So, here is the thing. The best toned legs workout does not involve sensual and sometimes pointless exercises, as we mostly see by self-appointed fitness influencers on Instagram and Tiktok. The fact is that not every leg exercise that you see on social media is beneficial to building toned legs or a tight butt. Most of the exercises we usually see are either impractical or just don’t engage the right muscles as intended.
How to Get Defined Legs for Females
To get defined legs, you should always include basic but super effective leg exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, donkey kicks, and glute bridges.
What makes squats one of the best leg workout routines that will get your legs and butt gorgeously sculpted is that they engage several muscle groups. Squats deliver maximum results by targeting glutes, quads, abs, hamstrings, calves, and lower back muscles all at once.
Deadlifts shake things up as far as leg day is concerned. They hit big and small muscles, all of which work together to lift your tush and tone your legs. When done with good form, deadlifts bring to the party neck muscles, lower back, butt, abs, front legs, inner thighs, and back of the legs muscle groups.
And while squatting and deadlifts are essential to sculpting your legs and thighs, glute bridges and donkey kicks is really where it is at for a bigger butt and strong glutes.
If you truly want to tone your legs and build a bubble butt, pump it up with this free best legs workout plan that you can do either at home or the gym.
It is also worth keeping in mind that apart from working out regularly and lifting heavy weights, you have to also focus on eating protein-rich foods. Including high-quality protein on your plate will help burn fat and build that much-needed muscle.
Other workouts you might like:
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Toned Legs Workout with Weights
Before we get to the actual toned legs workout, let’s first fire it up with the leg and thigh exercises and how to do them properly to avoid injury.
This section covers- how to do deadlifts, squats, glute bridges, donkey kicks, lunges, and sumo squats.
1. Defined legs with deadlifts
When it comes to the ultimate leg workout, deadlifts reign supreme. Depending on what is available to you, you can perform deadlifts with dumbbells or a barbell.
Types of deadlifts
- Conventional deadlift
- Sumo deadlift
- Single leg deadlift
- Romanian deadlift
- Stiff legged deadlift
- Rack Pulls
How to do deadlifts with dumbbells
For deadlifts, you will need either a barbell with weights or a pair of dumbbells.
[A] Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand straight, feet hip-width apart, slight bend in the knees, and shoulders rolled back.
[B] Engage your core and bend at the hips while maintaining a neutral back. The weights (dumbbells or barbells) must be in line with your shoulder and not away from your body.
[C] Slowly lower your torso and the dumbbells as low as you possibly can without compromising your form.
[D] Slowly straighten back up to the starting position and squeeze your butt. Do not rush through the movement and never lift more weight than you can handle as you might hurt your back!
Do not round your back as you lower the weight. Always remember to keep your back in line with your head and hips throughout the movement. Remember also to start with the lowest weight until you master the proper form to avoid hurting your back.
2. Single-leg deadlifts
How to do single-leg deadlifts
[A] Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
[B] Engage your core and lift your left leg and extend it behind you. While maintaining a neutral spine, slowly lower your torso until you feel the tension in the hamstrings on the leg you are standing.
[C] Squeeze your butt as you slowly straighten up to starting position. Complete all the reps for one leg before switching to the other leg.
Best exercises for toning legs- squats
There are different types of squats (sumo or plié squats, plyometric or jump squats, Bulgarian split squats, goblet squats, bodyweight squats, barbell back squats, and pulse squats) in this leg workout plan, you are going to do traditional and sumo squats.
You will determine the depth of your squats-how low you can go is all up to you. You can squat until your quads are parallel to the floor, or you can go below parallel. A deep squat, also known as a** to grass (ATG), requires a full range of motion and works more muscles to deliver better and faster results. If you have weak knees, and poor hip flexibility, I recommend that you stay on parallel and work your way to taking that booty to the floor!
3. How to do dumbbell squats correctly
You will need a pair of dumbbells for this leg workout.
If you are new to squatting or your knees wobble when you squat, you should practice how to squat without any weights in front of a mirror until it looks and feels right.
[A] Stand up straight dumbbells at your side. The feet should be firmly planted and shoulder-width apart.
[B]Contract abs and slowly lower your hips as if you are about to sit in a chair. You should hinge at the hips and not the knees and always maintain a neutral back.
[C] Lower yourself until your quads are parallel to the ground. For a deep squat, your quads can go beyond parallel.
[D] Maintain the same pace to push yourself up using the glutes.
4. How to do sumo (plie) squats correctly
[A] Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width, feet and toes pointed out, holding a dumbbell close to your chest.
[B] Keeping your back straight, tighten your abs and squat down as far as you can go without compromising your form.
[C]Pause and return to the starting position.
5. Toned legs with lunges
Lunges are essential in a toned legs workout because they offer so many benefits that go beyond ‘toning legs’. There are several ways to do lunges, including walking lunges, forward lunges, reverse lunges, curtsey lunges, and side lunges. Any variation of these lunges works to improve core strength and hip flexibility, in addition to tightening your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
How to do lunges with weights
[A] Stand straight, feet hip-width apart, knees soft, holding dumbbells in each hand.
[B] Take a big step forward with your right leg, and lower your front and back leg at about a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should not go over your toes, and your back should be straight.
[C] Step back to starting position and repeat the movement. Change legs to complete the set.
6. How to do side lunges
[A] Stand with feet hip-width apart, core engaged.
[B] Make a wide sidestep using the right leg and bend the right knee, while keeping the left leg straight and soft knee.
[C] Make sure the knee does not go over the ankle and toes on the bent leg. Step back to the starting position and repeat. Switch legs to complete the set.
Once comfortable with a bodyweight side lunge, you can add weight by popping dumbbells on your shoulders or letting them hang in front of your body.
Best glute exercises for women
Fact, almost every woman who regularly works out has at one point in their life fantasized about a super-toned butt. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges will get you defined legs, while exercises for glutes such as bridges, hip thrusts, and donkey kicks will make your buttocks bigger and rounder fast. Glute bridges and hip thrusts are by far the best glute exercises to build and lift your butt. Squats don’t even come close when it comes to exercises for a bigger, rounder bum.
Glute bridges and hip thrusts
Glute bridges are similar to hip thrusts, and both of them are great exercises for hamstrings and glutes activation. The difference between glute bridges and hip thrusts is that glute bridges are performed with shoulders flat on the floor, with or without weights.
On the other hand, hip thrusts are a bit more advanced and require shoulder elevation. Glute bridges tend to activate quads more than glutes because they have a shorter range of motion than slightly elevated hip thrusts. If you are new to these two glute exercises, start with glute bridges, and once you are confidently hitting the correct muscles, you can progressively overload.
The bridges and thrusts specifically target the glutes and hamstrings, although core muscles are also activated during the exercise.
Types of glute bridges and thrusts for toned legs
- Barbell hip thrusts
- Banded glute bridges
- Single leg bridges
- Weighted glute bridges
- Elevated glute bridges
7. How to do a glute bridge correctly
[A] Lie flat on your back, hips shoulder-width apart, and arms spread out or close to your body for stability.
[B] Plant your feet firmly on the ground and align the heels of your feet with your butt.
[C] Pop your hips up as high as you can and squeeze your butt at the top.
[D] Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat.
8. How to do barbell hip thrusts – the best leg workout
For this workout, you will need a barbell set. If you are doing the workout at home with no access to a barbell, you can use dumbbells.
[A] Sit on the floor at the edge of a bench or aerobic step.
[B] Extend your legs and roll the barbell on top of your thighs and rest it on your hips. (For a comfortable hip thrust, place a squatting pad or towel on the part of your hips where the barbell will sit).
[C] Plant your feet on the ground and bring your feet close to your booty.
[D] Place your elbows on the bench and scoot only your upper back (shoulders) on the bench.
[E] Tuck your chin into your chest so that you are looking straight ahead and not up.
[F] Place your arms on the barbell for support, and thrust your hips up while squeezing your glutes. Thrust back down and repeat. Always push the weight through your heels as you thrust your hips up, and take care not to hyperextend your spine during this exercise.
9. How to lift lower buttocks with donkey kicks Leg workout
If you have a saggy bum, donkey kicks are that simple leg workout that will help lift lower buttocks. Donkey kicks work to sculpt your glutes, hamstrings, as well as your core. The best thing is they require none to very minimal equipment and not much effort. You can add resistance to donkey kicks by using ankle weights.
[A] Get on all fours, keeping your hands underneath your shoulders and knees directly below your hips.
[B] While keeping a straight back and abs tight, lift one leg at a 90-degree angle and kick your foot towards the ceiling.
[C] Pause for one or two seconds and the top and then lower your leg down to the starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
Best legs workout plan
This toned legs workout plan is 6 weeks long. Weeks 1 and 2 are quite easy, and you can do them with or without weights, depending on your fitness level. Weeks 3 and 4 are moderate, and 5 and 6 are where you will constantly feel the burn and come out with a sculpted butt and incredibly toned legs. Aim to do this leg workout plan at least three times a week.
Use this warm-up to start your workouts.
15 jumping jacks
30 lateral leg swings (15 each side)
30-sec butt kicks
30 sec high knees
15-sec hip circles
15-sec knee circles
15 jumping jacks
Best toned legs exercise- Weeks 1 and 2
You should rest for 30 seconds between each set. For example- Squats 10 reps x 3 sets means that you should do 10 squats and rest for 30 seconds, another 10 squats and 30 seconds rest, and the last 10 squats and 1-minute rest before moving to the next set of exercises.
Deadlifts 10 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell squats 10 reps x 3 sets
Glute bridge 10 reps x 3 sets
Lunges 10 reps x 3 sets
Donkey kicks 10 reps x 3 sets
Best legs workout- Weeks 3 and 4
Use the dynamic warm-up from weeks 1 and 2.
Jumping squats 10 reps x 3 sets
Lunges 12 reps x 3 sets
Sumo squats 12 reps x 3 sets
Glute bridges 12 reps x 3 sets
Deadlifts 12 reps x 3 sets
Hip thrusts 12 reps x 3 sets
Side lunges 12 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell squats 12 reps x 3 sets
Best toned legs exercise- Weeks 5 and 6
Use the dynamic warm-up from weeks 1 and 2.
Jumping squats 12 reps x 3 sets
Lunges 12 reps x 4 sets
Sumo squats 12 reps x 4 sets
Single leg deadlifts 12×4
Glute bridges 12 reps x 4 sets
Deadlifts 12 reps x 4 sets
Hip thrusts 12 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell squats 12 reps x 4 sets
Side lunges 12 reps x 4 sets
Jumping squats 10 reps x 2 sets