There’s a high chance you’ve seen coffee mugs or T-shirts with witty quotes about leg day workouts (“Go around me, it was leg day yesterday,” or “Me after leg day” next to a photo of a puppy on its stomach). This is because, whether you love them or hate them, leg-focused exercises are key for your overall strength since your bottom half often holds some of the largest and strongest muscles in your body.
Actually, when it comes right down to it, trainers believe that lower body workouts are key for your strength in general. “Leg workouts are the most beneficial to your overall fitness, because they reduce your risk of injuries and strengthen your bone health,” says Lacey Stone, celebrity trainer and One Brands ambassador. “Plus, your legs help you move in everything that you do, so having strong legs makes life easier.”
Stone’s tip is to do leg-focused workouts three times a week. “We already use our legs so much, so you don’t want to overdo it,” she says (especially if you do spinning or running for cardio, which incorporate your lower body muscles). And leg day doesn’t necessarily have to be overly complicated—Stone recommends sticking with the basics. “I love the staples. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are my favorite moves,” she says. Besides those OG strength training exercises, keep scrolling for full lower body-focused workouts to try at home, below.
Leg day workouts to try
1. Resistance band leg workout with Simone De La Rue
Celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue takes us through a lower body workout that fires up your leg muscles in just 12 minutes—all you’ll need is a resistance band.
2. 11-minute bodyweight leg workout
Founder of Le Sweat and Le Stretch Charlee Atkins strengthens your leg muscles with simple (but challenging) exercises that require zero equipment.
3. Dancer legs workout
For Swan Lake-strong legs, try this dancer-style lower body workout, courtesy of trainer Rahel Ghebreichael—expect pliés and pulses.
4. Pilates legs and glutes workout
If you’re looking for a low-impact, slow-burn style lower body sesh, try this Pilates workout that’ll strengthen and lengthen your lower body muscles.
5. Kettlebell leg and glutes workout
To take your leg day up a notch, incorporate a kettlebell with this mini weight training session that goes hard on your lower body.
6. Lower body slider workout
This 15-minute slider workout mimics what it feels like to sweat on an amped up Pilates machine—which means that it’s no joke.
7. Pilates standing leg and glutes series
Another Pilates-style leg workout is this short but burns-so-good round of standing exercises from Pilates pro Kimmy Kellum.
8. 10-minute core and leg workout
Hit your core along with your lower body muscles with another workout by Atkins that can be done in just 10 minutes.
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