Want leaner legs, slimmer thighs, and a firmer butt?? Well here is a list of 19 excellent leg and butt workouts that have been proven to give results! You’ll get the lower body that you’ve always wanted! Don’t worry if you don’t have any weights or exercise equipment available to you. Most of these you can do in the privacy of your own home! No equipment needed! If you do use weights for these exercises and are planning on doing these regularly (3 or more times a week), be sure to challenge yourself! If a certain weight gets too easy to do by the 10-13 rep, then move up the weight! And don’t worry girls, we don’t have enough testosterone in our body to bulk up, so don’t be shy when it comes to weight lifting!
*Reps = Repetitions
*Sets = A group of the number of reps. The amount of times you repeat the specific amount of reps.
1) Squats- Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and then bending your knees. Hold position for just a moment and then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat. Do as many as you can but aim for 20-30 reps and do a total of 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
2) Lying Side Leg Raises- Lay on your right or left side, rest your head on your arm, and then place your other hand on the floor in front of you for support. Your legs should be straight and stacked on top of each other. Keeping the rest of your body still, slowly raise your top leg as high as you can. Pause, then lower it back down returning to the starting position. Repeat. Then turn over and complete on the other side as well. Aim for at least 20 reps on each side or as many as you can till you feel it burn. Image Credit.
3) Donkey Kicks- This exercise is great for your butt and having strong glutes and hamstrings is very important to great posture, maximum speed and agility as well. Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. While engaging your core muscles (by pulling your stomach toward your spine), bring one knee towards your chest. Keeping your knee bent and ankle flexed, bring the same leg back and up as high as you can. Remember to engage your core the entire time. Return to the start position and repeat using the same leg. Then repeat this on the other side. Aim for 12-20 reps on each side and complete 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
4) Forward Alternating Lunges- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Then, step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push back with your heel to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Or, the other way around if you prefer. That completes one rep. Do 20 reps and repeat for 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
5) Glute Bridge- Even though it may look funny to some, the glute bridge successfully works the lower back, abs, glutes, and hips. Lie face up on a mat or floor with arms by your sides, knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Engage abs and glutes and slowly bring your hips up, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold this position for 3 counts, then lower back down. Do 12 reps. If you want to challenge yourself, do the bridge with one leg lifted. Image Credit.
6) Hip Thrusts with Weights- With your shoulders and upper back resting on a couch, bench or chair, you’re going to raise and lower your hips just as how I explained in the glute bridge description. Keep your spine and knees stable and your feet planted firmly in front of you. Place the weight or padded barbell in your lap and make sure to push the hips upward using the glutes. Rise up until your body completely forms a straight line, and then slowly lower back to the ground. Repeat. If you need or want to, you can complete this on the floor as well in the same position as the glute bridge. Complete 3-4 sets of 8-20 reps. These will definitely make you feel the burn! Image Credit.
7) Plie Squats- Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart (at least two-three feet) or as far as you can comfortably and turn your toes slightly outward. With your hands on your hips or in front of you, push your hips back and lower your body until your legs are at 90 degrees. Hold position, then slowly push yourself back up. That’s one rep. Repeat for as many reps as you can and complete 2-3 sets. You can even hold weights while doing this to get faster results. Image Credit.
8) Tiptoe Plie Squats- These are just another version of the regular plie squats listed above but are more of a challenge. They target the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves so they get the job done! Stand with feet more than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, and lift heels off floor. Lower down into a squat, keeping knees above ankles, and then squeeze glutes to rise back up. Repeat until you have completed 15 reps. Image Credit.
9) Standing Calf Raises- Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart. While holding a weight, rise up onto your tiptoes. Lower back down and repeat. Try to use a weight that lets you complete at least 12-15 reps. When that becomes too easy, up the weight. Image Credit.
10) Jumping Jacks- Ahh yes, the exercise that we had to do in gym class in elementary and middle school. Don’t skip out on these in your workout! They raise your heart rate, burn calories, and are great for your legs! Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides, then simultaneously raise your arms out to the sides and over your head. Jump your feet out at the same time. Without pausing, quickly go back to the starting position and repeat. Aim for 50 jumping jacks and complete 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
11) Wall-Sit- You can do this with one leg, tip toe, arms out in front of you, while holding weights, or with hands lightly on hips, whichever you prefer. Pick one that definitely challenges you a little bit. Stand with back against wall and then slide down until legs are bent 90 degrees. Hold this position for at least 60 seconds or more and then rise back up to a standing position. Image Credit.
12) Dead Lifts- You can do these with a barbell or dumbbells, whichever you prefer. Begin in a standing position with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and the weight(s) on floor. Keep your arms straight throughout the entire movement. Once you slightly bend down into a squat to pick up the weight(s), keep your spine straight and feet firmly planted on the floor. As you lift up with the weight(s), shift the weight into your heels with your chest out. Fully extend your knees and hips while squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Repeat this movement. Aim for 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
13) Squat Jumps- Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and toes forward. It’s up to you which way you want your arms to be. I personally reach my arms out straight or touch the floor when I get into the squat position and then raise them up when I jump up. You can also lightly touch your fingers behind your ears with your elbows to the sides. But do what makes you feel comfortable! Lower down into a squat position, then push off and jump as high as you can. Try to land softly on the balls of your feet so you don’t get hurt and then immediately lower down into your next squat. Continuously repeat for 10-15 reps and complete 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
14) Plyo Side Lunges with Touchdown- Stand with your feet facing forward, a little farther than shoulder-width apart. Hop left leg out and bend knee (keep your knee even with your ankle, making sure it doesn’t bend out past the toes) to come into a side lunge. At the same time, keep your chest lifted and bring your right hand down to touch the floor in front of you. Then, push into your left foot to jump up and drop into a side lunge on opposite side with now your left hand touching the floor. That’s one rep. Aim for 20 reps and complete 2-3 sets. Image Credit.
15) Mountain Climbers- Get into a push-up position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Now, raise your right knee toward your chest. Hold for a second, and then return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep. Keep alternating your legs quickly until you have completed at least 10-15 reps. Image Credit.
16) Pistol Squat- These are considered a more intermediate/advanced exercise but you only get stronger with practice! Try these when you feel comfortable; don’t push yourself to where you get hurt! These are much harder than they look! I definitely have a hard time with them. Once you build up your strength and balance, they’ll be much easier for you. I recommend lowering down at intervals and challenging yourself once it gets too easy to go even farther. Standing on your right leg, start extending your left leg out as straight as you can in front of you and reach your arms straight out as well. Lower down as far as you can into a deep squat, still on your right leg. Without lifting your heel off the floor, slowly press back up to a standing position. That’s one rep. Work your way up to 10 reps per leg, and then repeat on the other side. Image Credit.
17) Reverse Standing Leg Lifts- While standing upright, engage your core muscles (by drawing your belly towards your spine) and hold onto the back of a chair or something else to keep your balance. If you don’t want to use an object for balance, you can also balance yourself by leaning forward a little bit and reach your arms out. Try to keep your upper body as still as possible. Lift one leg behind you as high as you can, you should feel your glutes of that leg contracting, and then lower the leg until the toes touch the ground. Then immediately repeat this move for 20-25 reps per leg. Complete 2-3 sets for maximum results. Image Credit.
18) Leg Extensions- This works your quadriceps. Before you use this machine, consult your doctor if you have knee problems. Also, do not use a weight that you can’t control when you are lowering your legs back down. It can cause knee damage if this happens. Be sure to use proper form and weight when using the leg extension machine for best results. Image Credit.
19) Skater Squats- Cross your right leg behind your left leg and bend your left knee into a half-squat position. These are very similar to the Plyo Side Lunges with Touchdown that I listed above. Now, swing your left and right arm out to the same side. Hop a few feet directly to the right, switching the position of your legs and arms as well. That’s one rep. Continue jumping from side to side without pausing to complete a total of 10-20 reps. Image Credit.
- If you prefer sticking to the basic exercises, I recommend squats, lunges, donkey kicks, plie squats, and reverse standing leg lifts. Also, be sure to add at least 30-60 minutes of cardio to your daily routines, especially if you are trying to tone up, lose weight or just be healthy. Jumping jacks, plyo side lunges with touchdown, mountain climbers, skater squats, and squat jumps are all exercises that I listed above that get your heart pumping and are a great cardio exercise.
**Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. I am not a health professional or trainer. Be sure to speak to a healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen.