9-Minute Home Workout for Strong Legs Without Weights

Here's a million-dollar question for ya: what's secret to looking buff and strong? I guess a broad muscular chest, massive arms, and a popping six-pack, right? But you can’t forget about Leg Day! Come on, guys, you don’t wanna look like you're walking around on toothpicks! Forget the gym, and just give this quick at-home leg-building workout a try! Starting with… 

1. Walking LungesTake a big step forward on your right foot. While doing that, bend your left leg so that your knee almost touches the floor. Then, with the help of your right leg, move your body into the next lunge. This time, your left leg should be in front of you, and your right leg will bend toward the floor. Do 3 sets of walking lunges with 12 reps each. And remember to take a 30-second rest after each set. When doing this exercise, the muscles in the front of your leg work the most since they have to move your whole body up and forward. This not only strengthens all the leg muscles but also improves your balance and stability. 

2. Regular SquatsStand is straight with your legs shoulder-width apart and your feet parallel to each other. Bend your knees to slowly lower your body toward the ground. Imagine you’re about to sit down in an invisible chair. Go as far down as you can with your elbows touching your knees. Keep your chest and head upright and make sure your knees don't go beyond your toes. Stay in this position for 3 to 5 seconds, then stand back up by pressing through your heels. Most of all, squats work your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, but they're also pretty effective for building up your abs and strengthening your lower back and glutes. Besides, they’re a great way to burn tons of calories really fast, maintain your heart health, and improve your lung capacity. Do 3 sets of 12 reps each, but no rest in between - you should immediately move to the next exercise, which is... 

3. Squat JumpsSquat down like you did in that last exercise by lowering your body so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Stay in this position for at least 3 seconds. But this time, you’ll launch yourself upward from the squat. When you jump in the air, lift your arms up over your head. Return to the squat position, then jump again. And, sorry, no breaks between the jumps! 3 sets of 12 will be perfect for this one too, and feel free to take a 30-second break to rest between sets! This exercise helps tone your calves, quads, and hammies (mmm, ham…) as well as your glutes and core muscles. It’s also cool in that it involves the arms a little more than traditional squats and definitely a lot more cardio! 

4. Split SquatsFor this exercise, you can use any suitable surface: a sofa, chair, your bed. The main thing is that it's stable enough to hold some of your weight and won't fall over as you’re doing the exercise. Stand with your back to the piece of furniture of your choice and rest your right foot on it, laces down. Slowly squat down with your left leg until your right knee almost touches the floor. Hold it there for 3 seconds (whoa! try to keep your balance!), then, with the strength of your left leg, stand back up. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg, with no rest when you change legs. A 30-second break between sets is ok and probably much-needed! This is a great lower-body exercise since squatting deeply with just one leg really targets the stabilizer muscles and, as a bonus, improves your balance! Also, feel free to hold a dumbbell in each hand if you wanna take this one up a “step” heh-heh! 

5. Squat PulsesGet into the starting position for a squat (feet shoulder-width apart, pointing ahead, and all that jazz). Again, go down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. But this time, when you hit the lowest point in your squat, do a few "pulses" by moving your hips up and down for about 5 seconds. Then return to the starting position. The trick is that when you do the pulses, you constantly engage and stimulate your leg muscles. Plus, you can hold the movement longer and tire your muscles in a different way than when you do just a standard squat. Shoot to do this exercise for 1 minute straight, and take a 30-second break before moving on to... 

6. Elevated Calf RaisesYes, let’s give those thighs a breather and work on your calves! Stand on a fitness block with your heels hanging off. (If you have a staircase, the first step will do too.) If it's hard to keep your balance, hold onto something like a nearby wall for support. Lift your heels so that all your body weight is put on the balls of your feet, then lower your heels toward the floor as much as you can so that you feel a nice stretch in your calves. Do 3 sets of 12 reps with a 30-second break between sets. As always, a dumbbell in your free hand will take things up a notch, which is an especially useful trick once you’ve built up so much strength that your body weight is no longer enough. This exercise will have your calves looking bigger, stronger, and more defined. Plus, it increases your ankle strength, so you won’t be as prone to spraining or twisting them. 

7. Lunge JumpsStart by standing with your right leg forward and your arms crossed over your chest. Bend your knees and lower your body into a deep lunge. Your left knee should almost brush the floor. Then, like a spring, jump into the air, fully extending your legs. While you’re mid-air, switch legs, bringing your left leg forward and your right leg back. Land in a lunge and, without a break, launch your body up into the next jump. Lunge jumps develop your lower body strength and endurance by targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors. Besides, it's a perfect cardio exercise, and it stabilizes your core, improves your coordination, and builds ankle stability. Do this exercise for 1 minute if you can, then go straight to… 

8. Step UpsFor this exercise, you'll need a bench, an aerobic step, or anything sturdy enough and about knee-high. Stand in front of the platform you've chosen, with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart from each other. Put your right foot on the platform, and by pushing through this foot, propel your body into the air until your left foot ends up next to your right one. Pause for a couple of seconds, then lower first your left leg and then your right one back to the floor. This exercise works pretty much every muscle in your legs as well as your glutes for an added bonus! (Can’t have strong muscular legs under a flat tush, now!) Do 3 sets of the exercise with 12 reps for each leg. Remember to complete the reps on one leg before moving to the other. Don’t take a break when you switch legs, but feel free to rest for half a minute between sets. You should also know that this exercise can be a bit tough on the knees. So be sure to do everything slowly and controlled. 

9. Single-Leg BridgeLie down on the floor with your arms by your sides, your legs bent at the knee, and feet flat on the floor. Now lift your right leg into the air. Keep that knee bent slightly. Tighten your core and glute muscles and lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your left knee. Hold that position for a couple seconds, then, without lowering your leg down, return to the starting position with your back on the floor. Don't switch to the right leg until you do all the reps for the left one, which will be 12. And, of course, 3 sets for each leg will doit! The single-leg bridge is a great exercise to work all three glute muscles, train your hamstrings, and strengthen your lower back. If it seems too easy for you, do this exercise with a barbell or dumbbell lying securely across your hipbones. And make sure to avoid the most common mistakes people make while doing single-leg bridges. 

First of all, don't arch your back when you lift your hips in the air. Otherwise, you can end up with a nasty back injury! Also, don't let your hips sag or rotate – keep everything controlled and tight. (You have to use your muscles for that!) What exercises do you use to train your legs? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give this a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don't go squat-jumping away just yet!


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