Ready for Leaner Legs? 10 Exercises to Tone and Strengthen at Home

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By: Chris Freytag, CPT // November 28, 2023


Ready for toned, lean legs? This quick and effective leg workout combines cardio exercises to burn fat and strengthening exercises to strengthen your legs. (The key to seeing those leg muscles!)

No equipment is required, and you can do it anywhere—your living room, the bedroom, outdoors, in a hotel room while traveling, or wherever works best for you!

Workout Instructions:

  • This workout is divided into two portions: Exercises 1-5 are cardio, and exercises 6-10 are strength training.
  • Go through the cardio exercises for 1 minute each.
  • Do 15 reps of the strength training exercises on each side. (Or 15 reps total if you’re not doing each side.)

Try to do this workout at least 2 -3 times per week for the best results!

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    1. Jumping Jacks (1 minute)

    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do jumping jacks:

    1. Start standing up with your legs together, a slight bend in your knees, and hands resting on your thighs.
    2. Keeping the knees bent, open the arms and jump your legs out to the sides. Arms come above the head, and legs are wider than the shoulders.
    3. Close your arms and legs back to your sides, returning to your start.
    4. Repeat for 1 minute.

    2. Split Jumps (1 minute)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating split jumps.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do split jumps:

    1. Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Hands are in front of the chest hand on fist.
    2. Take a large step forward with one foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge.
    3. Lower the back knee slightly and jump to switch the feet.  While in the air, the front foot comes back, and the back foot comes to the front.  Land in a bent knee lunge.
    4. Repeat for 1 minute.

    3. Squat Jumps (1 minute)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating squat jumps.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do squat jumps:

    1. Start standing with feet hip distance apart and lower into a squat position by bending the knees.
    2. Keep the spine straight, chest lifted, and knees behind your toes. Arms are in front of the chest for balance.
    3. Jump straight up and swing your arms overhead. Return to squat.
    4. Repeat for 1 minute.

    4. Butt Kicks (1 minute)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating butt kicks.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do butt kicks:

    1. Stand up straight with your legs slightly wider than your hips. Bring one heel off the floor toward your glutes while the opposite-side hand comes up towards your shoulder like you’re running.
    2. Repeat this movement on the other side.
    3. Alternate sides at a brisk pace. (Similar to running in place.)
    4. Repeat for 1 minute.

    5. Jump Rope (1 minute)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a jump rope exercise.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do jump ropes:

    1. Start with feet hip distance apart, and arms stretched to the sides like your holding a jump rope with your hands.
    2. Circle your hands like you’re swinging a jump rope and hop over it from side to side, jump roping in place.

    6. Plié Leg Lift (15 reps on each side)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating plie leg lifts.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do plié leg lifts:

    1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, and toes turned out.
    2. Bend your knees and lower your torso into a plié while keeping your back straight.
    3. Squeeze your glutes and inner thighs and come to standing while lifting one leg out to the side.
    4. Return to your plié and repeat on the other side.
    5. Perform 15 reps on each side.

    7. Releve Plié (15 reps)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a releve plie exercise.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do releve pliés:

    1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, toes turned out, and lift your heels into releve.
    2. Bend at the knees, lowering your torso, while keeping your back straight and abs tight. Squeeze glutes and straighten legs to return to starting position.
    3. Perform 15 reps.

    8. Leg Lifts (15 reps on each side)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating leg lifts.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do leg lifts:

    1. Start on all fours with one leg extended long on the mat.
    2. Lift the extended leg up towards the ceiling, engaging the hamstrings and glutes, then lower to the floor.
    3. Perform 15 reps on each side.

    9. Fire Hydrant (15 reps on each side)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a fire hydrant exercise.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do fire hydrants:

    1. Begin on all fours.
    2. Using the outer thigh muscles and glutes, lift one knee out and up, keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. (Like a dog next to a fire hydrant!) Lower your leg and repeat.
    3. Perform 15 reps on each side.

    10. Single-Leg Bridge (15 reps on each side)

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a single-leg bridge exercise.
    Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

    How to do a single-leg bridge:

    1. Lie on your back with bent knees hip-distance apart, and feet flat on a mat stacked under the knees. Extend one leg long towards the ceiling.
    2. Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Repeat lifting and lowering.
    3. Perform 15 reps on each side.

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    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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