Your legs are the largest limbs on your body. Not only are they the largest limbs but they also are made up of some of the strongest muscles in your whole body. Muscles burn more calories than fat at rest, so if you can really strengthen some of the larger muscles, then you can really burn a lot of calories while at rest. Developed leg muscles can help burn even more calories. They provide the most energy based on their size, so stronger legs will increase endurance. Let’s get your legs nice and strong with 3 bodyweight exercises for your legs that you can do anywhere.
(pictured overhead squat is a variation of a squat but does require weight)
The squat is considered the best exercise to build strong legs and a firm butt.
When performing a squat:
- Stand with your feet either hip distance apart.
- Drive the hips and butt back as you lower down like you were going to sit down on a seat behind you.
- As the hips drive back, allow the knees to bend, without allowing your knees to go in front of your toes by keeping your shins vertical, until you reach your desired depth.
- When your knees begin to shift forward past your toes, this is your limit.
A quick way to intensify this exercise is by adding jumping to it, what is commonly called jump squats. Or you can widen your stance and perform the variation called the sumo squat which targets more of the hip and groin.
This exercise is all about the back side, the posterior chain. It is a perfect exercise to strengthen the butt and hamstrings as well as a great option for those who can’t squat or lunge.
- This exercise will be done completely on your back.
- Start by lying down on the floor on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground under your knees and about shoulder-width apart.
- By pushing your heels down into the ground raise your hips off the ground as high as you can.
- At the top, give your glutes a good squeeze while keeping the abdominals tight to prevent arching in your lower back.
- Lower your hips back down to their original position.
You can up the intensity by performing single leg glute bridge too!
(pictured is a variation of a lunge, jump lunge)
Lunges provide great strength in your legs, as well as strengthening your stability too!
- In the standing position with feet hip distance apart, step one foot backward while bending both knees to a 90° angle.
- Make sure you step back far enough so that your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes.
- Keep your torso upright, chest lifted, and your abdominals pulled into your spine.
- Your depth should be until your back knee hovers just slightly above the ground.
- Hold for a moment and then drive the heal of the front foot down into the the ground to stand up to your original position.
Try this exercise to really strengthen your legs in no time!
40 glute bridges
30 jump lunges
20 single leg glute bridges
10 jump squats
repeat three times