Best Exercises for Legs and Thighs at Home

Legs, thighs and buttocks are notoriously tricky to get into the shape you want. In this guide, we’re going over the proven best exercises for legs and thighs anyone can do at home.

It is not always easy to get to the gym, especially if you have a really busy lifestyle, so being able to workout at home is the perfect way to keep fit on your busy days.

We’ve got 10 simple leg workouts anyone can use and build on to tone up from the waist down.

Best Exercises for Legs and Thighs at Home

If you are not able to go to the gym, don’t worry as you can still get a great workout done at home, with little or no equipment. Follow these easy workout guides to tone your legs and thighs at home.

5 Leg Exercises with Weights

If you’ve already got a couple of suitable dumbbells lying around at home (or even if you can only find one *) then this first section covers some core leg and thigh workouts you can get into right now. (Well, once you’ve finished reading this bit…)

* Got one dumbbell? Rack it up to your chest and hold it with both hands, or use it ‘goblet style’.

How to do these exercises

  • Complete 10-12 reps of each exercise
  • Follow the circuit 3-4 times
  • Take 60 seconds rest in between each set
  • Increase the weight of the dumbbell or medicine ball as you get stronger.

Aim for the last few reps of each set to be really difficult so that you get the most out of every workout. Strengthening and toning your legs at home is not as difficult as you may think.

1. Weighted Squat

The weighted squat is one of the most important exercises for legs and thighs
The weighted squat is one of the most important exercises for legs and thighs

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell in each hand for a classic weighted squat. This is the perfect exercise to tone your thighs and legs. If you find normal squats too difficult, try it from a seated position on a chair, lift yourself up, and push the chair away.

Increase the weight as your leg muscles and thighs get stronger and aim for the last few reps of each set to be really difficult. Check your posture in a mirror or patio door if you are unsure.

2. Weighted Lunges

This is another great exercise to do from home that you can vary by using different weights depending on your strength. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing, take a big step forward with one leg and lower the other one toward the ground. Hold for a second and raise yourself up again.

Bring your leg back to a standing position and place the other leg forward and lower yourself to the ground again. Alternate each leg so that you have completed 10-12 reps on each leg. Make sure that you keep the shin of your forward leg vertical and ensure your rear food is stretched.

A lunge will help you to tone your hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Increase the weight so that you are close to failure on your last few reps of each set.

3. Weighted Calf Raises

Stand upright with your feet slightly apart. Hold a medicine ball or a dumbbell in each hand and raise one of your needs so that it is level with your hip, then raise yourself so that you are on your toes of your other foot.

If you find weighted calf raises too difficult, leave the weights out until your balance has improved. Swap legs and repeat so that you have completed 10-12 reps on each leg. This is a perfect leg exercise to tone and strengthen your calves and improve your balance.

4. Romanian Deadlift

Stand straight with your feet slightly apart so that they are under your hips. Hold dumbbells in both hands by your sides. Slightly bend your knees then bend at the hips while keeping your core tight until you feel your hamstrings stretch.

Squeeze your glutes in this position while driving your hips back and then return to standing. This exercise is perfect for toning your hamstrings, glutes, core, and back.

5. Weighted Step Up

Find a low stool, bench, or sturdy box that you can step on. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbells, lift one of your feet and place it on the box. Keep your head up and shin straight push from the other heel and step onto the box.

Try to keep your balance and control as your return to a normal standing position. If you cannot find a box or stool to use then start by kneeling on the ground, step one foot forward and stand up. Return to the kneeling position and repeat for 10-12 reps on each side.

Make sure to engage your calves, core, and lower back in order to maintain correct form during this exercise. This is a great exercise to target your glutes and hamstrings.

5 Exercises Without Weights

You don’t even need to have weights to enjoy a leg workout at home. Here are 5 perfect leg exercises to do at home without weights. Complete 10-12 reps of each exercise and follow the circuit 3-4 times with 60 seconds rest in between each set.

1. Pulse Squats

  1. Stand with your feet slightly apart and lower yourself into a squat
  2. Hold that position
  3. And then slightly lower yourself down again before you return to a standing position.

This is a perfect exercise that will have your glutes burning in no time.

2. Hip Bridges

Lie on your back, bend your knees and make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. Check that you can touch your heels with your fingers. Engage your core and squeeze your glute muscles while pushing into your heels and lifting your hips off the floor until they are in line with your shoulders.

Slower lower back to the floor and repeat for 10-12 reps.

3. Jump Squats

Stand with your feet slightly apart so that they are just wider than your hips. Push your hips back and down. Keep your chest high, push into your heels, and jump up. Complete for 10-12 reps to target your quads, hamstrings, lower back and core.

4. Jumping Lunges

Stand upright, step one foot back into a lunge position while keeping the other flat on the floor. Jump the other foot forward to switch position and repeat. Target your quads, glutes, hamstrings core, and calves while improving your balance.

5. Step Ups

Stand in front of a bench, box, or steps. Place one foot on the box. Keep your chest high and front foot vertical, push into the other heel and step onto the box. If you don’t have a bench or box, start from a kneeling position, step one foot forward, then stand up and return to the starting position.

How to tone your thighs

If you are looking to tone your thighs, focus on squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step ups. It is a good idea to do strength training about 3 times a week and introduce cardio at least once a week if you are looking to tone your thighs and legs.

Make sure that you are walking as much as possible in your everyday life. If you don’t usually, walk to work instead of taking the bus. Or take yourself on a walk around your city every evening after dinner.

To sum up

Just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean that you can’t workout and stay fit and healthy. Try these exercises 3-5 times a week before or after work and notice the difference in just a few weeks.

Make sure that you pair working out with a healthy diet to ensure the best results. It is also recommended to warm up before you workout, even if you are not lifting heavy weights.

Tom Armstrong

Hey! I've been training in all kinds of places, with all kinds of equipment for the best part of 30 years. I love training with my weights at home and writing about new products and training methods online. Well, with a name like Armstrong, I would have to be into training, right?