The Best Leg Workout for Absolute Beginners

Build (or rebuild) a foundation of strength, balance, and endurance!

This is The Best Leg Workout for Absolute Beginners.

When you’re jumping into a new workout regimen for the first time (or after a long while) it’s best to stick with the basics! Of course, you want results, but too many people go too hard, too fast, and end up injuring themselves or burning out. Below, you will find the best leg workout for beginners! It’s a great way to build (or rebuild) a basic foundation of strength, balance, and endurance.

Need a beginner upper body routine, too? You can Tone and Tighten Your Upper Body with These 6 Moves.

Exercises Are Always Modifiable

This routine can be modified to challenge any fitness level! It’s not just for beginners. There are always ways to increase difficulty. Some of the best options are adding resistance (weights or bands), increasing time under tension, or going from two-limb to single-limb exercise. We’ll include notes next to each exercise below to give you some ideas on how to make them more challenging!

The Best Leg Workout for Absolute Beginners

This workout for beginners keeps things simple in the most effective way!

You don’t need any equipment for this routine, but a yoga mat is recommended (for bridges). If you’re looking to take this routine from beginner to intermediate or advanced, you can grab a pair of medium- to heavy-weight dumbbells. 

To complete this routine, simply perform each exercise for the designated number of reps before going  on to the next move. You can rest for up to 30 seconds in-between each exercise. Complete 3 to 5 rounds total. This workout can be performed up to 3 times per week.

We’ve included instructional videos for each beginner exercise at the bottom of this post. Be sure to watch all of them before you begin!

1. Squats

What to do: Perform 20 reps.

Notes for Beginners: use just your body weight. Feel free to place a chair behind you for safety and proper depth, or in front of you for stability.

Notes for Intermediate/Advanced: you can hold dumbbells at shoulder height and/or perform single-leg split squats. 

2. Standing Hip Abduction

What to do: Perform 10 reps on your right side and then 10 reps on your left side. 

Notes for Beginners: using just your body weight, hold on to a door frame or sturdy piece of furniture.

Notes for Intermediate/Advanced: you can use a loop band for some added resistance. Place it just above your knees and place your hand on your hip as you raise your leg. 

3. Reverse Lunges

What to do: Perform 20 alternating reps (left, right, left, right, etc…) 

Notes for Beginners: feel free to place a chair in front of you to hold on to for some extra support. 

Notes for Intermediate/Advanced: you can hold dumbbells down at your sides for some added resistance. You can also increase time under tension by slowly lowering into each lunge.

4. Bridges

What to do: Perform 20 reps. 

Notes for Beginners: if you have a yoga mat, you can use it here. If not, grab a towel or find a comfortable place to lay on the ground. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of each bridge. 

Notes for Intermediate/Advanced: place a dumbbell or two at hip height to increase resistance or perform single-leg bridges. 

5. Standing Calf Raises

What to do: Perform 20 reps.

Notes for Beginners: use just your own body weight and feel free to hold on to a chair or table for some extra support. 

Notes for Intermediate/Advanced: hold dumbbells down at your sides for greater resistance. You can also place your toes on a step with your heels hanging off to achieve a greater range of motion. 

Instructional Videos


Standing Hip Abduction

Reverse Lunges


Standing Calf Raises

If you try the Best Leg Workout for Beginners, we’d love to hear what you thought of it! Let us know in the comment section below!

Want more Beginner routines and challenges? Check these out:

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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