The Best Leg Workout, No Weights Needed

beach downhill

Working out your legs and butt for that matter is so much easier than you think.

All you need for a great leg workout is your legs and body weight. It’s easy to strengthen the lower body without damaging knees, hips, or back if we focus on using our bodyweight. Keeping it simple is the way to go. No machines, weights, and no complicated routines are required. Just follow this leg workout program and enjoy the results.

Bulky or trim and lean legs?

Unless you want to be a bodybuilder or an athlete where you need massive legs to perform well, why spend ages pumping up those legs? Especially if you are running the risk of injuring yourself.

Is it just me, or do you agree that big bulging muscular legs don’t look particularly pretty anyway? Not to mention the chafing that’s going on (with or without clothes) if you have big thighs.

Talking about “normal people,” which most of us are, the best and healthiest way to work your legs is by performing these four potent yet straightforward leg exercises. Pure bodyweight, no weights needed. Practice these exercises correctly, and you can significantly strengthen your legs. Plus, your leg workout can be as easy or intense as you want.

Before I go into the best leg workout routines, let’s look at why weighted squats are a bad idea.

The Risks of Heavily Weighted Squats.

  • You are placing a heavily loaded barbell on the top of your spine, which can damage your neck.
  • Squatting with a heavy weight on your shoulders and neck puts immense pressure on the lower back and knees.
  • Keeping the right form is incredibly important yet challenging, and most don’t.
  • Overloading with weight is another common problem, causing back and knee injuries.
  • Heavily weighted squats add pressure on your heart and brain, over time, increasing the risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Tearing muscles and tendons, which take a long time to repair and set you back for weeks. 
  • Increases the risk of arthritis, as joints are often under heavy pressure, which can cause pain and long term injury. 
  • Squats cause knee pain to those who perform them regularly. Any movement that causes pain to joints, back, muscles, or tendons, cannot be right for you.
  • Squats can make you feel sick and throw up. Any activity that makes you vomit can’t be healthy; common sense will tell you that.

No need to take these risks.

Why take all those risks, when there are other, safer, and more enjoyable ways to train your legs? The Air Squat, on the other hand, is one of the best exercises you can do for your whole body. Please read the research according to Harvard Health, which you can read here.

The squat position is a natural move, as long as you practice the right form. The air squat will build strong leg and butt muscles, at will strengthen your lower back and core. If done correctly, air squats are a great cardiovascular workout too. Your heart rate will rise, but only to a safe level. Staying close to your maximum heart rate for too long can, over time, damage your heart.

Combining the following four movements, without using any weights, will give you the best leg workout ever. Warning! This routine is hard, so gauge your performance carefully during the first set. Once you know your limit, set your reps and time for the next two sets. Over time, increase your reps and times as you progress.

The Best Leg Workout Moves, without Weights:

  • Air Squats
  • Lunges
  • Wall-sits
  • Downhill

Air Squats.

Assume the correct position, which is feet shoulder-width apart, and pointed slightly outwards. Squat down as many times as you can, and push yourself to your maximum reps.

beach squats, are a great leg workout


On the spot lunges, or lunges around your living room are all great. Step forward, go down gently, until your knee kisses the ground, then back again, repeat with the second leg. That’s the spot lunge. If you move around one leg forward, then the next, but the same concept as above applies.

The Lunge


Find a wall or door, then get down like you are sitting in a chair. Position your feet forward, back against the wall, and hands must be dangling on the side. Don’t hold your legs or the wall. Hold the position as long as you can.

sitting with back against a tree


I love this one, as it’s fun, a massive burn and leg killer! For instructions, please watch the video. The downhill position, or tuck, is a little tough to explain in writing.

dowhill ski position is a great leg workout
Downhill Tuck Position
Watch the full Routine here.

Summing it up.

That’s the routine; repeat three sets, take note of your reps and times for each exercise, and repeat once or twice a week. I will generally not do a leg-only workout, as I prefer to work out my whole body in one go. However, if you want to place more emphasis on your legs, this routine is the way to go. It’s safe and will build strong and powerful legs, and butt. Further, this method will support your cardio system without stressing your heart.

Let me know how you feel or if you can walk after this workout. If you did this right, your legs should feel like jelly! If that’s the case, well done!

Happy squatting and I wish you a healthy leg workout.

Thanks for reading.


Rob Hourmont

Former Olympic Athlete & Certified Health Coach

“Its my mission to educate people on how to lose weight, build a healthy heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”

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