You don’t need weights to build stronger legs — try this five-move workout instead

This quick circuit workout builds strength, boosts your metabolism, and increases your mobility

Two men performing squats as part of a bodyweight lower-body workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Just because you can't make it to the gym, that doesn't mean you need to skip leg day. 

This quick workout develops lower-body strength and power using just your body weight, making it a great option for anyone training at home or trying to squeeze in a short-yet-effective lunchbreak session. 

The best yoga mats (opens in new tab) offer a balance of grip and cushioning, which is why we like using them for moves like chest to floor burpees, but this is entirely optional and you can easily do this workout without any equipment at all. 

The session, devised by fitness trainers Tiff x Dan (opens in new tab), is a circuit of five moves. Perform each one for 40 seconds, catch your breath for 20 seconds, then launch into the next exercise. 

Dan suggests completing three or four rounds of this five-move circuit in total, which will take you a maximum of 20 minutes — see, we told you this was an efficient workout.

Watch his video below to find out more about the five moves you'll be working through, and match his technique to make sure you're performing each one with good form. 

Watch TiffxDan's lower body workout

A post shared by TIFF + DAN | AT HOME WORKOUTS (@tiffxdan) (opens in new tab)

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In the absence of weights, most of the movements Dan uses to challenge your legs are plyometric exercises. This term sounds more complex than it is, referring to explosive exercises designed to build power. 

For example, the chest to floor burpees, switch lunges, and pop squats in this workout require you to generate enough force to propel your body upwards and jump, challenging your muscles in a different way to traditional weight training. 

This type of exercise also has the added benefits of raising your heart rate, training your heart and lungs, boosting your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn during the day), and improving your sporting performance. 

The Cossack squats at the end of the workout also double up as a stretching exercise (opens in new tab), helping you improve your mobility by moving your joints through a  large range of motion. 

They can be a difficult exercise for beginners, however, so you might want to start by learning how to do squats (opens in new tab) before giving them a go. 

If you want to further improve your mobility, why not give these anti-aging yoga moves (opens in new tab) a go? Or, if you want to focus on your top half, this upper-body workout (opens in new tab) will only take 20 minutes. 

Harry Bullmore

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.

When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.

Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.