Do you need the best leg workout for beginners? You want to get toned legs, but you don’t know how to do it. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Just follow these simple exercises, and in no time, you’ll have the sexy, sculpted legs of your dreams.

Our leg workouts are the perfect combination of strength training and cardio. They are designed specifically with women in mind, so they won’t leave anyone feeling sore or overworked! All it takes is 30 minutes three times a week to see results fast!

Beginner Leg exercises

Bodyweight squats

Woman doing bodyweight squats

Squats are one of the best leg exercises you can do. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your torso upright. Keep your chest up and look straight ahead.

Slowly bend the knees, pushing them out as you lower yourself until you are in a full squat position (or 90 degrees). Then, push back through the heels to return to start. Do not let the knees go forward pas tt your toes.

Slowly lower down into a squat position (or 90˚) and press back up, straightening your torso. Make sure to keep your core tight to protect your low back!

If you cannot do squats that are 90 degrees, then start doing them against the wall.

Lunges

Woman doing lunges in a leg workout for beginners

Step forward with one foot while bending the knee to lunge into a 90-degree angle. As you push yourself back up, lift your back heel off the floor and keep the knee in line with the hip. Do not let it go past your toes!

If you cannot perform lunges due to injury or balance issues, start doing them against the wall.

Side lunges

Woman doing side lunges

Start standing with your feet together. Step out to the side as far as you can while keeping your back straight and look up towards the ceiling.

Make sure that you do not bend at the hips or let your knees go past your toes as you step out! Push your back leg back up and repeat for a complete set—alternate your left leg and right leg.

Glutebridge

Woman performing glute bridges in a leg workout for beginners

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place both arms by your sides, pointing towards your hips. Push through your heels to lift your glutes off the floor until you are in a straight line from shoulders to knees, squeeze for one second, and then lower down slowly.

Hold for one second at the top position and lower down slowly.

Standing calf raises

Woman doing standing calf raises

Stand facing a wall holding onto either side with straight arms. Keep your back flat and core tight. Lift your heels off of the ground, keeping them in line with your ankles. Make sure not to push it or lean forward onto the balls of your feet!

Hold for one second at the top position and lower down slowly.

If you can’t hold onto the wall, don’t worry! Just try to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight.

Do one leg at a time if needed, or use a sturdy chair for support.

Intermediate leg exercises

Jump squats

We know Jump squats as the most explosive squats. Start with the feet shoulder-width and your knees in the same direction as your toes. We then pull our hips back and flex our hips at 90 degrees.

We jump vertically with all of our energy from this position, with our core in tension and all the weight on our thighs and glutes. Finally, we absorb the force with our hips, back, and knees at 90 degrees when we fall, then re-execute the exercise.

Sumo squats

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure to point your toes outwards so that they are in line with your knees. Keep the chest up and weight on the heels of the feet. Slowly lower down until you reach a 90-degree angle, making sure not to let your knees go past your toes! Push back up through the heels!

Slowly lower down into a squat position (or 90˚) and press back up, straightening your torso. Make sure to keep your core tight to protect your low back!

If you cannot do a full sumo squat due to injury or balance issues, start doing them against the wall.

Leg extensions

Rest your lower tibiae on the lower rollers while seated on the leg extension machine. To maintain balance and positioning, grasp the seat’s sidebars while doing this stretch. Your toes should always be facing forward throughout the movement.

As you exhale, raise your legs forward and up using only your quads until they’re extended.

Squeeze the quadriceps as hard as possible with your legs extended and hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds.

While breathing out, slowly lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat as needed.

Leg curls

To begin with, the leg curl, lie on the machine face down with your ankles beneath the cushions. Then, at the exact moment, our hands will grip the support bench firmly.

Begin with your calves and feel the tension on your hamstrings. You have to do this up to the point of maximum extension for you.

It is essential to exhale as soon as the knee has come to a stop. After this, start with a well-controlled movement. Finally, you have to release the weight to return it to the position from which you began.

Seated calf raises

Seated calf raises offer a good stretch for the calves and exercise them at the same time. Sit on a bench of your choice with a weight in your hands. Your feet should be facing forward with toes pointing towards you, DO NOT let your toes point out.

Lean back slightly while maintaining balance, then lower your heels as low as you can while still coming up. Again, concentrate on the stretch, not how much weight you are using.

It’s been scientifically proven that if you have a bench with no back, this is the best way to strengthen calf muscles and keep balance.

Fit tip: do these between sets for other exercises so you can work your lower leg muscles while resting your other muscles.

Advanced leg exercises

Barbell squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward. Put the barbell on your shoulders – use an alternating grip with one palm facing forward, the other facing back. Keep your chest up and stay as upright as you can.

Slowly lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push back up again using mainly leg power – not momentum! Remember to exhale when it’s time to push.

Squats are an essential movement for any athlete. However, we must always support our weight, so we have to master basic squats. The issues that come into play with advanced squats are the amount of weight and maintaining body positioning throughout repetitions.

This exercise focuses on the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves together, making it a great all-around leg exercise. If you can’t do this with good form, try to go down as far as possible while keeping an upright posture.

Bulgarian split squats

The Bulgarian split squat is a great exercise to improve the strength in your legs, core, and upper body. If you are not used to exercising your legs with this much intensity, always begin with light weights until you get comfortable. You can do this exercise by placing one foot on top of something elevated and putting all of your weight into that leg.

Using a lightweight is ok, but you will have to perform more reps with the lighter weight to get the same results. To begin this exercise, place your back foot on an elevated surface about knee-high.

You have to do this up to the point of maximum extension for you. Therefore, it is essential to exhale as soon as the knee has come to a stop. After this, start with a well-controlled movement. Finally, you have to go up to return it to the position from which you began.

Begin with your calves and feel the tension on your hamstrings. You have to do this up to the point of maximum extension for you. It is essential to exhale as soon as the knee has come to a stop. After this, start with a well-controlled movement. You have to release the weight to return it to the position from which you began.

Leg press

The leg press is a favorite among those who don’t like squats. The leg press machine allows you to put less pressure on your knees while still challenging your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise uses more weight than the squat, but it can also lead to injuries in the knee joint if done incorrectly.

Leg extensions are one of the most popular quadriceps exercises among gym-goers because they are easy to do, don’t require much coordination, and have immediate results.

Remember that those should not do this exercise with knee problems.

Fit tip: Make sure your feet are securely fastened into the plate before you begin. Keep your back flat against the machine’s seat and exhale while pushing.

Keep your shoulders back and lift with your legs, not lean forward to get the weight up.

There are many different opinions on the ideal number of sets and the perfect amount of reps for each muscle group. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual how they train and what works best.

Barbell hip thrust exercise

The barbell hip thrust is the best exercise for building up your glutes. However, as you can see, many different activities work the glutes, so it’s hard to decide which one is the best.

The hip thrust works on all aspects of your lower body, including your core, and is a great compound movement that will help build muscle mass in your hamstrings, glutes, and quads.

This exercise mainly targets the glutes but also works the hamstring and core. It also improves balance because you need to keep your hips square to the ground while pushing through the floor with your heels.

To perform this exercise, lie on your back with a barbell on your hips. You have to keep your knees bent and feet flat. Next, extend one leg straight out, keeping the other knee bent to 90 degrees.

Start this exercise by squeezing your glutes as hard as you can, then slowly lowering yourself down for a count of two seconds. Ensure that you do not push up too quickly, or it will increase your chances of injury.

Fit tip: This is an excellent exercise for your glutes, but only if done right. You should start this movement from the top and come down slowly. Always stop at the bottom of the campaign for a full one second. You have to ensure that you are entirely targeting your glutes at the beginning of each rep.

Deadlifts

This movement targets all the muscles in your legs, including your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. It is an essential compound movement that will help build muscle mass throughout the lower body.

To do deadlifts properly, ensure that your knees are bent and hips back. Keep the barbell in front of you, not too close to your shins. You have to push with your heels while squeezing your glutes.

Fit tip: You have to do deadlifts when you have proper form and high levels of conditioning to prevent injuries and muscle imbalances. One of the main issues with this exercise is that people are unaware of how far they should initially bend their knees to ensure they can lift safely without hurting themselves.

Remember: keep your back straight and lift with your legs as you exhale on each rep. When lowering the weight on each rep, breathe normally.

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Leg workout for beginners

As a beginner, you have to train your legs 2 or 3 days per week. Doing a leg workout every day can be dangerous for your knees, and over-training will result in injuries.

Workout routine 1

ExerciseReps and Sets
Warm-up5 min
Bodyweight squats3×15
Lunges3×15
Calf raises3×15
Cardio20 min

Workout 2

ExerciseReps and Sets
Warm-up5 min
Side lunges3×15
Leg extensions3×15
Hamstring curls3×15
Seated calf raises3×15
Cardio20 min

5 Steps for beginners to get toned legs

Warm-up

Before starting this workout, be sure to warm up with a 5-minute walk on the treadmill or do some jumping jacks.

Don’t use too much weight.

As a beginner, it’s essential to choose the correct weight. The last thing you want is for a muscle group to get tired before your workout is complete.

If you don’t use enough weights, you won’t get the desired results and can be injured if your muscles aren’t strong enough.

Do the right amount of sets and reps.

Do 3 sets of each exercise for 15 repetitions each set (you can rest for 30 seconds between sets).

Fit tip: There are many different opinions on the ideal number of sets and the perfect amount of reps for each muscle group. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual how they train and what works best for them.

Cooldown

After completing all of these exercises, cool down with a 5-minute walk on the treadmill. You also can do some stretching for 5 minutes.

Stay consistent

If possible, try to work out at least three times per week and stay consistent with your training program so that you achieve optimal results!

You may be interested in “How much exercise per week should you do?

Conclusion

The exercises, tips, and insights we’ve shared today can help you get started on your fitness journey. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or just feel more confident about yourself, these exercises are a great place to start.

 If you’re looking for more information on the topic of exercise, we’ve got a wealth of articles to offer with insights from top experts in their respective fields. Check out our blog now!

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.