7 Bodyweight Lower Body Toning Exercises
It's time to target your lower abs, glutes, thighs and calves with these top bodyweight lower body toning exercises.
Whether you're just starting out, changing things up or looking for workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home with little to no equipment, these bodyweight exercises are a great place to start. If you do choose to use equipment, choose our toning weights to increase the intensity.
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Squats are one of the most effective bodyweight lower body toning exercises and the best compound exercise that you can do for your legs, with or without weights. If you’re looking to tone up your legs and really build functional strength, then squats are the answer, without a doubt. They engage everything in your upper legs together in a natural way to keep you in great shape.
When performing squats, make sure you keep your feet flat on the floor and your hands out in front of you for even weight distribution. Slowly lower yourself to the floor by bending your knees for as far as you feel comfortable. Contract your quads and slowly raise yourself back up to the starting point.
Do this for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Lunges are up there with the most famous of bodyweight lower body toning exercises, hitting your glutes, your quads and your hamstrings all at the same time. Efficient, effective, and relatively easy, they are essential for good leg toning.
Put one foot forward and bend your knees so that both legs are making right angles. When you’re there, keep your front knee at the midpoint of your foot, get the back knee an inch or so away from the floor, and return back upright.
Your calf muscles don’t always get much attention. Calf raises, however, are definitely one of the best bodyweight exercises for the lower body.
Calf raises are essentially going onto your tiptoes. You need to hold the pose for a few seconds to make the most of your contraction though. Slowly lower yourself back down for more time under tension and repeat.
Split squats are a lunge/squat combination and the perfect bodyweight lower body toning exercise. They are one of the most effective quad moves and are awesome for isolating one leg at a time.
To do them, the movement is very similar to general squats. The critical difference is that one leg is resting on a chair or something elevated behind you so that the focus is on your front leg. From here, bend closer to the floor, like a lunge, and push yourself back up as your foot pushes into the floor. Change legs, and repeat.
Although your glutes are used in most leg and lower body exercises, they do require specific attention to tone. They are the biggest muscles in your body. Glute bridges are one of the best glute-building exercises, and with just your own body weight, you’ll see some amazing results!
Lay with your back on the floor and your knees bent. When you're good to go, push into the floor to lift your hips and your glutes. Your glutes and hamstrings will be contracted, so hold and release gradually for the best effects and definition.
Side lunges are an excellent bodyweight lower body exercise because they hit some of the harder muscles to work. For true strength, you need to hit your legs as a whole rather than just hitting the big muscles, and this is the best way to do it.
The movement is similar to the lunge because of the slight variation, but step sideways instead of forwards and bend the knee that is still under you, and really push yourself back upwards as you pull in your outer leg. The exercise's lateral movement just means your legs are doing even more work to help build that definition.
One of the best exercises for your hamstrings is the deadlift. But without weights, the next best thing that you can do with your body weight is good mornings. They use your whole posterior chain, especially your hamstrings, and so are a great way to round off your leg toning workout.
With only a slight bend in your legs and a straight back, you need to bend forward at the hips, so you're at a good angle. Then drive your hips forward to straighten your back upward to make the most of your hamstrings and your lower back. This is an essential exercise so keep your eye on your form. Maybe do it next to a mirror.
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.