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When leg day rolls around, it can be tempting to play it safe and stick to what you know. Squat, lunge, press, repeat. But there are a ton of other moves out there that are equally beneficial and, arguably, way more fun. Plus, we all know that a workout routine is only as good as it is varied. To really challenge our bodies and bring about change, it’s imperative that we switch things up both in the gym and at home. (It’ll also help you avoid injuries, as well as the dreaded workout boredom.) So, if you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’re happy to oblige. Here are 34 lower body exercises you can try right now. Choose a handful you love and let’s get moving.

Equipment suggestions:

  1. Exercise Mat
  2. Dumbbell Set
  3. Resistance Bands
  4. Kettlebell
  5. Stability Ball
  6. Water Bottle

Determining your rep amount can be tricky. Here’s a handy guide to help you get started:

Beginner: low reps (6 or less)

Intermediate: moderate reps (8-12)

Advanced: high reps (14+)

RELATED: The 15 Best Core Workouts You Can Do at Home, No Equipment Necessary

lower body exercises squat
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

1. Squat

*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.

Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Sit back and down as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair. Send your butt back while keeping your chest up and gaze forward.

Step 2: Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing your arms out in front of you for balance. Press your weight back into your heels making sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. If they do, widen your stance.

Step 3: Push through your heels to return to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises good mornings
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

2. Good Mornings

*Works your hamstrings, lower back and core. For an added challenge, grab two dumbbells and rest them on the backs of your shoulders behind your head.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands behind your head with your elbows open wide.

Step 2: Keeping your knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips until your chest is almost parallel to the floor. Press your hips back while keeping your spine neutral and abs engaged.

Step 3: Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes to push your hips forward and rise up, returning to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises romanian deadlift
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

3. Romanian Deadlift

*Works your glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your body.

Step 2: Keeping your knees slightly bent, press your hips back as you hinge forward at the waist and lower the weights to about mid-shin height.

Step 3: Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes to push your hips forward and rise up, returning to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises single leg rdl
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

4. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

*Works your glutes, hamstrings and lower back while challenging your balance.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand.

Step 2: Keeping your right knee slightly bent, send your left leg back and up while hinging forward at the waist, lowering the weights to about mid-shin height.

Step 3: Squeeze your right hamstring and glute to lift your chest and lower your left leg, returning to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises forward lunge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

5. Forward Lunge

*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Step 2: Step your right foot forward into a front lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes.

Step 3: Drive through your right heel and press up to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

lower body exercises reverse lunge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

6. Reverse Lunge

*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Step 2: Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee does not extend past your toes.

Step 3: Drive through the ball of your right foot and press up to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

lower body exercises lateral lunge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

7. Lateral Lunge

*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Step 2: Step your right foot out parallel to your hips and squat down, shifting your body weight into your right leg. Keeping your left leg straight, send your butt back while your chest stays lifted. Make sure your bent knee does not extend over your toes.

Step 3: Push off your right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, swinging your arms to help guide you through the motion.

lower body exercises curtsy lunge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

8. Curtsy Lunge

*Works your quads and glutes while challenging your balance.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your arms at your sides. Cross your right foot back behind your left until it’s slightly outside of your left foot.

Step 2: Bend both knees to begin the lunge. Your back right knee should hover just above the ground. Hold for a beat and press up. Switch sides and repeat.

lower body exercises jump lunges
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

9. Jump Lunge

*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step back into a lunge with your right leg until your knee hovers just above the ground.

Step 2: Drive through your left foot to jump up as you bring your right knee in toward your chest. Land back down in a lunge and repeat.

lower body exercises pendulum lunges
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

10. Pendulum Lunge

*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. This will also challenge your balance.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot forward into a front lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Make sure your bent knee does not extend over your toes.

Step 2: Drive through your right heel and press up to return to the starting position. Now send your right foot back into a reverse lunge until your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Try not to let your knee touch the ground.

Step 3: Press through the ball of your right foot to return to the starting position and repeat, swinging your arms to help guide you through the motion.

RELATED: A 10-Step, No-Equipment Workout for a Full Body Burn

lower body exercises sumo squat
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

11. Monster Squat

*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.

Step 1: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and turn your feet out at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2: Push your hips back to squat down, keeping your spine aligned and your chest lifted. As you rise back up, push through your heels to engage your inner thighs and repeat.

lower body exercises jump squat
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

12. Jump Squat

*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and core.

Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down as if you were doing a regular body-weight squat. Bring your hands together in front of your chest.

Step 2: Engage your core and power through your feet as you jump up explosively. Straighten your legs as you jump high in the air, sending your arms down to your sides.

Step 3: When you land, lower your body down into a squat and repeat. Keep this motion smooth and swift, landing as lightly as possible.

lower body exercises bulgarian split squat
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

13. Bulgarian Split Squat

*Works your quads, glutes hamstrings and hip flexors.

Step 1: Stand in front of a bench or chair that’s about knee height (the couch works as well). With your fee hip-width apart, place your right foot behind you so that the top of your foot rest completely on the bench. You can also flex your ankle and balance on the ball of your foot. Choose whichever is more comfortable.

Step 2: Keeping your chest high and your core tight, bend your standing knee until your left thigh is parallel with the ground. To protect your knee, make sure it stays in line with your left toes.

Step 3: Press back up into a standing position by pushing through your left foot. Switch sides and repeat. For an added challenge you can hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest or down by your sides.

lower body exercises squat pulse
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

14. Squat Pulse

*Works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.

Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Sit back and down as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair. Send your butt back while keeping your chest up and your gaze forward.

Step 2: Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing your arms out in front of you for balance. Begin pulsing, using your glutes and quads to make small up and down movements while maintaining the squat position.

Step 3: Push through your heels to return to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises frog squats
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

15. Frog Squat

*Works your glutes, hips, quads and hamstrings.

Step 1: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your hands clasped together at your chest.

Step 2: Sink down into a deep squat until your thighs rest (or almost rest) on your calves. Keep your chest up and your elbows pressing out onto your knees.

Step 3: Lift your hips up, hinging forward at the waist until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Lower back down to the sunken squat and repeat. If your hip flexors are tight or you need a lower-impact option, lift your hips as needed.

lower body exercises goblet squat
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

16. Goblet Squat

*Works your glutes, quads, calves and core.

Step 1: Begin in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart and your toes angled out. Bend your elbows and hold one dumbbell in both hands at the center of your chest with the base of each palm on either side of one end of the dumbbell.

Step 2: Engaging your core, press your hips back and bend your knees to begin the squat. Focus on keeping your chest tall, sternum facing forward, elbows facing out as you continue pressing your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Step 3: Press through your heels to reverse the motion and return to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top and repeat.

lower body exercises step ups
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

17. Step-Ups

*Works your quads, hamstrings and glutes. If you need to get creative with your equipment, you can use your couch, a step stool or a low, sturdy chair.

Step 1: Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Option to hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Step 2: Step up with your right foot, pressing through the heel to straighten your leg. Bring your left foot up to meet your right foot at the top.

Step 3: Bend your right knee and step down with your left foot. Bring your right foot down to meet your left foot on the ground. Repeat and switch sides.

lower body exercises glute bridge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

18. Glute Bridge

*Works your glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart.

Step 2: Keeping your thighs aligned, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips up off the floor. Engage your arms to push away from the ground to help lift your lower half as high as possible.

Step 3: Lower back down to the ground to return to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises single leg glute bridge1
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

19. Single Leg Glute Bridge

*Works your glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart.

Step 2: Keeping your thighs aligned, straighten your left leg so that your toes are pointed up. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips up evenly off the floor. Engage your arms to push away from the ground to help lift your lower half as high as possible.

Step 3: Lower back down to the ground to return to the starting position, keeping your left leg lifted and repeat.

lower body exercises glute bridge march
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

20. Glute Bridge March

*Works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart.

Step 2: Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engaging your core, lift your right leg up off the ground sending your knee in towards your chest.

Step 3: Lower your right leg, keeping your hips lifted, and repeat on the other side.

lower body exercises stability ball hamstring curl
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

21. Stability Ball Hamstring Curls

*Works your glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees and place your feet up on the stability ball about hip-width apart.

Step 2: Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engaging your core, extend your legs straight out, rolling the ball away from you.

Step 3: Bend your knees to roll the ball back in, all while keeping your hips lifted as high as you can. Lower your hips back down to the ground and repeat.

RELATED: The 10 Best Hamstring Stretches to Relieve Tightness (Because You Feel Like You’re About to Snap)

lower body exercises clamshells
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

22. Clamshells

*Works your glutes (mainly your medial glutes or the outer edges of your butt).

Step 1: Lie on your right side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Let your hips, knees and feet stack on top of each other while your head rests on your arm.

Step 2: Place your left hand on your hip to ensure it doesn’t tilt back. Keeping your feet together and core engaged, rotate your left knee up as high as possible without rotating your hip.

Step 3: Hold for a beat and lower to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.

lower body exercises fire hydrants
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

23. Fire Hydrants

*Works your glutes and core. Improves hip mobility.

Step 1: Begin on all fours with your wrists stacked directly below your shoulders and hips stacked on top of your knees.

Step 2: Keeping your back flat and your core engaged, lift your right leg out to the side, until it’s even with your hips, maintaining the 90-degree angle in your knee.

Step 3: Lower back down to the ground, switch sides and repeat.

lower body exercises donkey kicks
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

24. Donkey Kicks

*Works your glutes and hamstrings as well as your arms, core and shoulders.

Step 1: Begin on all fours with your wrists stacked directly below your shoulders and hips stacked on top of your knees. Option to place one lightweight dumbbell in the crease of the back of your right knee until it’s securely positioned.

Step 2: Keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your right leg up and back as high as you can with your right foot kicking up toward the ceiling. Engage your core to keep your back from arching.

Step 3: Lower the leg by reversing the movement to return to the starting position and repeat.

lower body exercises calf raises
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

25. Calf Raises

*Works your calves and improves ankle stability.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart on a flat surface.

Step 2: Lift your heels off the ground by flexing your calf muscles. Hold for a beat, slowly lower back down and repeat. For greater extension and an added challenge begin on an elevated surface, like a stair step.

lower body exercises wall sit
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

26. Wall Sit

*Works your glutes, calves, quads and core.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your back leaning against a sturdy wall.

Step 2: Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground, pressing your back into the wall to create tension. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes while holding this position.

Step 3: Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat.

lower body exercises dumbbell swing
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

27. Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swing

*Works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, lats and core.

Step 1: Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding one dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands.

Step 2: Without rounding your back, bend your knees slightly, pushing your hips back and swinging the dumbbell down between your legs.

Step 3: As the weight swings forward, contract your hamstrings and glutes, push your hips forward and swing the dumbbell up to chest level. This movement should be entirely driven by your legs. You should not be using your arms or shoulders to raise the weight. At the top of this movement, engage your core, glutes and quads.

Step 4: Allow the weight to swing back down between your legs and repeat.

lower body exercises monster walk
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

28. Monster Walk

*Works your quads, glutes, hips, hamstrings, inner thighs and calves.

Step 1: Stand with your feet in a wide stance. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Step 2: Begin walking forward picking up one foot at a time. Take four steps forward then reverse and take four steps backward.

Step 3: Continue this movement, keeping your knees wide and your butt low.

lower body exercises resistance band shuffle
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

29. Resistance Band Shuffle

*Works your outer quads and glutes.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your hands on your hips for balance. Place a resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Bend your knees until you’re halfway down in a squat. Take two steps to the right, then two steps to the left keeping your butt down and leg muscles engaged throughout the entire shuffle. Continue this movement for 1 to 3 minutes.

RELATED: The 8-Step Resistance Band Workout Routine You Can Do Pretty Much Anywhere

lower body exercises resistance band squat jacks
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

30. Resistance Band Squat Jacks

*Works your quads, glutes and calves.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place the resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Jump both feet out and lower into a squat position, feeling the resistance band challenge the muscles in your outer thighs.

Step 3: Jump both feet in and return to a standing position. Keep your arms centered to maintain balance and repeat.

lower body exercises resistance band kickbacks
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

31. Resistance Band Kickbacks

*Works your quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your hands on your hips for balance. Place the resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Extend your right leg behind you with your toe pointed down toward the ground. Engaging your core and keeping your hips square, lift your leg up about six inches off the ground.

Step 3: Lower your leg, tap your toe against the ground and lift up again, squeezing your glutes at the top. Make sure you maintain a neutral spine and avoid arching your back.

lower body exercises resistance band glute bridge
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

32. Resistance Band Bridge Burners

*Works your glutes, quads, hamstrings and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Place the resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.

Step 2: Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your arms to push away from the ground to help lift your lower half as high as possible.

Step 3: Engaging your core, press your knees out as wide as possible. Hold for a beat, return back to center and repeat, maintaining tension on the band the entire time.

lower body exercises resistance band plank lifts
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

33. Resistance Band Plank Lifts

*Works your core, glutes, hamstrings and shoulders.

Step 1: Begin on all fours in a push-up position. Place the resistance band around your ankles.

Step 2: Engaging your core, lift your right leg up until it’s even with or slightly above your hips. Lower back down and repeat on the other side. Keep your gaze forward and your hips steady.

lower body exercises inner thigh leg lift
Digital Art by Mckenzie Cordell

34. Inner Thigh Leg Lift

*Works your inner thighs, quads, glutes and core.

Step 1: Lie on your right side with your right arm bent supporting your head and your left arm placed on the ground in front of you for stability. Your right leg should be straight while your left leg is bent with your left foot resting in front of your right knee.

Step 2: Slowly raise your right leg up off the ground, keeping the rest of your body still. Hold for a beat and return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.

RELATED: 12 Cardio Exercises You Can Do in Your Living Room

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