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7 Leg Exercises At Home (All Standing)

Build strong, defined legs with this all-standing workout: the best leg exercises at home. Seven strength training exercises are combined in a strict-set format to build strength and muscle definition using a set of dumbbells. Grow the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves and thighs at home in just 20 minutes.



 

Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and core: we’ll hit it all in this efficient all-strength, all-standing leg workout.

These are the best leg exercises for at-home workouts, combined in a muscle-building strict set format. Each exercise engages multiple lower body muscles at once. This not only salves you time, but also gets your heart rate up and increases calorie burn.

Add these exercises to your home leg workout to build muscle definition, increase strength, and burn fat.

Don’t have dumbbells available at home? No problem: sub these bodyweight leg exercises instead (no equipment needed).

two women performing a kang squat as example of leg exercises at home

Leg Exercises At Home FAQs

What Home Workout Is Best For Legs?

The best leg workout is one that includes strength training exercises in multiple planes of motion. This style of training is an example of functional strength training, or a workout that allows you to move better in your daily life.

What Are The Best Leg Exercises At Home?

The squat (and squat variations, such as the air squat, barbell squat, goblet squat or dumbbell squat) is one of the best leg exercises. You can also add on leg isolation exercises (or exercises that focus on a specific muscle group, such as glute exercises, quad exercises, hamstring exercises, or thigh exercises) to address muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

two women performing walking lunges as example of leg exercises at home

20-Minute Standing Workout: Leg Day

Build lower body strength and muscle definition with this 20-minute lower body workout.

A complete leg day workout targeting every muscle group in the lower body: the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and thighs.

Add this lower body workout to your home workout plan 1-2 times per week to build and maintain strength in the lower body.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to Heavy Set of Dumbbells. I recommend between 5-30 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout. Option to drop weights at any time and do this workout with just your body weight.

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I’m using 15-30 lb dumbbells in this leg workout.

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woman performing a lateral lunge as example of leg exercise at home

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Standing Leg Workout on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 7 Leg Exercises At Home
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work per exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest)
  • Strict Sets (repeat each move x2 back-to-back before moving on to the next exercise)

Workout Outline

  1. Uneven Rack Squat
  2. Kang Squat
  3. Single Leg Deadlift
  4. Walking Lunge
  5. Lateral Lunge and Rotational Lunge
  6. Heels Up Squat
  7. Deadlift Clean and Front Squat
two women performing a lateral lunge as example of best leg exercises

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Leg Workout

7 Best Leg Exercises At Home

Uneven Rack Squat

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and core muscles.

two women performing an uneven rack squat

How To Do Uneven Rack Squats

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold the dumbbell in your left hand by your left side, and the dumbbell in your right hand in a front rack position at your right shoulder.
  3. With your weight in your heels, sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle in both knees.
  4. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall.

Kang Squat

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, erector spinae, lower back and core muscles.

This compound leg exercise is a great multi-joint movement, involving both the hip and knee joints.

two women performing kang squats as example of dumbbell leg exercises

How To Do Kang Squats

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Place one dumbbell horizontally behind your head, resting on your upper back and shoulders. Hold each head of the dumbbell with one hand.
  2. With a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground, or you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Core is engaged and the spine is neutral, keeping the back flat.
  3. Then, lower down into a squat, pushing your hips back and down until your hips align with your knees (making a 90-degree angle with your hips and knees). Knees push out towards your outer three toes.
  4. Then press through your heels to stand tall, returning to the starting position.

Single Leg Deadlift

Targets: The posterior chain (backside of body) — glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core muscles.

The single leg deadlift, or single leg Romanian deadlift, is a unilateral leg exercise that will also challenge your balance and engage your deep core muscles.

two women performing single leg deadlifts

How To Do Single Leg Deadlifts

  1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you at your thighs, palms facing in towards your body.
  2. Transfer your weight into your right foot and kickstand or float your left foot off the ground. Balancing on your right leg.
  3. With your right knee bent, hinge at your hips, extending your left leg long behind you. Push your glutes back towards the wall behind you, lowering the dumbbells along the front of your thighs.
  4. Lower until you feel a stretch in your right hamstring (back of your standing leg) at the bottom of this movement. Range of motion looks different for everyone.
  5. Then drive through your front right heel, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and stand tall, returning to a standing position. Bring your floating back left leg up to meet your right leg again.

Modification: Kickstand your non-working leg rather than floating it. Keep 80% of your weight in your front leg and 20% in your back toes.

Walking Lunges

Targets: Legs, quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs and core.

Walking lunges are a dynamic movement that improve balance and coordination in addition to building lower body strength.

two women performing walking lunges

How To Do Walking Lunges

  1. Start by standing at the back of your space, feet hip-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards each other (hammer curl grip).
  2. Step your right leg forward into a front lunge, dropping your back left knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Drive through the front right heel to stand tall and rather than stopping at the top, immediately step your left leg into a front lunge. Drop your back right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Repeat alternating front lunges as you move forward in a walking motion.

Modification: Stay in place, performing alternating reverse lunges instead of walking lunges.

Lateral Lunge and Rotational Lunge

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip adductors, knee and ankle joints, lower back, shoulders and core.

The rotational lunge (or cossack squat) improves hip, knee, and ankle mobility. It also increases flexibility in the hamstrings and adductors (inner thighs).

two women performing lateral lunges and reverse lunges

How To Do Lateral Lunges and Rotational Lunges

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell at your chest between both hands, goblet-style.
  2. Step your right leg out to the side as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight. Knees and toes are pointing forward. This is a lateral lunge.
  3. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing back to center.
  4. Step your right foot back, rotating your right toes and both hips 90 degrees to face the right wall. Left toes stay facing the front of the room.
  5. Bend your right knee and sit back towards your right hip, keeping your left leg straight. Think about performing a single leg squat on the right side. Left toes pop off the mat (toes up towards the ceiling).
  6. Then, drive off your bent right leg to reverse the movement, standing tall and facing the front of the room.

Heels Up Squat

Targets: Leg muscles, quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs (hip abductors), chest and core.

two women performing a heels up squat as example of leg exercises at home

How To Do Heels Up Squats

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in.
  2. Inhale as you bend your knees and sit your hips back (as if sitting down in a chair). Aim for 90 degree bends at each knee, focusing on pushing your knees out (not letting them cave in). Keep your torso in an upright position.
  3. Exhale as you press through your heels to stand tall, driving your hips forward to return to standing position.

Modification: Perform this move with feet flat on the floor if heels raised isn’t comfortable for you.

Deadlift Clean and Front Squat

Targets: Lower body (glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, calves), upper body (trapezius, deltoids, lower back), abs and core.

two women performing a deadlift and clean with a front squat

How To Do Deadlift Clean and Front Squat

  1. Start standing, feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips to perform a deadlift, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you return to a standing position. As you press your hips forward to stand, “clean” the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Catch the dumbbells at your chest in a front rack position.
  4. Then, lower your hips, bending your knees to 90 degree angles as you perform a front squat.
  5. Press through your heels to stand tall, lowering the dumbbells to your hips as you stand, returning to the starting position.

Modification: Omit the clean, keeping the dumbbells at your sides through the deadlift and squat.

Pin This Workout: Leg Exercises At Home

woman performing lateral lunge

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