22 Leg Exercises for Women








Leg exercises tone and strengthen powerful muscle groups that you use every day. A well-considered leg exercise program will result in improved athletic performance, as well as overall fitness. On the following pages, you'll learn how to do leg exercises safely and effectively. The routines presented in this article work the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and the inner and outer thighs.

This page begins with the seated calf raise, an exercise targeting the lower leg muscles. The movement requires lifting the heels toward the center of the body.

How to Do a Seated Calf Raise Step One

Step 1
Assume start position as shown by sitting on stability ball and resting dumbbells on top of thighs.

How to Do a Seated Calf Raise Step Two

Step 2

Lift heels off floor to contract your calf muscles.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Hamstring Bridge with Stability Ball

The hamstring bridge with stability ball works the thighs while also stretching the lower back. The exercises requires pushing against a surface with the feet while elevating the back.


How to Do a Hamstring Bridge with Stability Ball

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on floor, bottom of feet supported on ball.

How to Do a Hamstring Bridge with Stability Ball Step Two

Step 2

Lift your hips up off the floor and contract your butt and hamstrings.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Stability Ball

The hamstring curl with stability ball utilizes a support to help raise the legs and hips off the floor. This leg exercise also works the back muscles.

How to Do Back and Hamstring Stretches Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on the floor, back of calves resting against ball.

how to do a hamstring curl with stability ball step two

Step 2
Lift butt off floor by lifting hips toward ceiling.

how to do a hamstring curl with stability ball step four

Step 3
Pull the ball in with your feet.

Step 4
Push the ball back out.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Stability Ball Step Five

Step 5

Return to start position.

Step 6
Repeat.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell

The hamstring curl with dumbbell utilizes a small weight to work and strengthen the muscles in your thighs. The exercise requires pulling the legs in toward the back of the body.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell Step One

Step 1
Assume start position as shown by holding a light dumbbell between your feet.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell Step Two

Step 2

Bend at knees to pull dumbbell toward butt.

How to Do a Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell Step Three

Step 3

Slowly lower weight to start position and repeat.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Single Leg Bridge

The single leg bridge works the back muscles and alternates the leg being stretched with each repetition. The exercise requires simultaneously pushing with one leg and stretching with the other.

How to Do a Single Leg Bridge Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by bending right leg and lifting left leg up toward ceiling.

How to Do a Single Leg Bridge Step Two

Step 2

Lift butt off floor by pushing off right foot and lifting hips toward ceiling.

How to Do a Single Leg Bridge Step Three

Step 3

Return to start position and repeat on other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Dead Lift with Medicine Ball

The dead lift with medicine ball incorporates a weight into a basic stretch motion. It is important to keep your movements fluid and gradual with this exercise to avoid strain.

How to Do a Dead Lift with Medicine Ball Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown.

How to Do a Dead Lift with Medicine Ball Step Two

Step 2

Keeping the medicine ball close to your body, slowly lower it down toward your feet.

How to Do a Dead Lift with Medicine Ball Step Three

Step 3

As you return to start position, contract your butt and hamstring.

Step 4
Repeat.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Single Leg Dead Lift with Medicine Ball

The single leg dead lift with medicine ball builds on the basic dead lift by adding a leg extension movement. The movement efficiently exercises your strength, balance, and flexibility.

How to Do a Single Leg Dead Lift with Medicine Ball Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown.

How to Do a Single Leg Dead Lift with Medicine Ball

Step 2

Keeping the medicine ball close to your body, slowly lower it down toward your feet as you lift your leg behind you.

How to Do a Single Leg Dead Lift with Medicine Ball Step Three

Step 3

As you return to start position, contract your hamstrings and glutes.

Step 4
Repeat with other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Lift with Bar

The inner thigh lift with bar incorporates a support that guides your motions as you proceed through this exercise. The movement requires both stretching and lifting with the legs.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Lift with Bar

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on your side, propped up on forearm and elbow.

Step 2
Support end of bar on inside of foot.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Lift with Bar

Step 3

Lift leg and bar up toward ceiling.

Step 4
Repeat with other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Toner with Resistance Tube

The inner thigh toner with resistance tube incorporates an elastic rope to push against your legs as you move them from side to side. This exercise works the legs, and also requires some coordination between the hands and feet to provide proper resistance.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Toner with Resistance Tube Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by wrapping tube around bottom of foot.

How to Do an Inner Thigh Toner with Resistance Tube Step Two

Step 2

Hold firmly as you abduct (move out) and adduct (move in) your leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Inner Thigh Circles

Inner thigh circles use small, repetitive motions to tone and strengthen the leg. You can vary the intensity of the movements, depending on whether your aim is precision or vigorous exertion.

How to Do Inner Thigh Circles Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on your side, propped up on forearm and elbow.

How to Do Inner Thigh Circles Step Two

Step 2

Slowly use your straight leg to draw circles in the air in front of you.

Step 3

Repeat on other side.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Stability Ball

The outer thigh lift with stability ball uses a support to maintain balance as the leg is extended away from the body. This exercise is useful for building strength and toning the upper leg muscles.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Stability Ball Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by supporting upper body weight on ball.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Stability Ball Step Two

Step 2

Lift leg up toward ceiling.

Step 3
Repeat with other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Standing Outer Thigh Lift

The standing outer thigh lift, which involves extending the leg away from the body at a 45-degree angle, may require a bar, as pictured, to facilitate quick repetition.

How to Do a Standing Outer Thigh Lift Step One

Step 1

Assume starting position as shown by standing up tall; use a bar for balance if necessary.

How to Do a Standing Outer Thigh Lift

Step 2

Lift leg out to side.

Step 3
Repeat with other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Squat with Outer Thigh Lift

The squat with outer thigh lift, which involves alternating squatting and standing positions, is effective for strengthening the thigh muscles. It is also a good way to incorporate greater range of movement into your leg exercises.

How to Do a Squat with Outer Thigh Lift Step One

Step 1

Assume starting position as shown.

How to Do a Squat with Outer Thigh Lift Step Two

Step 2

Bend knees and lower body into squat position.

How to Do a Squat with Outer Thigh Lift Step Three

Step 3

Stand back up and lift leg out to side.

Step 4
Repeat on other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Sculpt with Resistance Tube

The outer thigh sculpt with resistance tube adds a strengthening component to a basic leg exercise. The movement requires holding the legs above the head while bringing the feet out to the sides.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Sculpt with Resistance Tube Step One

Step 1

Assume starting position as shown by wrapping ends of tube around your feet.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Sculpt with Resistance Tube Step Two

Step 2

Bring legs out to sides just beyond shoulder width.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Sculpt with Resistance Tube Step Three

Step 3

Return to start position and repeat on other leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Bar

The outer thigh lift with bar, like the inner thigh lift, uses a support to help guide your leg through the motions of the exercise. The movement requires lifting and stretching one leg while the other rests on the floor.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Bar Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on your side, propped up on forearm and elbow.

Step 2
Support end of bar on outside of foot.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Bar Step Three

Step 3

Lift leg and bar up toward ceiling.

How to Do an Outer Thigh Lift with Bar Step Four

Step 4

Return to start position and repeat on other side.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Squat

This version of the squat requires holding a "sitting" position in the air. You may choose to incorporate weights into this leg exercise for added strengthening benefits.

How to Do a Squat Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, legs shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed out.

How to Do a Squat Step Two

Step 2

Keeping your weight in your heels, bend at knees and push your hips back as if sitting in a chair.

How to Do a Squat Step Three

Step 3

Return to start position and repeat.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Leg Extension on Stability Ball

The leg extension on stability ball incorporates a support into this basic leg exercise. The movement requires balance and agility to extend the leg while maintaining a straight back.

How to Do a Leg Extension on Stability Ball Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, sitting up straight on stability ball.

How to Do a Leg Extension on Stability Ball Step Two

Step 2

Lift left leg slightly off floor to start.

How to Do a Leg Extension on Stability Ball Step Three

Step 3

Slowly straighten leg out, toe pointed up toward ceiling.

How to Do a Leg Extension on Stability Ball Step Four

Step 4

Return to start position and repeat on both legs.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do an Overhead Squat

This version of the overhead squat incorporates a medicine ball to the basic squat to add a strengthening component to the motion. The exercises requires holding the ball above your head while lowering your legs into a "sitting" position.

How to Do an Overhead Squat Step One

Step 1

Stand up with feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed out and medicine ball overhead.

How to Do an Overhead Squat Step Two

Step 2

Hold the ball overhead as you bend your knees and push your hips back as if sitting in a chair.

How to Do an Overhead Squat Step Three

Step 3

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Sumo Squat with Medicine Ball

The sumo squat with medicine ball involves a deeper bending of the knees than the previous squatting exercises. Care should be taken to move slowly and fluidly to avoid straining the knees.

How to Do a Sumo Squat with Medicine Ball Step One

Step 1
Start with legs as wide apart as you can comfortably stand.

How to Do a Sumo Squat with Medicine Ball

Step 2

Bend your knees out to the side, and lower the medicine ball toward the floor.

Step 3
Make sure to keep your back straight.

How to Do a Sumo Squat with Medicine Ball

Step 4

Contract your leg muscles and squeeze your inner thighs and butt on the way up.

Step 5
Repeat.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Stationary Lunge with Weight Bar

The stationary lunge with weight bar uses a support, which allows you to bend your legs close to the ground and achieve a more stimulating workout. The exercise requires bending the knees at 90-degree angles and lowering your body towards the floor.

How to do a Stationary Lunge with Weight Bar Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown.

Step 2

Grip bar with one hand, rest the other on your hip.

stationary lunge with weight bar total body exercise step three

How to Do a Stationary Lunge with Weight Bar Step Three

Step 3

Step back with leg to form a split stance, and lower that knee to the floor to form two 90-degree angles with both legs.

How to Do a Stationary Lunge with Weight Bar Step Four

Step 4

Hold for 2 seconds, and come back up into the split stance.

Step 5
Lift your body straight up and down; make sure not to lean forward or backward.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Side Lunge

The side lunge stretches the legs and, when done quickly, generates enough movement to provide an aerobic workout. The movement requires bending one knee while stretching out the opposite leg. A weight or ball may be used to help keep the arms well-placed.

How to Do a Side Lunge Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, feet together.

How to Do a Side Lunge

Step 2

Keeping your left leg straight, step out to the side with your right leg and bend at your right knee.

How to Do a Side Lunge Step Three

Step 3

Push off the right leg to return to start position.

Step 4
Repeat on the left leg.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do a Diagonal Lunge

When doing the diagonal lunge, your body traces a slanted backward path as your leg steps behind you. This leg exercise also works out your abdominal muscles, as it involves a twisting motion at the waist.

How to Do a Diagonal Lunge Step One

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, feet shoulder width apart.

How to Do a Diagonal Lunge Step Two

Step 2

Use your right foot to step back to the left in a diagonal line behind you.

How to Do a Diagonal Lunge

Step 3

Return to start position and alternate between legs.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lottie Olson is a nationally certified personal trainer with 10 years of experience in fitness and personal training. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh with a B.S. in Exercise Science and Fitness Management.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.