5 Leg Toning Exercises You Can Do at Home

Leg toning exercises strengthen and sculpts major muscles of the legs. (Photo via Pexels/MART  PRODUCTION)
Leg toning exercises strengthen and sculpts major muscles of the legs. (Photo via Pexels/MART PRODUCTION)

Want to train your legs but don’t want to spend on gym memberships? Well, the best you can do is add some great leg toning exercises to your home workout routine.

There're several benefits to having stronger and well-sculpted legs. Not only do they look good, but they improve overall mobility and strength, make you more independent, especially as you age. Some leg toning exercises even strengthen the posterior chain muscles, alleviating hip and back pain and keeping injuries at bay. The best part is that you don’t require fancy gym tools to train the legs.

So, are you ready to work on your legs in the comfort of your home? Here are some best leg toning exercises for you to do at home.


Best leg toning exercises to add to your home workout routine

Whether you're a beginner or pro-exerciser, the following five leg toning exercises are sure to target the major muscles of your legs from each angle:

1) Lunge

A staple in leg workouts, lunges and their variations such as forward lunges, lateral lunges, curtsy lunges, etc., are some of the most popular leg toning exercises that can be easily done at home.

Alongside targeting major leg muscles, including the hamstrings, calves, and thighs, this exercise sculpts the abs and glutes too.

How to do the standard forward lunge?

With your back straight and hands on your sides, stand tall, keeping your feet at hip-width distance. Take a big step forward with your left leg, and slowly lower your body into a lunge. Continue to go down till your knees get bent at 90 degrees or right knee lightly touches the floor.

Push off on your left foot to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise, and continue with your right leg in the front.

Aim for three sets of 10 reps on each leg.


2) Single-leg glute bridge

One of the best leg toning exercises, the glute bridge is an ideal workout for beginners. This exercise tones the legs and enhances mobility in the hips too. It boosts core stability, works on each side evenly, and is also effective for people with back pain.

How to do the single-leg glute bridge?

Lie down on your back on a flat surface, and keep your knees bent. Place your feet on the floor, and raise your right leg straight up as far as you can while lifting your hips off the floor and creating a round in the lower back. Pause at the top for a few seconds.

As you raise your leg off the floor, make sure to engage your glutes and hamstrings to attain more contraction. Bring your right leg back to the start; raise your left, and repeat the exercise.

Aim for three sets of 12 reps on each leg.


3) Single-leg calf raise

Calf raise exercise adds size in the calves. (Photo via Pexels/kinkate Gruber)
Calf raise exercise adds size in the calves. (Photo via Pexels/kinkate Gruber)

The single-leg calf raise is among some of the most compelling leg toning exercises that particularly target the calves and lower leg muscles and also helps boost balance. Strengthening these muscles enhances athletic performance, prevents strains and injuries, and increases the size of the calves.

How to do the single-leg calf raise?

Stand tall with your feet at a hip distance and hands on the hips. Hold onto something sturdy for balance. Slightly bend your right knee, and lift your left heel off the floor while balancing on the ball of your foot. Pause at the top, and slowly lower your heel back to the starting posiion.

Repeat the exercise a few more times with your left leg, and continue with your right. Aim for theee sets of 15 reps on each leg.


4) Plank leg lift

One of the most beneficial leg toning exercises, plank leg lifts target the upper legs and butts while also working on the midsection. This exercise offers the incredible advantage of a regular plank by training the core, shoulders, and glutes, and also helps reduce body fat.

How to do the plank leg lifts?

Start on all fours with your forearms on the floor and legs extended behind. Engage your core muscles, and lift your left leg. Pause at the top, and lower your leg to the starting position. Perform the same with your right leg. Remember to engage the glutes and abs throughout the exercise. Aim for three sets of ten reps on each leg.

Also read: Plank exercises to burn visceral fat.


5) Single-leg deadlift

Single-leg deadlifts are one of the best leg toning exercises that strengthens all the major muscles in the legs, including the glutes and hamstrings, and targets the core too. This exercise builds strength, stability, and balance, and boosts mobility throughout the hips and legs.

How to do the single-leg deadlift?

Stand tall with your feet at a hip-width distance and hands by your side. Slowly lean forward, and put your bodyweight on your right leg, with the left leg extended straight behind. Lift your left leg as high as possible, and continue to lean forward as much as you can. Allow your arms to hang down just below the shoulders, and stay in this position for a few seconds.

Return to the starting position, and repeat the exercise. Switch legs after a few reps. Aim to complete 15 reps on each leg.


Takeaway

Practicing the aforementioned leg toning exercises a few times a week is sure to strengthen your legs while also increasing the size of your leg muscles. You can mix, and match these exercises and adjust the reps and sets to suit your fitness level.

Always remember that strong and toned legs are very important and needed to sustain an active and healthy life. So, be very consistent and give your leg day workouts the attention they deserve.

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Edited by Bhargav