Getting in a challenging workout doesn’t always require a gym membership. There are many exercises you can do right at home, requiring little to no equipment.
This workout routine is quick, simple, and effective. With good form, high repetition, and little to no breaks in between, you will certainly feel the burn as you sculpt and tone your body.
Today I’ll be highlighting 4 simple leg/glute exercises that are intended to be completed as a circuit, alternating between each exercise as you complete a set. In this routine, all you need is a waist-high chair and a little space to move around. These leg exercises are some of my favorites; they are simple, yet extremely challenging…always leaving me incredibly soar the next few days. But the burn is oh so rewarding ;-).
So throw on some clothes to sweat in and join me as we focus on strengthening and toning our legs and butt. Whoop whoop!
Required time: 15-25 minutes, depending on fitness level
- Body squats (30)
- Bulgarian split squats (12 on each leg)
- Standing glute raises (pulse for 30 seconds on each leg)
- Calf raises (20)
Repeat 3-4 times, with little to no breaks in between
Begin by doing a light warm up and stretching your muscles for 5 minutes. New to stretching? Follow this video clip.
1. Body squats – stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes pointed outward. Bending your knees slightly, stand up tall, engaging the core (tightening your stomach muscles) and look straight ahead (and smile awkwardly).
Then squat down as if sitting back in a chair, making sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. You want your knees to be above your toes; not beyond. This will help protect your knees. Aim for 30 reps before moving on to exercise 2.
2. Bulgarian split squats – take your waist-high chair and stand in front of it. Lift one leg and extend it behind you, resting it on the chair. If you are new to this exercise, you may want to stand next to a wall or something you can hold on to for balance. Standing tall, engage your core, and make sure there is a slight bend in your knee of the standing leg.
With your hands on your hips, in front of you, or holding onto the wall for balance, slowly squat down, feeling that stretch in your hip, quads, and glutes. As with the body squats, make sure your knee does not extend beyond your toes. Go as deep as you can go, keeping your back straight.
Repeat 12 times on each leg before moving on to the next exercise.
3. Standing glute raises – turn your chair around and gently hold onto the back for support. Bend your knees and extend one leg back, touching the floor with your toe. With your core muscles tight and contracted, slowly lift your back leg until it comes to a 45 degree angle.
Hold it here and slowly lower right above the ground. Pulse between the floor and a 45 degree angle for 30 seconds on each leg (or longer if you aren’t yet feeling the burn!) Repeat on other leg.
4. Calf raises – Find some stairs or an aerobic step if you have one. If you have neither, you can do this flat on the ground, raising your toes. If needed, gently hold onto a wall nearby for balance. If using stairs or a step, begin by lowering your heels for a nice calf stretch. Hold it there for a few seconds and then extend up on your toes.
Repeat 20 times.
Repeat this circuit 3-4 times, breaking as little as possible. Once you have completed your sets, be sure to stretch out your muscles again and cool down. A favorite “leg day” stretch of mine is the cross stretch glute/back strectch. Sitting on the floor, cross one leg over the other extended leg. Wrap the opposite arm around the leg and hold it in a snug stretch as you wrap your body around back like you’re looking over your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Pretty simple right? Mix this leg circuit into your workout routine and you’ll be on your way to toned and strong thighs and butt!