Sculpt Leaner Legs at Home With This 20-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout

Curtsy lunges are an excellent move to sculpt your lower body.
Image Credit: Estradaanton/iStock/GettyImages

Slacking on your at-home workouts can be pretty tempting, especially when there's laundry to fold, dishes to wash and kids to entertain. But if you can't make it to the gym and want to work up a good sweat to keep your physical and mental health a top priority, this is your new go-to workout.


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This five-move HIIT workout, crafted by Ridge Davis, NCSF-certified trainer and creator of Ridgid Bootcamp, will sculpt your lower body and get your heart pounding — no equipment required. Just keep a water bottle handy and your favorite music blasting.

Do:​ Each of these moves for 30 seconds with a 30-second break between sets. Perform each exercise for four sets before going to the next move.


Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

1. Lateral Lunge With Overhead Reach

Make sure to sit your hips back into the lunge to activate your glutes.
Image Credit: Davis
  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Reach your arms straight overhead.
  3. Shift your weight into your left leg, keeping the right leg straight. Bend your left knee and lower into a side lunge until your thigh is parallel to the ground. As you do this, pull your arms down, bending the elbows back.
  4. Press into your left leg to return to standing, extending your arms overhead.
  5. Repeat the motion on the other side.


Get tips on how to stay healthy, safe and sane during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

2. Traveling Squat

For added burn, don't stand all the way up between reps.
Image Credit: Davis
  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, hands behind your head.
  2. Push your hips back and lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. At the bottom of the squat, bring your right knee to the ground, then the left so that you're kneeling.
  4. Then, reverse the motion and step back into the squat.
  5. At the bottom of the squat, press through your heels and return to standing.


3. Knee Drives

Focus on contracting your abdominals with each rep.
Image Credit: Davis
  1. Stand in a staggered stance with your left leg in front of the right. Keep a slight bend in your left knee and extend your right leg straight behind you. Lean forward slightly and raise your arms straight overhead.
  2. With your weight in your left leg, drive your right knee up above hip level. At the same time, pull the arms down to your sides, crunching the abdominals.
  3. Extend your right leg back out and bring your arms back overhead, returning to the starting position.


To really spike your heart rate, try to rebound as quickly as possible, only briefly tapping your extended leg to the ground.

4. Single-Leg Deadlift With High Knees

Combine cardio and lower-body strength with this combo exercise.
Image Credit: Davis
  1. Stand with your left leg lifted above hip height.
  2. Hinge at the left hip and extend your left leg straight out behind you. Keeping a flat back, lean forward, reaching your left arm toward the ground.
  3. Relying on your left hamstring and glute, return to standing.
  4. Pull your left knee back up to hip height in front of you.
  5. Perform two high knees so you end up balancing on your right leg again.
  6. Do 15 seconds on one leg before switching to the other for 15 seconds.

5. Push-Up With Extension

Alternate which arm and leg you lift with each rep.
Image Credit: Ridge Davis/
  1. Start in a high plank, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to hips to toes.
  2. Bend at the elbows and lower your body to the ground until your chest hovers above the floor (or however far your strength and mobility allow).
  3. Exhale and press back up into high plank.
  4. From here, extend your right arm forward and the raise the left leg up.
  5. Return to the high plank position and repeat your push up, lifting the opposite arm and leg this time.


You can modify your push-up by dropping down to your knees. Then, come back to high plank to lift your opposite arms and legs.