Work It Out: Leg and Glutes Exercises No Weights Necessary

Susan Hoff
September 18, 2023

Going back to basics for both beginners and experts. Ready to sweat?

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Yes, healthy legs and glutes look great but don’t be deceived: Strong, healthy legs are not only about aesthetics. Agile, toned legs and glutes play a crucial role in supporting our overall physical well-being and become increasingly important as we age. When working out, beginners quickly come to understand that healthy glutes and legs are the baseline for a great workout routine. 

These muscle groups are the baseline powerhouse of the lower body. Anyone who has broken a leg or pulled a glute muscle immediately realizes just how necessary the full functionality of these muscle groups is to our everyday lives and daily activities. Leg and glute exercises without weights are about more than just enhancing physique; working legs and glutes prevents injuries, alleviates back and knee pain, and improves overall posture.

Healthy Legs and Glutes Help Us Maintain…

Stability and Balance

Legs and glute muscles work together to create full-body stability and balance. A strong lower body helps us navigate uneven terrain, stand tall, and catch ourselves.

Taking Care of Joints: Knee Health

Knees can be extremely vulnerable joints. Knee pain and issues are common in young people and older individuals alike but strengthened glute and hip muscles help protect them. Weak legs and glutes lead to improper alignment, putting excess stress on the knee joints. Read more about how weak joints and glutes contribute to knee problems at any point in life.

Back Support

Lower back muscles and glute muscles are closely connected. Weak glutes lead to lower back pain as the spine is less supported. By strengthening your glutes, you can alleviate or even prevent lower back discomfort.

Functional Strength

Everyday activities like climbing stairs, lifting objects, or even getting out of a chair rely on leg and glute muscles to get the job done. As we age, focusing on and improving leg and glute strength makes these activities easier and more efficient.

Metabolism Boost

Leg and glute workouts engage large muscle groups, which boosts metabolism. This means more calories are burned, even when you're not working out, aiding in weight management! Take a look at more of the benefits of leg and glute workouts, including lowering stress by managing cortisol levels.

A Simple Leg and Glutes Workout Plan without Weights or Machines

This is my simple yet effective leg and glutes workout that requires no extras to strengthen these muscle groups. I devised this workout plan while on vacation visiting a relative. There was no gym nearby, nor any weights or machines around, so I had to get creative. The series should be repeated 3x after completing a single set of each exercise.

 Keep in mind that this is an appropriate workout for the beginners and the experts. You’ll be able to perform these exercises at home or virtually anywhere:

1. Squats (3 sets of 15 reps): 

Everyone’s heard of the squat, but have they mastered it? This is the ultimate glutes exercise - no weights, no problem. A great squat is all about correct posture and foot placement.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as if sitting back on a chair, keeping your back straight. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

2. Lunges (3 sets of 12 reps per leg): 

Another classic yet highly effective movement to strengthen both legs and glutes in tandem!

Take a step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push off the front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg.

3. Glute Bridges (3 sets of 15 reps): 

If you’re experiencing back discomfort, take it slow. If you experience any sharp pains, do not continue with this movement.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top, and then lower them back down.

4. Wall Sits (3 sets of 30 seconds): 

Wall sits transport me right back to high school gym class. Don’t worry if you’re a little shaky, these require time and practice to begin to build up strength.

Stand with your back against a wall and lower your body into a seated position, as if you're sitting in an invisible chair. Hold this position, keeping your thighs parallel to the ground.

5. Step-Ups (3 sets of 12 reps per leg): 

If you’re experiencing knee pain, start small. If you feel any sharp pains, stop.

Find a sturdy platform or step. Step up with one foot, driving through your heel, and then lower yourself back down slowly for maximum effects.

If this is your first time exercising in a while, remember to take it slow and listen to your body and how you feel. Perform this workout 2-3 times per week, gradually increasing the number of sets or reps as your strength improves. Remember to maintain proper form to avoid injuries.

Curious about other ways to improve your strength? Take a look at some of my other fitness tips or check out my favorite health-packed recipes.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
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Oath & Grind by Susan Hoff is a luxe lifestyle community that blends fashion, fitness, and nutrition to serve as aspiration—because everyone can start a healthy habit, regardless of their age or physique.