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7 Good Leg Workouts at Home for Stronger Quads, Hamstrings and Glutes

Learn how to use your bodyweight to build powerful legs.

Leg workouts can be easily performed at home with intensity and efficiency. It is perfectly possible to increase your leg strength without access to external weights.

Training your legs is important and comes with many benefits:

  • Strong quads are useful for any pushing movement that requires your legs: think squatting, rowing and lunges.
  • Strong hamstrings (a group of muscles located in the back of the thigh) help coordinate explosive hip and knee extensions. They provide lower-body speed and power
  • Strong calves will help you run faster and longer, as these muscles propel you forward with every single step, absorb load with each impact and support the rest of your lower body. They are essential for sprints, high jumps, squat jumps.

Strong legs are the key to many big movements within CrossFit and general fitness and a powerful lower-body will be beneficial for both endurance athletes (think running, cycling, rowing, skiing) and power-based athletes (anything involving front squats, back squats, overhead squats and even presses can benefit from stable legs).

As long as you have some space and access to an elevated surface you should be able to do all these leg workouts at home, and work on improving your lower-body strength.

Work on your quads, hamstrings and quads with these leg workouts at home.

GOOD LEG WORKOUTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME

1 – Tabata Lower-Body Burner

4 Rounds for Reps:

Work 45 seconds / Rest 15 seconds

  • Max Reps Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Max Reps Air Squats
  • Max Reps Alternating Box Step Up
  • Max Reps Side Lunge
  • Max Reps Elevated Hip Thrusts

1 minute rest between rounds

This bodyweight leg workout targets all your leg muscles on all movement planes. Your score is the total number of reps at the end of the four rounds.

The Bulgarian split squat might be one of the best bodyweight leg exercises you can do at home. This exercise tests the strength of your front leg and ups the intensity of any workout.

Use the same elevated surface for the step ups and the elevated hip thrusts. Elevated hip thrusts target the whole backside of your body, making so your hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles stronger.

Scaled: 4 Rounds for Reps:

Work 45 seconds / Rest 15 seconds

  • Max Reps Back Lunges
  • Max Reps Squats onto a Box
  • Max Reps Alternating Box Step Up
  • Max Reps Side Lunge
  • Max Reps Glute Bridges

1 minute rest between rounds

For the glute bridges, simply lie on your back with your legs bent, your feet should be about a palm away from your glutes. Tighten your core and, grounding your feet, elevate your hips to the ski until you have a decent gap between your lower back and the floor.

2 – Burpees and Squats

For Time:

  • 50 Burpees
  • 100 Air Squats
  • 50 Burpees

This workout should feel like a sprint. A great way to test your endurance, you will certainly feel your legs and core when you’re done.

Scaled: For Time:

  • 25 Burpees
  • 50 Air Squats
  • 25 Burpees

Choose a rep range that will allow you to complete this workout within 20 minutes.

Workout by @crossfitstimulus

3 – Super Legs

5 Rounds for Time:

  • 20 Air Squats
  • 20 Alternating Lunges
  • 20 Alternating Split Squat Jumps
  • 10 Squat Jumps

Lunge movement demo:

For this workout, simply push your leg back to your initial position instead of walking forward.

The alternating split squat jumps are very similar to the jumping lunge – where you simply start with standing tall with your feet together and then jump one leg forward and one leg back to land in a lunge position – with the exception that your back knee doesn’t need to touch the ground.

Squat jumps simply require you to perform a squat and, as you come back up, jump vertically as high as you can before moving on to the next squat.

Scaling: 5 Rounds for Time:

  • 20 Squats to a Box
  • 20 Alternating Lunges
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Squat to Box and Calf Raise

Workout by CrossFit Stimulus

4 – Mashed Bodyweight Leg Workout

EMOM for as Long as Possible:

Minute 1

  • 1 Tuck Jump
  • 1 Bastard Burpee

Minute 2

  • 2 Tuck Jump
  • 2 Bastard Burpee

Continue with this pattern, adding 1 Tuck Jump and 1 Bastard Burpee every minute.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed every minute until failure.

Tuck jumps are a highly-demanding leg exercise that requires you to use your bodyweight and power to contract and engage several muscles at once to jump up in the air. They:

  • Strengthen your core
  • Improve your leg strength
  • Test your stamina

Bastard burpees are a variation of the burpee that you might come to hate but will certainly increase the intensity of any leg workout you do at home.

This exercise will see you perform the start of a burpee but replace the usual jump at the end of the exercise with a tuck jump – good luck!

Scaling: EMOM for as Long as Possible:

Minute 1

  • 1 Alternating Knee Raises
  • 1 Burpee

Minute 2

  • 2 Alternating Knee Raises
  • 2 Burpee

Continue with this pattern, adding 1 Tuck Jump and 1 Bastard Burpee every minute.

5 – Good Hammy

AMRAP in 20 Minutes:

  • 10 Box Jumps
  • 20 Alternating Pistols (Single Leg Squats)
  • 40 Double Unders

You will need a box, chair or similar elevated surface, as well as a jump rope to perform this workout.

The pistol squat is a very advanced movement, but if you have the ankle mobility and strength to perform one if is one of the most efficient bodyweight leg exercises you can do at home.

Scaling: AMRAP in 20 Minutes:

  • 10 Box Step Ups
  • 20 Assisted Alternating Pistols (Single Leg Squats)
  • 60 Single Unders

Use these drills to scale and assist the single leg squats:

6 – Round a Square

5 Rounds for Quality:

Work 40 seconds / Rest 20 seconds

  • Wall Sit
  • Elevated Calf Raises
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Pause Squats

1 minute rest between rounds

Calf raises are a top exercise to train your calves, which in turn will make your hill sprints, high jumps and general impact movements better.

Do your best to come down the slowest way possible – just like you would when training negative pull-ups – to get the most out of each calf raise. You can perform this exercise both directly on the floor or with your toes on an elevated surface.

7 – Run and Squat

For Distance:

  • Run for 10 minutes

Each Minute On the Minute Perform:

  • 20 Air Squats

Try to cover as much distance as possible on a 10-minute running clock. The air squats will tire your legs out, don’t underestimate them.

Workout by CrossFit Stimulus

Jumping LungeSource: Finn Eidam

MAKE YOUR OWN GOOD LEG WORKOUT AT HOME

There are plenty of excellent leg exercises that you can perform with only your bodyweight at home.

Think about your goals in the sport and build your own leg workout around these exercises:

  • Pistol squats (single leg squats)
  • Wall sits
  • Lunges
  • Reverse lunges
  • Walking lunges
  • Box step overs
  • Box step ups
  • Box jumps
  • Air squats
  • Tuck jumps
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Calf raises
  • Hip thrusts
  • Squat jumps
  • Pause squats
  • Double unders
  • Hill running
  • Sprints

Remember you can always alter the number of reps, the tempo of the exercise or the time it takes you to complete the workout including breaks. Be creative and program a variety of AMRAPs, EMOMs, Chippers or Tabata-style workouts.

How to Write Better Home Workouts

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