The legs have the largest muscles in your body which is why it is important that you exercise them as hard as you can. However, pair of dumbbells or heavy barbells is not always required for making leg exercises worth their weight. Your willpower and body weight can prove to be best leg exercises, too.
All of the bigger muscles in your legs like glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings can be worked to the limit until they burn by employing a series of extensive lunges, hip hinges and squats. Such a workout is going to move you in three different directions helping you to build real-world mobility and strength.
Best Leg Exercises Besides Squats
The following are some of the best leg exercises in addition to the squats. These exercises are for a number of different purposes and include several intensity levels. It is up to you to decide which set you are comfortable with and will suffice for your needs. These beg leg exercises are either for building lean nice long legs or to build muscles.
1. The Flamingo Balance
The flamingo balance is among the leg exercises in which plenty of things are happening simultaneously. There is leg kicking, arm curling and torso tightening but the potential for thigh-tightening of this exercise is extremely high. To perform this exercise, hold a dumbbell in your right hand while standing with the left hand on your hip. Lean forward while lifting your left foot behind you up to your hip. Now, bring your right arm in front of you. Perform a bicep curl by turning the palm to face the ceiling. Touch your left toe down and repeat this exercise at least 12 times.
2. Single Leg Circle
The single leg circle is one of the best leg exercises that can give a complete workout to all the major muscles of your leg. To perform this exercise, lie down on your back keeping your arms by your side. Lift your left foot as if pointing it to the ceiling and extend it as far as possible. After taking a breath, trace a circle on the ceiling with the left leg. Make sure that your hips remain still and don’t lift off the floor during the exercise. Perform 5 repetitions of 5 clockwise and anti-clockwise circles on the ceiling with both legs.
3. Skater Lunge
The skater lunge is among the leg exercises that are most suitable for strengthening the glutes, quads and hamstrings. To perform this exercise, stand with your hands at your side and your feet wide apart. Take a sizeable step backwards with the left leg and cross it in a diagonal position to the right leg. Extend the right arm out to the side and then swing the left arm across your hips. After hopping two feet to the left, get back to your original stance. Complete one set by repeating the exercise with the other leg. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps each.
4. Dumbbell Step Up
Dumbbell Step up is a great exercise for the legs that is good for the thigh muscles. To perform this exercise, you will have to first select a suitable elevated surface or a bench which gives you the chance to keep your thighs parallel to the floor when you put your foot on top of them. After selecting the right bench, stand behind it and pick up two dumbbells, one in each hand. Now step up onto the bench, leaving the trailing hanging.
5. Swiss Ball Leg Curl
Swiss Ball Leg Curl is another excellent exercise that gives a full workout to the big muscles of the legs and helps you in toning and strengthening them. To perform this exercise you will have to keep your legs planted firmly on a stability ball while lying on your back on the floor. Now bracing your abs, lift your hips into the air while keeping your knees straight. After this, bend your knees and try to pull the ball towards you. Throughout the set make sure that the hips do not touch the floor. This leg workout is also good for building abdominal muscles.
6. Leg Press
Leg Press is an excellent exercise that provides the best workout for legs. In order to perform this exercise, you will have to make use of the leg press machine. Sit comfortably on the machine by adjusting the seat according to your liking. Keep your hips beneath your knees and the knees in line with the feet. Bend your knees and start lowering them towards your chest until they are at 90 degrees. Now push the legs up until the knees are straight. Make sure not to bend the knees any more or your back might fall off the seat.
7. Glute Bridge Walkout
Glute Bridge Walkout is another great leg exercise that is ideal for strengthening the glutes and hamstrings. To perform this exercise, lie down with your back on the floor and bend your knees such that the feet are resting on the floor touching the buttocks. Tighten the abs and lift your hips up by driving the heels into the ground. Now start walking your feet in a V shape by taking small steps forward that take your legs away from the midline of the body while keeping your hips up. Walk your legs back after they have fully extended to complete one repetition.
8. Single Leg Glute Bridge
Single Leg Glute Bridge is an excellent exercise for the leg muscles especially the glutes and the hamstrings. In this exercise, you will have to lie down with your back on the floor and bend your knees such that the feet are resting on the floor touching the buttocks. Tightening the abs, lift one leg into the air while driving the other one into the floor. Bridge your body up until your body attains the posture of a straight line.
9. Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift is also among the best leg exercises that can provide a good workout to all the major leg muscles especially the hamstrings. To perform this exercise, stand in front of a barbell and using a pronated grip try to lift it up by bending your knees slightly. Make sure that your back is straight, hips are back and shins are in a vertical position. The lifting of the bar must be done slowly using the hip muscles and all the while the arms and back must remain straight. Lower the bar down after standing completely upright.
The following video shows more best leg exercises for women which will also help tone your butt and abdominal muscles. You have to check it out!
The following video shows more best leg exercises for men which are more intense and help build those nice leg muscles: