10 Effective Lower Body Exercises for Toning Your Legs and Glutes

10 Effective Lower Body Exercises for Toning Your Legs and Glutes

Girls, we all know that a well-toned lower body not only looks good but also makes you feel good. A looked after lower body plays a crucial role in your overall strength and stability. If you’re someone who is looking to sculpt your legs and tighten your glutes, you’re in the right place! There are countless exercises that people will suggest to you, but we’re here to point you in the right direction with 10 of the best. Implementing these exercises into your workout routine will help you achieve the toned, strong legs and glutes you desire. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a beginner, these are all exercises that can be adapted to best suit your fitness level.




Starting off super simple, we have the standard squat. This is a straightforward exercise that you can set at your own pace. The exercise can also be adapted, which you will notice as we go further down the list. Squats will strengthen your leg muscles, engage the core, and improve balance, making them a versatile exercise and a good one at that!

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your chest up and back straight, and engaging your core. Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting in a chair. Ensure that your knees stay in line with your toes and don’t extend beyond them. Ideally, go as low as your flexibility allows, with your thighs parallel to the ground, and then push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Calf Raises



Another really easy exercise you should incorporate into your workout routine is calf raises. Like most of the exercises on this list, you can perform calf raises at your own pace to best suit your current level of fitness. Additionally, you can carry out this exercise with or without the addition of weighted equipment, such as a bar or dumbbells. Over time, you should notice an improvement in your overall lower body strength and coordination, as well as stronger calf muscles, making you run faster and further as well as jump higher. 

Begin by standing on an elevated surface, such as a step, with your heels hanging off the edge. With your feet hip-width apart, slowly raise your heels as high as possible by pushing through the balls of your feet. Hold the top position for a moment to feel the stretch in your calf muscles, then lower your heels below the surface for a full range of motion.

Glute Bridges



When you include the glute bridge exercise into your workout routine, you are for sure going to notice improvements in the butt department. I mean the clue is kind of in the name! Following all the other exercises on this list, you can perform this exercise at home. All you will need is something to lean your back against, perhaps a wall or a sofa. Also, this is another exercise that you should wish to add a weighted piece of equipment to. Glute bridges will target and strengthen your gluteus maximus whilst also engaging the hamstrings and lower back muscles.

To perform the glute bridge exercise, begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Engage your core and press through your heels, lifting your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement for a moment, then lower your hips back down to the ground. You can perform this exercise with either both feet on the ground or with one foot lifted for an added challenge.

Side Lunge



Another really easy to execute exercise is the side lunge. Now, of course, you could just simply perform the standard lunge, but we find the side lunge to be easier for those with less room, whilst still achieving the same results. This is a great exercise for engaging your glutes, whilst also working your inner and outer tight muscles. Over time, you should notice an improvement to your leg strength as well as your flexibility.

Start by standing with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a step to the side with your right foot, keeping your toes pointing forward. As you step, bend your right knee and lower your body by pushing your hips back, as if sitting into a chair. Your left leg should remain straight. Push off with your right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Mountain Climbers



Next up, we have mountain climbers, given their name for the motion of the exercise, just with a little less wind and climbing gear! This exercise doesn’t require any equipment, just a bit of space at your home or gym where you can move with little to no restriction. Mountain climbers are a fantastic full-body exercise that elevates your heart rate and engages your core, shoulders, chest, and legs. Over time, you will notice a boost in your agility and coordination.

Begin by getting into a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and bring your right knee towards your chest while extending your right leg back. Alternate between the two legs in a rapid, running motion. The movement should be dynamic, with your knees reaching towards your chest as if you’re running in place.

Single Leg Deadlift



Perhaps one of the more challenging exercises on this list is the single leg deadlift. With this exercise, it is really important that you focus on form more than the amount you are repping. There is a fair bit going on motion-wise, and the addition of weighted equipment (dumbbells or kettlebells) can make this tricky for people new to their fitness journey. Single leg deadlifts are excellent for strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back while improving your balance. They also help to correct muscle imbalances and promote functional strength, making them a valuable exercise for overall fitness and injury prevention.


To perform the single leg deadlift, begin by standing on one leg while keeping a slight bend in the knee for balance. With your core engaged, hinge at your hips and lean forward, extending your free leg straight back and your upper body towards the ground. Simultaneously, lower a dumbbell or kettlebell towards the ground with your opposite hand, keeping your back straight and aligned with your extended leg. Continue to lower the weight and your body until your torso and legs are almost parallel to the ground. Ensure a straight line from your head to your extended heel. Reverse the motion, returning to an upright position.

Bulgarian Split Squat


We told you the squats would return later on this list! Don’t be fooled by its flashy name; the Bulgarian split squat is still a really easy-to-execute exercise. This exercise effectively targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while also improving balance and stability. Bulgarian split squats help correct muscle imbalances between the legs, enhance lower body strength, and aid in injury prevention by strengthening stabilising muscles around the knee. They're a versatile and challenging exercise that can be adapted for various fitness levels.

Begin by placing one foot behind you and lifting it into the air. With your chest up and your core engaged, lower your body by bending your front knee. Ensure your knee doesn’t extend past your toes, and aim for a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the movement. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.

Wall Squat


Keeping with the squat theme, the wall squat is another exercise proven to have great lower-body toning results. What we really love about this exercise is that it requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime! Wall squats are a low-impact exercise that strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while improving endurance. They also help with maintaining proper form, making them a great option for beginners or those recovering from knee or hip injuries. Additionally, wall squats enhance overall leg strength and posture.

Start by standing with your back against a wall and your feet about hip-width apart. Slowly slide your back down the wall, bending your knees until they form a 90-degree angle, similar to sitting in an imaginary chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming to increase the duration over time.

Back Lunge & Lift



Another recurring variation on a previous exercise is the back lunge and lift (a modified version of the simple lunge exercise). Again, similar to the side lunge, you will need to ensure that you have sufficient room at home or wherever you may be working out, just so you can really move around. A top tip for this exercise is to take it slow to begin with, focusing on form rather than the amount you can rep.

This exercise not only works the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes but also engages your core and improves balance and coordination. The combination of lunges and lifts helps strengthen the lower body while enhancing agility and functional fitness, making it a valuable addition to a well-rounded exercise routine.

To perform the back lunge and lift exercise, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step back with one foot, lowering your body into a lunge position, ensuring both knees form 90-degree angles. Simultaneously, lift your back foot off the ground and bring your knee forward towards your chest, engaging your core for balance. Return the lifted leg to its starting position as you push off with your front foot to return to an upright position.

Glute Kickback



The last exercise on our list, but most definitely not least, is the glute kickback. Again, like a couple of the exercises we have mentioned, you will need to ensure you have sufficient room wherever you are working out. This is to ensure that you are not restricted movement-wise. It would also help to have a yoga mat or a soft surface in general when performing this exercise. This exercise effectively targets and isolates the glute muscles. Glute kickbacks are excellent for toning and shaping the glutes, helping you achieve a more defined and sculpted appearance. They also improve hip stability and can aid in alleviating lower back pain. Additionally, this exercise can be beneficial for individuals seeking to enhance their athletic performance and overall lower-body strength.


Performing the glute kickback exercise involves getting on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift one leg, keeping it bent at a 90-degree angle, and push your heel towards the ceiling as high as you can while squeezing your glutes at the top. Lower the leg back to its starting position.

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