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Strength Workouts

The 13 Best Bodyweight Leg Exercises

As remote work remains the norm for many of us, exercising has been relocated to the home. With that in mind, I wanted to share some great bodyweight leg workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home, with nothing more than your body and some motivation. You should never underestimate the importance of your legs in cultivating overall strength. From squats to calf raises, here are the 13 best bodyweight leg exercises that you can do from home—or anywhere.

Baseline Rules Before Starting

Before you begin on your new work-from-home exercise regimen, take these four pieces of advice to heart, in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Bodyweight Squats
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For these traditional squats, you’ll want to keep your feet shoulder width apart with your toes slightly facing out. Make sure to keep a straight back and have your shoulders retracted. It’s a good idea to hold onto an item or extend your arms to maintain better balance. 

2. Bodyweight Pulse Squats

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

These are very similar to the above exercise, but with an additional pulse. To complete this exercise, slowly do the squat, but before you go back up to complete the squat, pulse back down momentarily. 

3. Bodyweight Jump Squats
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

The description is in the name! These are similar to traditional bodyweight squats, but at the top of your squat you should maintain some explosive energy to jump up into the air. These hit all the same muscles as the traditional squat, but the dynamic addition can improve range of motion and overall athleticism. 

4. Assisted Pistol Squats

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This version of the squat is great for making sure you execute the motion with proper form and perform a full rep of the motion. You’ll want to hold onto something sturdy, keep your core tight as you press through your heels down into the squat. This one will take some coordination, so make sure to really engage your core as you lower your body. 

5. Close Stance Squats
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This variation is the same as the traditional squats above, but with one alteration. Rather than keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, for these, you should have a slightly narrower stance. These are more difficult and require more flexibility, making them a great variation to add to your regimen. 

6. Lunges
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

Lunges may seem straightforward, but we could all always use a refresher. Begin by keeping an upright position with your chest up. Take a big step forward and press back with the heels as you lower your knee. It should almost (emphasis on almost) touch the floor. Return to upright and alternate your feet. 

7. Reverse Lunge
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

The reverse lunge is similar to the above regular lunge, but this time you step backwards into the dip. You’ll begin the same with an upright position, making sure your chest is up. Then step backwards and lower your knee until it almost touches the floor. Return to upright and alternate feet. 

8. Jumping Lunges

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

Jumping lunges are certainly more difficult than the other iterations, but they include the explosive action of jumping, making them a great way to vary your leg workouts. You should get into a lunge position by following the steps above, and then jump and alternate your feet mid-air. It’s a more difficult exercise which will take some getting used to, but give it a try as it’s certainly a beneficial way to amp up your lunges. 

9. Bulgarian Split Squat
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This is another killer exercise. For the Bulgarian Split Squat, you’ll want to place one of your feet up on an elevated surface behind you (bench, chair, bed) and take a step forward with your other foot. Then, press through your heels and lower your body, maintaining an upright position. Return to standing and repeat. 

10. Glute Bridge
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For this exercise, you’ll need to start by lying down on the floor, facing up. Place your heels firmly on the ground and then bring your hips up towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes. Your heels should not rise from the ground. Lower your body back to the ground, then repeat. 

11. Hip Thrust

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This exercise is pretty much the same as a glute bridge, but you’ll want to get your shoulders leaned on an elevated surface. Then lift your hips up towards the ceiling as done above. 

12. Calf Raise
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

This is a classic for a good reason. Step up on a slightly elevated surface so that your heels hang off the back a bit.  Then, fully extend your calf muscle by stretching it (as you lower your weight) and squeeze your calves by standing back up on your toes.

13. Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlift (assisted)
FaZe Jasper

Sets: 3 – 5

Reps: 10 – 15

For this exercise, you can begin by holding onto something—a pole, cabinet or anything sturdy in your house—to help with balance. Balance on one leg and then keep a slight bend in your knee as you bend at the hips and lower your upper body as far forward as possible. Use your other leg as a counterweight as you raise back up, making sure to keep your back flat. 

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