7 Leg Workouts You Can Do Without Any Equipment

Fire up those hammies.

Get your lower body moving with these leg workouts without weights from trainers.
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Ever stand up after a day of sitting at your desk only to feel super-stiff legs? (Same.) As a remedy, there’s nothing quite like a lower-body workout to get your blood pumping and loosen up those sore gams — and you don’t need any equipment to do it. Whether you’d like to counteract WFH aches or you’re just looking to switch up your fitness routine, these leg workouts without weights can help.

Moving through a workout functions like WD-40 for your body. That’s because resistance training helps strengthen your muscles, bones, and joints as it increases circulation throughout your limbs and brain. And that’s all while sweating through exercises that target your glutes, hammies, quads, and calves for your strength game. Not only that, but your lower body is a key player in daily movements, from walking to climbing stairs and lugging heavy groceries — so focusing on these all-important muscles works as functional fitness. As in: Regular leg workouts will allow you to perform everyday activities with more ease while preventing pain from conditions like arthritis.

Ready to get your sweat on and soak in all those benefits? Try these fitness trainers’ seven favorite leg workouts without weights to feel a serious lower-body burn.

1. Quick Cardio Legs

There’s a reason squats are a go-to exercise: They work all the major muscles in your lower body at once, including your glutes, hips, hamstrings, and quads, says BOUT Boxing trainer Nell Kucich. So why not make a workout out of the tried and true leg day classic? Cycle through the below exercises for 30 seconds at a time, with a few moments of rest in between each move. Repeat the entire circuit three times through for a simple but effective leg workout that also brings a burst of cardio.

- Squat

- Squat pulses

- Jump squats

- High knees

2. Total Thigh Workout

If you want to give your upper legs a challenge, sweat through Kucich’s thigh-focused circuit. Do each of the below exercises for 30 seconds with a few moments of rest in between, then repeat the entire list three times through to get your quad muscles burning and your heart pumping.

- Sumo squat to heel raise

- Sumo squat pulse with your heels lifted

- Sumo squat hops

- Side lunge shift (stay low and shift your weight side-to-side)

- Curtsy lunge pulse (left leg)

- Curtsy lunge pulse (right leg)

3. Isolated Leg Workout

One of the fastest ways to feel a muscle burn is through isolated moves. Kucich shares this assortment of lunge variations designed to hone in on your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, one leg at a time. Cycle through the below circuit three times — you’ll be grateful there are no weights necessary.

- Alternate side lunge and curtsy lunge (right leg) 10 times

- Alternate side lunge and curtsy lunge (left leg) 10 times

- Alternate forward lunge and reverse lunge (left leg) 10 times

- Alternate forward lunge and reverse lunge (right leg) 10 times

- Lunge (right leg) 10 times

- Lunge (left leg) 10 times

- Squat hold for 30 seconds

4. HIIT Lower Body Workout

This high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session from certified trainer and Rumble instructor Dale Santiago hones in on your lower body muscles. Do each of the below exercises at your maximum effort for 30 seconds, taking a few moments of rest in between. Repeat the entire circuit four times through. If 30-second intervals aren’t your fave, no problem, says Santiago — opt for longer or shorter bursts of activity to customize this HIIT workout.

- Squats

- Reverse lunges

- Good mornings

- Jump squats

- Lateral jumps

5. Tabata

Want to kick your HIIT session into high gear? Apply Tabata intervals, says Liteboxer master trainer Anthony Crouchelli. Tabata’s signature longer bursts of all-out activity and shorter rests will spike your heart rate quickly so you build endurance and strength all at once. Do each of the below exercises for 50 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Take one minute off after you finish the list, then repeat everything three more times.

- Prisoner squat

- Bulgarian split squat (right leg)

- Bulgarian split squat (left leg)

- Prisoner deadlift

6. As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP)

Build power and agility with this as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) cardio and strength training fusion workout. Santiago recommends setting your timer for 10 minutes, then doing 10 reps of each of the below exercises as many times as you can before the clock runs out. If you’d like a longer workout, you can adjust the length to suit your preferences.

- Squats

- Reverse lunges

- Good mornings

- Jump squats

- Lateral jumps

7. Every Minute On The Minute (EMOM)

Now that you’ve mastered Santiago’s moves, put your prowess to the test with his every minute on the minute (EMOM) version of the workout. Do 10 reps of each exercise within one minute. If you complete your reps before the minute is up, plank or rest for the remaining seconds. Take it from the top every minute for 10 minutes or however long you want your sweat sesh to last. You can even swap in other leg exercises like donkey kicks or glute bridges to keep this routine fresh for many workouts to come.

- Squats

- Reverse lunges

- Good mornings

- Jump squats

- Lateral jumps

Studies referenced:

Ito, S. (2019). High-intensity interval training for health benefits and care of cardiac diseases - The key to an efficient exercise protocol. World Journal of Cardiology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6763680/

Tabata, I. (2019). Tabata training: one of the most energetically effective high-intensity intermittent training methods. Journal of Physiological Sciences, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31004287/

Westcott, W. (2012). Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health. Current Sports Medicine Reports, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22777332/

Winett, R. (2001). Potential health-related benefits of resistance training. Preventive Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11676593/


Anthony Crouchelli, creator of the .1method and director of talent and master trainer at Liteboxer

Nell Kucich, trainer at BOUT Boxing

Dale Santiago, certified trainer and Rumble instructor