Top THREE Body Weight Exercises for Legs!

What Do I Need?

To train well you do not NEED equipment or weights nor do you need to go to a gym if it isn’t your thing. There is a whole host of stuff that you can do at home with just your bodyweight. Most bodyweight exercises you can also make easier to start with and then modify them to become more challenging as you progress. The great thing about training at home is that you can do it in your front room or garden, wearing either your favourite fitness gear or you pyjamas – and you will still make the same gains!

Will They Help Me Lose Weight?

Leg and bottom strength work is great for fat burning as these are your largest muscle group so these muscles require the most calories in the following processes:

  • during exercise – they will burn more calories than any other muscle group in your body due to their sheer mass
  • after exercise – they require more calories to repair and build so your metabolism stays higher for the 24 hour period after your training session.

But What if I Have Knee Problems?

Training legs is also great for improving the health of your lower body joints. Modern day life often means that our anterior (front) chain of muscles are dominant and our posterior (back) chain are weak. This imbalance can cause discomfort or inflammation in the knees and lower back issues too. Strengthening the legs improves the function of all of these muscles and therefore if exercises are done correctly, they are likely to balance out your body over time. Do check in with a physiotherapist or health professional before starting a new exercise regime if you have any body issues going on. They can guide you as to which exercises are best and which to avoid. If you haven’t any joint issues then it is great for injury prevention and means that you can sign up for that walking/running/cycling challenge knowing that you are in good condition to undertake the training.

Stand Up Tall!

Taking the time to condition and strengthen your body will increase your body awareness if you exercise mindfully (are paying attention to your body and focusing on the experience of the movement). This increases muscle activation means that you are likely to be more aware of how you are carrying your body and how your posture on a daily basis is. Good posture means that the right muscles take the stress of our body weight and we are more likely to live comfortably and move without pain in daily life.

Time to Get Warm!

Before starting any exercise session, it is important to mobilise your body. This sends messages to your muscles that you are going to exercise and risks the likelihood of any uncomfortable twinges or pulling any muscles. To mobilise, circle your ankles, hips and arms. Bend and flex your knees taking some gentle squats and hip hinges. Get your blood pumping to all your limbs by doing a few minutes gentle cardiovascular exercise like jogging or marching. Now you are ready to start!

Video Clip 1 - Single Dead Lift

This first exercise is called a single leg dead lift. Standing on one leg, you soften one knee and push your hips back till your torso is parallel to the floor. As you feel your torso coming forward, think about taking the extended leg behind you and try to keep your hip bones parallel to one another. Keep your weight in your heel that is pressing into the floor and feel how the back muscles on your leg stretch and lengthen as they come over and shorten again as you come back to standing. Try not to put your foot (that is lifted) down between each rep. Keep your hands by your side or out to the side if this is a hard exercise for you. If you want to give the core and back more of a challenge, you can raise your hands over head as you get stronger.

Beginner: 2 x 10/10 (10 each side)

Intermediate: 2 x 12/12

Advanced: 3 x 15/15

Video Clip 2 - Lunge & Kick

Start in a standing position with your feet together, step one leg back landing only the ball of your foot on the ground. The distance between your two feet should be at least twice the width of your shoulders. Think about leaning your shoulders back as you lower the back knee straight down towards the floor. Start with only a small movement and increase the distance until your knee taps the floor as you get more confident! You can use the wall or couch if you are struggling with the balance at first. Make sure your front knee is over your front ankle and not travelling towards your toes.  From here, you push into your front heel, firing up into your martial arts kick. Try to balance before going straight back into the lunge again. If you need to put your foot down in between then you can do! Again, start small and work up!


Beginner: 2 x 10/10 (10 each side)

Intermediate: 2 x 12/12

Advanced: 3 x 15/15

Video Clip 3 - Frog Squat Jump

Last but not least is the frog squat jump! Place your feet a little wider than your hips with your toes pointing outwards just a little bit. Looking forward with your chest lifted and back straight, keep your weight in your heels as you drop your bottom down towards the floor. Try to drop the bottom just below your knee height and then fire upwards into a jump! Straighten your legs as you leave the ground and then be sure to soften your knees as your feet land and you sink back into your squat position. Your thighs will burn!


Beginner: 3 x 10/10

Intermediate: 3 x 20/20

Advanced: 3 x 30/30

Circuit Style!

You can do these three exercises as bit of a leg circuit if you wanted to, completing one round of each exercise before doing another one or two rounds! Encourage your partner, kids, friend, cat to join in with you – discomfort is more bearable when it is shared. Drink lots of water be sure to stretch the body well afterwards.

Every time you train, you are telling your body that you care about it and that you feel it worth the time and energy to do something for it. Over time this contributes towards your self worth and confidence and improving these sends positive ripples into all areas of your life.

Are Your Ready To Give it a Go? Let Us Help!

If you would like any help or support getting started or staying motivated then let us know. We help people all over Warwickshire get motivated and STAY motivated. Working out consistently over time is the only thing that works so it is important that you enjoy what you do and have fun on your fitness journey! Get those tunes ON!


Have a wonderful weekend,


Victoria xx

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Client Testimonial

” I train with Victoria regularly and because she knows my strengths and weaknesses, I felt that she was able to focus on the parts of my body that needed it most. I am now 1 stone lighter, 20 times stronger and 100 times happier after 12 months with Free Spirit Fitness! “

Mary Dunn

Victoria Mairiaux-Jones

I'm a Personal Trainer dedicated to improving my clients health and fitness. I work with people of all ages and levels of fitness, across Leamington, Warwick and Warwickshire. Lose Weight and get fit with Free Spirit Fitness Culture.

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