded barbell at the squat rack. That’s great, but what if we told you that you can get just as effective a lower body leg workout without using the weights, machines or even a gym?

This bodyweight leg circuit is super effective at building strength and shape because it incorporates unilateral (single-leg) moves that not only work the entire lower body, but also engage your core muscles as they have to work extra hard to help keep your body balanced.

It will also train your muscles in more than one direction and work multiple muscles at once, which saves time and burns more calories to boot!

To do the leg workout, simply perform each exercise for 40 seconds, taking no more than 15 seconds of rest in between each move. Repeat the entire circuit three times and finish with a good stretch.

At-home leg day workout:

leg day workout bodyweight at home

HIGH KNEES WITH ARMS OVERHEAD

Reps: 40 seconds

A great exercise to warm up the body, engage your core and get your heart rate up slowly.

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and your arms extended overhead, keeping your arms close to your ears.
  • Engage your core, then use your lower abdominals to lift and lower one knee at a time as if running on the spot (A and B).
  • Bring your knees to the same height as your hips, your thighs parallel to the floor, and try not to lean back too much.
  • Aim to stay on the balls of your feet, and alternate your legs as quickly as possible from left to right. That’s one rep. Keep alternating for 40 seconds.
leg day workout bodyweight at home

BEAR CRAWLS

Reps: 40 seconds

A whole-body exercise that uses the legs to propel your body forward, and your core and shoulders to stabilise your movement backwards and forwards

  • Start on all-fours with your hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips and bent to 90°.
  • Tuck your toes under and lift your knees to hover two inches off the ground. Press through your hands to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Keeping your core tight, move your left arm and right foot forwards a step (A) and then repeat on the other side (B). Continue moving forwards in this way for 40 seconds.
leg day workout bodyweight at home

SINGLE-LEG PISTOL SQUAT

Reps: 40 seconds (each side)

This tricky move will really work your core as well as target your entire lower body, including the tiny stabilising muscles in your ankles and knees.

  • Start by standing in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight to your right leg and extend your left leg out in front of you (A).
  • Keeping your core engaged and chest lifted, send your hips back to lower onto the chair (B).
  • Tap your butt on the seat, then press through your right heel to stand back up.
  • For an extra challenge, remove the chair and try to lower your butt about three inches from the floor, keeping your left leg lifted. Repeat on the other side for 40 seconds.
leg day workout bodyweight at home

GLUTE BRIDGES WITH ARMS OVERHEAD

Reps: 40 seconds

This exercise will work the backs of your legs, especially your hamstrings and glutes.

  • Lie face-up with your knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Aim to have your feet about four inches from your butt and extend your arms overhead (A).
  • Press into your heels to raise your hips straight up off the ground, engaging your glutes and bracing your core (B).
  • Lower down slowly, creating your own resistance, then repeat.
leg day workout bodyweight at home

SIDE LUNGES

Reps: 40 seconds

A great move to target the inner and outer thighs. It’s always good to work from side-to-side as well as backwards and forwards.

  • Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step to the left as you hinge at the hips to send your butt back.
  • Bend your left knee and keep your right leg straight. Shift all of your body weight
    to the left side as you squat back while keeping your chest lifted (A).
  • Push off with your left leg to return to standing, then repeat on the other side (B). Continue alternating.

BALLET CALF RAISES

Reps: 40 seconds

This move will really tone your calf muscles, whilst having your feet turned out will work your glutes and inner thighs.

  • Stand with your heels together and toes pointed out to create a wide ‘V’ shape. Place your hands on your hips (A).
  • Slowly rise onto the balls of your feet (B).
  • Hold here for two seconds, then lower back down to where you started. Repeat.
leg day workout bodyweight at home

POP SQUATS

Reps: 40 seconds

This is a great spin on the squat jump, which will get your heart rate right up whilst working your quads, hamstrings and thighs.

  • Stand with your feet together, core engaged and arms on your hips (A).
  • Bend your knees then jump into the air (B). Spread your feet hip-width apart mid-air. Drop into a wide-legged squat (C) by sending your hips back and squeezing your glutes.
  • Hop both feet together (D) to return to the start, then repeat the entire sequence again.
  • Continue to move as quickly as possible, hopping feet together once before sending legs wide and dropping into a squat.

Click here for an at-home workout from PT Jillian Michaels!