Leg Workouts at Home: 9 Leg Exercises for Strength and Endurance

Bri Hand

Leg workouts at home are a great way to build lower-body strength without hitting the gym. Strong legs are crucial not just for overall fitness, but also for daily activities—from climbing stairs to lifting heavy items, having strong legs makes your life a lot easier.

If you’re looking to strengthen your leg muscles, here are nine excellent leg exercises you can do from the comfort of your home, including: 

  1. Glute bridge

  2. Bodyweight squat

  3. Air squat 

  4. Single-leg deadlifts

  5. Zarcher squat

  6. Touchdown jacks

  7. Weighted hip bridges

  8. Step-ups with weight

  9. Romanian deadlifts

Let’s get started! 

Leg workouts at home using your body weight

Exercise equipment like rowers can enhance your workout routines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work those leg muscles if you don’t have access to workout tools. 

The following leg exercises only require your body weight (and a little bit of space in your home):

1. Glute bridge

Muscles targeted: Lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor approximately shoulder-width apart.

  2. Push through your heels, lifting your hips off the ground.

  3. Keep your core tight to prevent any arching in your lower back as you reach the top position. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

  4. Gradually lower your hips back down to the starting position, hovering your glutes just above the floor rather than fully resting them.

  5. Repeat.

2. Bodyweight squat

Muscles targeted: Glutes, quads, and core.

  1. Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip width, keeping your arms at your sides with palms facing each other. Let your toes slightly turn outward.

  2. Keep your back straight and chest up, then engage your core.

  3. Push your hips back as you shift your weight to your heels. Bend your knees to lower into a squat.

  4. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and push through your heels to return to a standing position.

  5. Squeeze your glutes at the top position to complete one rep.

3. Air squats

Muscles targeted: Lower back, hamstrings, quads, and core.

  1. Begin by standing with your feet positioned just slightly wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Push your hips backward and then downward.

  3. Maintain an upright chest throughout the exercise and concentrate on your hips going below the crease of your knees.

  4. Push through your heels to stand back up.

  5. You can jump as you stand if you want to intensify the exercise and increase calorie burn. This jumping variation enhances the workout’s intensity.

4. Single-leg deadlifts

Muscles targeted: Ankles, hamstrings, glutes, and core.

  1. Firmly plant your left foot on the floor to provide a stable base.

  2. Hinge at your hips while maintaining a slight bend in your left knee.

  3. Extend your arms forward as you simultaneously push your right foot back.

  4. Focus on keeping your hips and shoulders in a straight line.

  5. Engage your back ankle, flexing it as you push your heel backward for better balance and form.

  6. Squeeze your glutes and return your right leg to the initial position.

  7. Repeat.

Leg workouts at home using a resistance band

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile, offering tons of ways to target various muscle groups and achieve a well-rounded workout at home. Here are a few leg workouts you can perform with resistance bands at home:

5. Zarcher squat

Muscles targeted: Upper back, lower back, biceps, quads, and core.

  1. Choose a longer resistance band and stand inside the band’s loop, ensuring your feet are slightly more than hip-width apart.

  2. Using both hands, hold one end of the resistance band and position it securely in the creases of your elbows.

  3. Flex your biceps to approximately 90 degrees to prevent the band from slipping.

  4. Stand with your back straight before lowering your hips backward and down to achieve the lowest squat position possible while keeping tension in the band.

  5. Ensure your form remains strong and controlled.

  6. Rise from the squat position by squeezing your glutes and pushing through your heels.

  7. Repeat this motion for the desired duration.

6. Touchdown jacks

Muscles targeted: Glutes, core, and calves.

  1. Stand upright and place the resistance band just below your knees.

  2. Drive your knees outward, as if you’re performing a jumping jack, and simultaneously lower into a squat position with your feet more than hip-width apart.

  3. Extend your hips back while touching the floor with your left hand.

  4. Jump, bringing your feet back in, and perform the same sequence, but this time, touch the floor with your right hand.

  5. Continue this sequence until you’ve completed the desired number of repetitions.

Leg workouts at home using weighted objects

Want to improve your bone density? Try adding weights to your leg workouts, as research shows they can significantly improve bone mineral density.

Don’t have dumbbells, kettlebells, or weighted plates? No worries—you can use water jugs filled with water or sand. You can even fill a backpack with books and use it for these exercises.

7. Weighted hip bridges

Muscles targeted: Hip abductors, hamstrings, obliques, glutes, and core.

  1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat or the floor, keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  2. Hold a kettlebell or another weighted object in front of your hips.

  3. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes.

  4. Push through your heels to lift your hips until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line.

  5. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor.

8. Step-ups with weight

Muscles targeted: Hamstrings, glutes, calves, and lower back.

  1. Find a sturdy stepping platform like a box, bench, or stool.

  2. Hold a weight (such as a kettlebell or dumbbell) at chest level for added resistance.

  3. Lift your right foot and place it firmly on the stepping platform.

  4. Keep your chest upright and ensure your right shin is perpendicular to the ground.

  5. Push through your right heel to step onto the platform while maintaining control.

  6. Lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

9. Romanian deadlifts

Muscles targeted: Upper back, core, hamstrings, and glutes.

  1. Begin by standing upright with your feet positioned under your hips.

  2. Hold weights in both hands, keeping them by your sides.

  3. Slightly bend your knees, engage your core, and hinge at your hips.

  4. Push your hips backward while maintaining your core engagement. Continue until you feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings.

  5. To complete the rep, squeeze your glutes and return to the upright standing position.

Target your leg muscles with a Hydrow rowing machine

Whether you’re opting for a resistance band, a weighted object, or simply using your body weight, these leg workouts at home can effectively bolster your leg strength and endurance.

Aim to include all three approaches into your weekly workout routine to get the most out of your exercise regimen. Keep in mind your current fitness level when performing each leg exercise, and feel free to adjust them to match your own strength and comfort.

Interested in a low-impact full-body workout with cardio, strength, and recovery? With rowing machines like the original Hydrow rower rowing machine or the Hydrow Wave rower (30% smaller and lighter for smaller spaces), you can travel the world from Japan to Rio with over 5,000+ workouts that train 86% of your muscles in just 20 minutes. 

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Hydrow's Content Marketing Manager and enjoys writing, singing, kayaking, and Zumba!