Focus on improving leg tone with these 6 exercises

This leg workout is easy to do at home – you don’t need much space and you don’t need to get down on the floor.  There are 6 exercises which, between them, will work all your leg muscles. Ideally you should do the workout 3 times a week.  Start off with 12 repetitions on each leg and then aim to increase your reps as your legs get stronger.  Increasing by 2 reps on each leg every week would be a good goal to work for – the printable schedule below is based on this.

Warm up and safety

Give your legs a quick warm up before starting the workout using this chart and please also read these general exercise guidelines.

Warm up

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Main leg workout – the 6 exercises

Leg workout - squat and side raise

  • Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out.
  • Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into a squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor. Avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders and keep your neck in line with your spine.
  • Come back up smoothly, making sure you don’t jerk your knees backwards.
  • As you come back to the starting position, shift your weight onto your right leg and raise your left out to the side.
  • Lower the leg back down and go back into a squat. This time, when you come out of the squat lift your left leg to the side.

Leg workout forward raise

The important thing with this one is to make sure it’s only the leg that moves.

  • Stand with feet hip distance and lift your right leg out in front as high as you can manage. Your left knee shouldn’t be locked out – keep a slight bend.
  • Make sure you avoid any movement of your pelvis and upper body.
  • Lower and repeat for the given number of reps, before changing to the left.

Leg workout - side lunges

  • Stand with your feet wide and slightly turned out.
  • Bend one knee – your upper body will naturally shift towards it.
  • Now straighten the knee and bend the other one, as your upper body moves over to that side.
  • Keep the movement smooth, there shouldn’t be any jerking or bouncing.
  • Repeat for the given number of reps.

Leg workout lunge pulse

  • Stand with your feet about hip distance apart.
  • Make sure you keep your abdominal muscles engaged, your shoulders relaxed down and your back straight throughout.
  • Take one leg out behind you and touch your toes to the floor. Make sure you keep your feet hip width apart.
  • Now bend at both knees, so that you lower your body towards the floor. At the end of the movement, your thighs should be parallel with the floor, your front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and in line with your ankle, your back knee should be just above the floor.
  • From here, make small pulsing movements 1-2 inches up and down.

Hip extension

  • Have both hands on the wall for support.
  • Make sure that you stand straight and don’t arch your low back.
  • Take one leg out behind you, and flex your foot, so that only your toes are touching the floor.
  • Lift your leg as high as you can without arching your back.
  • Lower your leg back down, until your toes touch the floor behind you. Then repeat.

Calf raise

  • Stand on one leg and rest your other foot on this leg as shown.
  • Position your hands on the wall, so that your weight is evenly supported.
  • Rise up onto your toes, then lower and repeat.

The workout

It’s very simple – do 12 reps on each leg of everything, then repeat!  Try to do the workout 3 times a week and increase your reps by 2 each week.

Get a chart and schedule for the leg workout e-mailed to you

SLW chart & schedule

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More leg workouts to try

Improve your glutesExercise planner printables