We have all seen those influencers, actors, athletes, and Instagram models – both men and women – with enviably toned legs. And even though everyone already has a “summer body” #bodypositivity, if you want to get stronger, more-defined legs, you have to do a little more than running or walking. Here are our tips for leg workouts for toning and strength.


#1 Squats

Squats are a functional exercise, meaning that doing squats will improve your general mobility in everyday life. They’re a way to tone your body by doing the movements it naturally does. 

Squats target the glutes and quadriceps but they also use your obliques, hip muscles, calves, and hamstrings. They’re an overall excellent exercise to burn calories, lower your chances of injury in your knees and ankles, and strengthen your tendons, bones, and ligaments in your legs.

When you see people with a nice derriere, they most likely use squats to sculpt their bottom, hips, and abdominals! 

Squats are also safe for those with back problems as they won’t strain your back because when squatting you’ll maintain a neutral spine position. If you want to protect your back further, you can perform squats alongside a wall or next to a chair and rest your hand on an object – but make sure not to push against the object.

Find out how to do squats for beginners here with no equipment.

If you want to use a bar to squat to add extra resistance, here’s how to do it safely.

#2 Lunges

Although these can be many people’s least favourite move, lunges work the abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Lunges work both legs at the same time and also improve range of motion and posture.

Here are tips on how to lunge. You can perform lunges with or without weights. 

#3 Step-ups

Step-ups are another functional exercise and are like a one-legged squat. Since you’re performing a repetitive movement, you’ll work your thighs, hips, and glutes. To do this move, you’ll need a plyometric box or raised platform. Step onto the centre of the box each time to avoid stress on your knee.

Here’s how to perform a safe step-up at the gym.

#4 Box jumps

For a more complex leg-toning workout, you can try box jumps on a plyometric box. It’s an explosive workout that gets your heart racing whilst toning your legs, glutes, and core. Drop your hips when you land on the box to absorb the force and don’t lock your knees as this can strain them.

#5 Leg press

The leg press is a resistance training exercise that requires gym equipment and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your legs – and, more specifically, your quads. In this exercise, you push your legs against weights on the machine. Unlike the other movements, you won’t tone or strengthen stability muscles but since you have a limited range of motion, the leg press reduces the risk of injury. 

Leg press

With the leg press, you can adjust your foot positioning to work different parts of your leg (as long as you do so without locking out your knees).

Here’s how to do the leg press safely.

The takeaways

Try these exercises to get amazing legs – hopefully in time for your late summer holidays! If these exercises are too intense, you can check out our post on how to tone up whilst watching television. Let us know on Tria Beauty UK’s social media what your favourite moves are for getting toned legs.

Back to blog