This 20-Minute Lower-Body Workout Builds Muscle With No Equipment

Boost your overall balance, strength and power with lower-body exercises like step-ups and squats.
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Leg exercises don't have to be complicated to be effective — and they don't need to require any equipment either.

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There are plenty of body-weight leg exercises you can add to your strength program that will help you improve your strength in daily life and get closer to your fitness goals, too.

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Leg workouts engage the major muscle groups of your lower body, which helps improves overall athletic performance and support lean muscle growth.What's more, lower-body workouts benefit your overall balance, core strength and power.

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This 20-minute lower-body workout includes plyometric exercises — which involve quick, explosive movements — to help increase vertical jump height, long jump distance, overall strength and running speed, agility and quickness.

How to do it:‌ This is a superset workout, where you'll perform two exercises back to back, followed by a 60- to 90-second rest. Do each exercise for the number of sets, reps or amount of time listed below.

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

Superset 1

1. Squat Eagle

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Sets 5
Time 30 Sec
  1. Start standing with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward or slightly angled out.
  2. Sit your butt back and bend your knees to lower down into a half squat until your legs form 45-degree angles.
  3. Push away from the floor as you lift up and lower down 1 to 2 inches three times to perform three pulse squats.
  4. Then swivel your hips to the right while still keeping your torso square and facing forward.
  5. Swivel your hips back to center.
  6. Perform three pulse squats to start the sequence again, this time swiveling your hips to the left.
  7. Repeat for 30 seconds, alternating which way you swivel your hips each time.

2. Broad Jump

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Sets 5
Reps 3
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees into a quarter-squat and bring both arms behind you.
  3. Swing your arms forward and quickly drive through your legs to jump forward.
  4. Land softly with your knees bent, then stand up.
  5. Repeat.

Tip

To make this exercise easier, you can perform squat jumps instead.

Rest 60 to 90 seconds.

Superset 2

1. Single-Leg Hip Hinge

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Sets 5
Reps 5
  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart, hands behind your head.
  2. Begin to push your hips back, and at the same time lift your left leg so you're balancing on your right leg.
  3. With a slight bend in your right leg, continue hinging at your hips, extending your left leg behind you until your upper body is parallel to the ground (or as close to parallel as you can get).
  4. Return to an upright position.
  5. Repeat 5 times before switching legs.

Tip

This is a great exercise to improve balance and glute and hamstring strength.

2. Explosive Step-Up

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Sets 5
Reps 5
  1. Start at the bottom of a lunge: Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, your front (right) thigh should be parallel to the floor and your front (right) foot should be flat on the floor. Your back (left) knee should be hovering right above the floor and you should be resting on your back (left) toes with your back (left) heel elevated off the floor.
  2. Bend your left elbow to 90 degrees and keep your right arm down at your side.
  3. Push through your front foot and drive your back knee up to your chest, jumping as you do so to create an explosion upward.
  4. Land back down from your jump on your standing knee.
  5. Repeat 5 times before switching legs.

Tip

To make this exercise easier, don't explosively jump upward when you drive your opposite knee to your chest. Just balance on your standing leg.

Rest 60 to 90 seconds.

Superset 3

1. Single-Leg Squat Bound

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Sets 5
Reps 5
  1. From standing, shift your weight onto one leg and lift the opposite foot behind you.
  2. Squat down halfway on your working leg.
  3. Jump up and over to one side, aiming to cover as much distance as possible.
  4. Land softly and immediately jump to the other side.
  5. Continue alternating sides.

Tip

This exercise challenges single-leg balance, power and lateral movement.

2. Scissor Kick

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Sets 5
Time 30 Sec
  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended and your arms alongside your hips, palms down. (You can also place your hands under your glutes or lower back if you need help stabilizing your core.)
  2. Push your lower back into the floor (or your hands, if they’re under your lower back) to help engage your core.
  3. Lift your legs 4 to 6 inches off the floor. Squeeze your abs to keep your back from arching.
  4. Keeping your legs straight, slowly lift one leg higher, and then switch legs — neither of your legs should touch the floor.
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds, alternating legs.

Tip

To make this exercise easier, your legs and feet can touch the floor if needed.

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