Squats and lunges are incredibly effective at toning the glutes and thighs, but not everyone loves them – even more importantly, not everyone can do them. There are a number of different physical limitations that might make deep squatting or lunging moves uncomfortable for some individuals – someone with injured or weak knees, for example.
The good news is that there are many other ways to effectively work the glute and thigh muscles, and this lungeless, squatless legs workout is a perfect example. Not only does this routine tone and shape, it also works the core muscles and burns a decent number of calories.
7 Reps, 7 Pulses x2; Kneeling Leg Lifts – To mix up the muscle burn a bit, we do 7 full range of motion reps (lifting one extended leg upwards while on knees and forearms), followed by 7 short pulses in the hardest range of movement; twice on each leg. You will feel this in your glutes (this is a wonderful butt lifting exercise) and hamstrings.
14 Flutter Kick + Scissor Kick Combo – Lying on your back, kick extended legs in opposite directions, one up towards your head and the other towards the ground; this is a Flutter Kick. Do this motion 2 times before doing a Scissored Kick; lying in the same position, pull extended legs apart, and then cross them over one another before extending them apart to the sides again. Do this variation twice, too; 2 Flutter Kicks, 2 Scissor Kicks. You will certainly feel this one by the time the reps are complete, in your thighs and your abdominals.
14 High Kicks – Stand straight up and extend one leg up and out to the side in a slow, controlled high kick. You will feel this in your supporting leg’s glutes, abdominals, and quads (front of thighs).
14 Glute Circles – Get on hands and knees and extend one leg, bent at roughly a 90-degree angle. Now draw a circle with the foot of the leg that is lifted. You will feel this in your glutes – this is a butt lifting workout as it targets and tones the glutes from multiple angles. Do 7 circles in each direction, on each leg.
10 ‘Round the World Jacks – Stand straight up and lift one leg to the side while extending that opposite arm overhead. Repeat the same motion on opposite sides of the body. Now reach forward with one hand while lifting the leg on the opposite side of the body straight out behind you; repeat on opposite limbs. This one is great for balance and for toning the butt, thighs, and core.
14 Alternating Bridge Kicks – Lie on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the ground. Press up through the feet to go into a “bridge” so that your bodyweight rests in your feet and shoulders. While in this position, extend one leg completely before placing it back down on the floor while lowering your body from the bridge. Alternate which leg extends each time you go up into the bridge. The backs of thighs (hamstrings) and glutes are the main targets during the bridge, while you will feel the leg extension in your quadriceps.
14 Knee Tuck Extensions – On all fours, lift one leg straight out behind you into the air so that you feel the burn in your glutes. Then, bring that same leg up and in so that your knee almost touches the elbow of the same side of the body. You will feel this in your glutes, thighs, obliques, lower back and even a bit in your arms and shoulders.
14 Swinging Bridges – Go back into the bridge position described above. Here is where the “swinging” comes in; press upwards and to one side of the “bridge”, before dipping back down towards the mat while moving to press upwards at the opposite side. This one is a great no squat workout for the lower body.
Whether or not you are looking for a leg workout without squats or lunges to help avoid aggravating an injury or joint, or you just want to mix up your regular routine, this is a great routine for toning and shaping the butt and thighs.
We estimate that this routine burns 4-8 calories a minute. That’s 104-208 total, depending on your muscle mass, bodyweight, gender, exercise experience, etc.
Make sure that you warm up and cool down when using this Fitness Blender workout video and if you are using a squatless workout for health reasons, make sure that you get medical clearance from your doctor first.