Your legs are made up of a lot of different muscles, all working together. Your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, adductors, abductors and everything in between really all have a huge part in your lower body, and particularly, your legs. To make the most of them, you need to right kind of leg toning exercises.

Now you have an understanding about your lower body and your legs, in particular, it’s important to look at the exercises you need to help tone them up. We're not looking at building huge levels of muscle mass, but still improving leg definition by cutting fat in general and building up leg muscle.

Here are a few of our favourite leg toning exercises you can do at home.

Legs and Lower Body Toning Exercises

Full Squats

Ma doing leg exercises at home

Squat exercises should be included in all leg workout plans, whether you're exercising at home or at the gym. They support all fitness goals including strength training, muscle building, toning and weight loss. When looking to define and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and calves, you can’t go far wrong with the variety of squat exercises that are available.

If you wanted to test your fitness ability, hold the squat position for at least 30 seconds or incorporate free weights into the exercise. E.g. hold dumbbells in each hand or place a weighted barbell on the back of your shoulders and squat.

Complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of this exercise.

Squat Jumps

person doing a squat jump in front of a sunset by the sea

Squat jumps can be slightly more challenging compared to the original squat, but highly effective in toning and burning fat. Similarly to the standard squat exercises, the squat jumps focus on the same area as well as the adductor muscles.

If you’ve never done a squat jump before, lower your body so you’re in the squat position and jump.

Complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of this exercise.

Calf Raises

Close up calf raises

Your calves are made up from two muscles; gastrocnemius which starts at the bottom of your thigh bone and finishes at your Achilles tendon, and located beneath this muscle is your soleus, which runs from your tibia in your lower leg to your Achilles tendon.

Calf raises are recommended exercises to include in your workout regime. They're a perfect exercise to help with toning and adding definition to your legs; as well as strengthen your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.

Calf raises are simple to do. Simply stand in an upright position, raise your heels so you’re on your tiptoes and hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. You can place your hands on the wall for support.

Complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of this exercise.

Mountain Climbers

person doing toning exercise in a home gym

Mountain climbers carry a variety of benefits including improving your cardiovascular health and lower body strength. Due to the exercise movement, it increases your heart rate and health. Also, they help to improve your mobility, which will have a positive impact on your joints.

Another reason to include this exercise in your plan is that of the range of muscles it targets. Mountain climbers work on your glutes, quads, abductors, adductors, hamstrings, calves, abs and shoulders.

To do mountain climbers, begin in the push-up position keeping both arms and leg straight. Bend one knee and move it towards your chest.

Extend this leg back to the starting position and bend your other knee bringing it towards your chest. Continue this movement on both legs for 30 seconds. Once you’re in a routine, pick up the speed.

Complete 3, 30-second sets of this exercise.

Walking Lunges with Dumbbells

Woman doing walking lunges at home

Walking lunges, and lunges in general, are another effective leg exercise you can do at home. Not only do they add definition to your lower body, but it also strengthens your muscle tissue and core.

Lunges will target and strengthen your quads, glutes and hamstrings muscles, which as a result, can improve your metabolism system. Therefore, making it a must-have exercise for your workout plan.

Walking lunges using dumbbells can further enhance your lower body strength – namely your legs. This exercise can strengthen your skeletal muscle and improve your stability.

If you find yourself getting bored doing lunges, try reverse lunges or complete lunge exercises on an aerobic step platform. You can also lunge using free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells.

Complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each leg for this exercise.

Deadlifts

person about to do a deadlift with a barbell

Although deadlifts are commonly used for muscle building and strength, it’s also an effective exercise for fat burning and toning.

Deadlifts can improve your body posture and strengthen your core by targeting the large muscle groups in this area. It also works on a vast range of muscles in your lower body.

To complete deadlift exercises, begin in the squat position with anything heavy; dumbells, a weighted barbell, anything you can find really, placed on the floor in front of you. Keeping your head up and hips low, hold onto the weight with both hands and lift to the stand-up position.

Make sure your arms are kept straight and your back is flat. Pushing your hips back, begin lowering the barbell back to the floor, bending your knees.

Complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of this exercise.

There are plenty of legs and lower body toning exercises that can be done at home, and they don’t always require the use of free weights or machines. We recommend completing at least three 30 – 45-minute toning workouts per week to see noticeable results.

 

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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.