How to Make an At-Home Lower Body Workout Harder With Limited or No Weights

Creating a sustainable fitness routine means that sometimes flexibility is required. This popped up for me today as I had two sick kids home with me. Going to the gym just wasn’t an option, but I wanted to find a way to get some movement in because 1. it’s a great stress reliever 2. It energizes me after a night of not much sleep.

My workout for today was a lower-body one. Leg and glute exercises are harder for me to replicate at home because I don’t have the same equipment or weights found at the gym. I have dumbbells up to 35 pounds, resistance bands, and my kitchen table bench at home. Knowing I wanted a challenging workout but didn’t have weights that went as high, I made modifications to my routine so the exercises I did were still hard. I was able to do this using the following two tips:

  1. Do an extra set or two (but don’t exceed 5 sets) and add on reps when necessary. Normally, I do 3 pyramid sets, typically following the formula of 15, 12, and then the last set is between 10 and 12. Today, I performed 4-5 sets and completed 15 reps for each set. Adding additional sets and reps is another strategy for achieving muscle hypertrophy.
  2. Use single-leg modifications. This makes the exercise more challenging, so the lighter weights (or bodyweight) you’re using seem much harder. I recommend single-leg glute bridges, single-leg squats, and single-leg deadlifts for making your lower-body workouts more challenging.
A single-leg deadlift is a great way to make deadlifts more challenging. Source: iStock

Would I have preferred to go to the gym? Probably, but it wasn’t a reality for the day. Was my at-home modified workout just as challenging? Absolutely. Am I 100% happy that I chose to adjust my routine to still get one in for the day? Yes!

I hope you’re able to apply these tips to your at-home lower-body routines. Happy exercising!

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