The Best Leg Exercises to Melt Fat and Tone Your Lower Body

Athletic and toned legs are a desire for many, but sometimes we find ourselves too lazy or busy to go to the gym, and purchasing home exercise equipment can be costly. But there is a solution! There are many effective exercises that can help you sculpt your dream physique without requiring any financial investment.

Here are 14 leg exercises that can help you tone up your lower body and lose fat without any equipment: just you, your body, and maybe some music you like. Let’s get moving!

1. Frog Bridge

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We’re sure you’ve heard of the glute bridge. Now he meets a surprising variation. The  frog bridge is a great exercise to work the glutes,  abdomen , hips and crotch.

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees and elbows.
  • Press into the soles of your feet and stretch your legs.
  • Squeeze and lift your glutes, supporting your body with your arms and the soles of your feet. Stay still for a second.
  • Go back to the starting position.
  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

To do the exercise correctly, exhale  as you raise your glutes (keep them compressed, squeezing your abdomen and with your knees relaxed, but don’t let them touch) and inhale as you lower your body.

2. Squats

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Few people like squats , but we can’t deny the fact that they are extremely effective when it comes to toning the lower body. They work the chest, abs , thighs, calves, glutes and  hamstrings .

  • Stand straight, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Move your hips back, lowering your body as much as possible.
  • Then return to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Make sure your back is completely straight and your knees do not extend beyond your toes or turn inward. Inhale as you squat down and exhale as you rise.

3. Squats with double jumps ( Squat jumps )

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Squats are great, but jump squats are even better! They work glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, abs, calves, hamstrings and lower back. Plus, jumping is fun, and you’re sure to experience the burst of endorphins after your workout.

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart and make sure your toes point slightly outward.
  • Bring your hands together and bend your elbows in front of you.
  • Bend over so your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your hips slightly (a few centimeters is enough) and squat again.
  • Now move your body up with a jump, bend your knees slightly when touching the floor and return to the squat position.
  • Continue until you complete 3 sets of 30 seconds.

Again, keep your hips back and watch that your knees do not go beyond the line of your toes. Inhale as you squat down and exhale just as you push your body into the jump.

4. Lunges

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In everyday life, you constantly perform lunges without realizing it, for example when you bend down to tie your shoelaces. Lunges are excellent for working the glutes, hips, hamstrings, neck, calves, quads, and legs.

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step forward with your right leg, changing direction with equal weight so your heel hits the floor first.
  • Lower your body until your right leg is parallel to the floor and your knee is bent at 90 degrees (it’s okay if it’s slightly forward, but don’t let it go beyond the line of your toe). When you lower down, your left knee should touch the ground for a second.
  • Push back with your right leg to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the left leg and continue until you finish 20 repetitions with each leg.

To perform this correctly, you must make sure that you do not allow the heel of your front foot to leave the floor. Also remember to always keep your back straight.

5. Gate Swings

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This exercise works the chest, glutes and crotch, it also works the hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and quads. What a treasure for our perfect legs!

  • First, spread your legs so that your toes point to the sides.
  • Bend your knees and move your hips back, lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Jump and land cross-legged.
  • Jump again, land with your legs wide apart, and return to the squat position.
  • Repeat this exercise as many times as possible: For at least 40 seconds (or more if you wish).
  • Remember to keep your back straight and exhale as you jump.

6. Diamond kick

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This is another exercise to tone the crotch and legs in general . Plus, this will also work your abs .

  • First, lie on your back. Place your arms along your body and lift your legs.
  • Bend your knees and let the soles of your feet touch.
  • Stretch your legs out to the sides as much as you can.
  • Then bring your legs together straight.
  • Continue doing the exercise until you finish 2 sets of 30 seconds .

Watch your back, it should remain straight. Breathe when you remain in a “frog” position and exhale when you bring your legs together.

7. Plié squat

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Like all squats out there, plié squats directly work your glutes, quadriceps, and the hamstring muscles that line the back of the thigh. The difference is that these also work the internal part, so you can get rid of that annoying fat that causes chafing between your legs.

  • Stand with your feet wide apart (a little wider than shoulder-width apart) and point your toes out to the sides.
  • Place your hands on your hips for balance.
  • Lower yourself down by bending your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Pause for a second and return to the starting position.
  • Perform 2 to 3 sets of 15 repetitions .

To do it correctly, you must keep your shoulders aligned with your hips. Remember to make sure your back is straight. Don’t forget to activate your abs. As you come up, press into your heels to activate the crotch portion.

8. Back kick

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This move works your glutes, abs, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Step forward with your right leg to perform a lunge.
  • While standing, kick your right leg back and pause, squeezing your glutes.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • Do 2 sets of 30 seconds (or 3, if you think you can do it).

Again, keep your back straight. Inhale as you lunge and exhale as you do the back kick.

9. “Fire hydrant” kicks

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It’s time to get closer to the ground! The  fire hydrant aims to work your  chest, hips, glutes and legs.

  • Start with your knees and hands on the floor.
  • While keeping your legs bent, lift one up and to the side at hip level.
  • Return to the starting position, do 15 repetitions and change legs.

Make sure your shoulders and wrists are aligned, as well as your knees and hips. Look at the floor beneath you and don’t arch your back. It is also important that you do not rest your weight on one side, distribute it evenly. Inhale as you touch the ground in a quadruped position and exhale as you raise your leg.

10. The sea shell or  clamshell

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This exercise will not only train your glutes, hips, and legs , but it will also help you reduce lower back tension and prevent injury by strengthening your muscles. The  clamshell exercise is also used in physical therapy to relieve back pain. Let’s try it together!

  • Lie on your side and bend your knees at a 45-degree angle. Use your lower arm to support your head and place your upper arm on your hip for some stabilization.
  • Raise the top of your knee as high as possible, but watch to keep your hips and pelvis in place. Do not separate your feet, keep them firm at all times.
  • Pause for a second and lower your knee. Repeat 20 times , then switch sides.

It is recommended to keep your abs contracted, as this will help add firmness to your pelvis and spine. Make sure your hip bones remain aligned without the upper one leaning back.

11. Leg Raises with Side Crunches

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This is to get perfect legs , it also works the shoulders, glutes, abs, back and obliques.

Get into a side plank position with a slight modification: support yourself with your hand and knee.

  • Raise your top leg slightly above hip level and pause.
  • Lower your leg to the floor and repeat.
  • Do 40 repetitions, 20 on each side.
  • To perform it correctly , make sure your body forms a straight line (don’t let your pelvis drop) and that your lower shoulder does not sink.

If you want to get to the next level, you need to balance on your elbow and the side of your foot, raising your upper arm toward the ceiling.

12. Hip Raise with One Leg Raise

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This is  another exercise very similar to the glute bridge, and it’s just as effective (well, maybe even a little more, but shh!). This move strengthens your chest, abs, and lower back, and tones your glutes and legs.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your arms along your body and touching the floor with your palms.
  • Raise one leg toward the ceiling (remember to keep it straight).
  • Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line and pause for a second.
  • Lower your hips without lowering your leg.
  • Do 15 repetitions , then switch legs.

Don’t forget to contract your glutes and abs to keep your chest engaged. Control your movements and try to feel your muscles working during the process.

13. Runner’s lunge with balance

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The runner’s lunge with balance is ideal for working your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and legs.

  • Stand with your right leg in front of you, letting all your weight fall on it.
  • Lower yourself into a runner’s lunge position: your right leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle, your left knee and toes should be flat on the floor touching the ground.
  • Raise your left leg and lean forward so that your leg, hips, and shoulders form a horizontal line. Keep your arms along both sides.
  • Pause for a moment, return to the lunge position, and repeat 15 times with each leg.

Keep your glutes contracted and your hips straight, without tilting them to either side. Otherwise you could lose your balance.

14. Donkey kick

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This exercise works directly on your glutes, lower back and legs . It is quite easy and therefore ideal for beginners.

  • Start in a quadruped position on the floor, supporting yourself with your knees and hands.
  • Raise your bent leg to hip level and pause for a moment.
  • Lower it and repeat with the other leg.
  • Complete 2 sets with each leg, doing 20 repetitions per set.
  • Watch your posture! Keep your spine in a neutral position and look at the floor without raising your head (do not repeat what the girl in the figure on the right is doing; her back is sunken and her head is raised).

When you lift your leg, make sure to keep it at a 90-degree angle. While you are up, remember to contract your glutes to move your leg up slightly. And don’t rest all your weight on one side, distribute it evenly.