Whether you’re a fitness beginner or an advanced gym-goer, bodyweight moves are always a great choices. If you’re new to fitness, bodyweight exercises help you learn how to work with your own body.
And if you’re more advanced, they’re great for an active recovery day from lifting at the gym. Not to mention, if you need a convenient workout while travelling – these moves have you covered.
Now, if you’re looking for some bodyweight moves to build up strength or crank out in your hotel room, I’ve got you covered. Check out 13 great bodyweight leg exercises below, plus how to turn these moves into a full bodyweight leg workout.
Keep in mind, as you become more experienced with bodyweight exercises, you can make them more challenging by adding explosiveness and power – such as adding jumps into exercises or changing the stability by going for single-leg movements.
Time: 15-30 minutes
Good for: Legs and butt
Instructions: Choose six moves below. Complete 8-10 reps for beginners (2-3 rounds), 10-12 for intermediate (3-4 rounds), and 15-30 reps for advanced (3-5 rounds). Continue from one exercise to the next without pausing.
Bulgarian Split Squat
How to: Stand about two feet in front of a step; extend your left leg back and place your foot on the step. (Optional: Hold a dumbbell in each hand.) That’s your starting position. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can (or until your knee hovers right above the ground), keeping your shoulders back and chest up. Pause, then press through your right heel to return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor 30 to 40 centimetres from your butt. Brace your core, then press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Hold the position for two seconds before lowering to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward, with your hands in front of your chest. Bend your knees, then explosively jump as high as you can. Land softly on the balls of your feet and immediately lower into your next squat.
How to: Stand with your feet spread out wider than your hips. Then push your hips back, bend your right knee, and lower your body until your right knee is bent 90 degrees. This should take about two seconds. Push back to start. That’s one rep.
Glute Bridge March
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor, palms up, at shoulder level. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Brace your abs and lift your right foot so it extends away from your body, while staying in line with your thigh. Pause, then lower your right foot. Repeat with the other leg. That’s one rep.
Quadraped Hip Extension
How to: Get on all fours on top of your mat. Keep your right knee bent at 90 degrees as you lift your leg into the air until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knee, your right foot flexed. From here, pulse your thigh up a couple of inches, then back down. That’s one rep.
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
How to: Start standing on your right foot, with left knee bent and foot elevated off the ground. Bend your right knee, and extend your left leg down until your knee is a few inches off the ground (you can use a bench or block for a marker), stretching your arms out in front of you for balance. Slowly return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right leg and bend both knees as you lower until your left knee is bent 90 degrees. Push through your left foot to stand, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand on your right leg with your right palm facing towards your thighs. Lean forward, extending left leg straight behind you, until your torso is parallel to the floor. Drive into your left heel to return to the standing position. That’s one rep.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
How to: Lie on your back with your arms out to the side, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your left knee, and keeping your leg at a 90 degree angle, bring it toward your chest. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips evenly off the floor, then lower. That’s one rep.
How to: From a standing position, jump a few feet to your right side. Land on your right leg with your left knee bent in front of you, left arm at your side, and right arm raised, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Reverse the movement by hopping onto your left foot and repeating the same thing on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push through your right foot and bring your left knee toward your chest. Immediately repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Continue hopping from one side to the other.
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands at your sides. Sit your hips back, and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Bring your hands out in front of you for counter-balance. Return back to start. That’s one rep.
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