In this article, you will discover the best exercises for the back of the thighs without weights.
The muscles in the back of your thighs are called hamstrings. Targeting these muscles will make your thighs firmer, slimmer, and stronger. It can also reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Most leg exercises don’t target your hamstrings. For instance, squats mainly target your quadriceps. Same with lunges.
Overtraining your quadriceps while ignoring the hamstrings can lead to muscle imbalances, poor posture, and pain.
Sitting for long hours also makes these muscles weak and tight. That’s why you must add the exercises for the back of the thighs to your workout routine.
However, don’t do the exercises below before warming up. The hamstrings are very sensitive and training them without warm-up can cause an injury.
None of these exercises for the back of your thighs require any equipment. This means you can do them anywhere.
The Best Exercises for The Back of Your Thighs
1. Romanian Single Leg Deadlift
You’re probably familiar with this exercise if you’ve been doing my workouts. It mainly targets the hamstrings, glutes, and core. It’s also excellent for improving balance.
Make sure you keep your back straight as you bend forward. Slightly bend the supporting knee on each rep. Keeping the knee straight can cause an injury.
Perform the exercise next to a wall (for support) if you lack balance.
You can make this exercise more challenging by holding a dumbbell on each hand.
2. High Kick Torso Twists
This exercise can greatly tone the back of your thighs when done correctly. It also sculpts your oblique muscles, allowing to build a slimmer waist.
Keep your knee straight as you do the high kick to get fully activate the hamstrings. Bending the knee makes the exercise less effective. Kick your foot as high as possible.
3. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges are one of the best exercises for the back of your thighs and buttocks.
Raise your hips as high as possible on each rep. Perform the exercise slowly and squeeze your butt muscles for 2 seconds every time you raise the hips.
Do glute bridges on one leg if you want to get the most out of the exercise.
4. Low Lunge to High Kick
This exercise activates your hamstrings when you lunge and when you kick forward. Keep your back straight while doing this exercise.
Other than toning your thighs, this exercise will boost your endurance and balance.
5. Bear Squats
This unique exercise doesn’t look anything like the regular squats. You perform it while placing your hands on the floor.
While in the pike position, keep your knees straight, feet hip-width apart, and back straight.
Slowly bend your knees until they almost touch the floor and then return to starting position. Control your motion while performing this exercise.
6. Front Leg Swings
Instead of doing static stretches before your workout, use this exercise to warm up your hamstrings. It will increase blood circulation in your legs and loosen your hips.
Hold on to a wall for support if you lack balance. But you should eventually be able to perform leg swings without supporting yourself.
7. Good Mornings
Good mornings are quite simple. Stand with your feet close together and knees slightly bent. Place your hands behind your head and then bend forward until your torso is parallel to the floor.
Keep your back straight as you bend forward. Note that bending your knees too much will make the exercise less effective.
8. Side Lunges
Side lunges work your hamstrings, glutes, and quads. Make sure you lunge until the thigh is parallel to the floor. And keep the other leg straight.
Avoid the common mistake of curving your back. Keep the torso upright and ab muscles tight.
9. High Donkey Kicks
This is one of the few exercises for the back of your thighs that strengthens your shoulders.
Proper form is vital if you want to get the most out of this exercise. First, get in the pike position and keep your knees and back straight.
Lift one leg and quickly raise it as high as possible while keeping it straight. Return it to the starting position and lift the opposite leg.
Feel free to wear ankle weights to make the exercise more challenging.
10. Runner’s Lunge
This exercise is similar to the Romanian single leg deadlift but it’s more challenging because you’re not allowed to rest your foot on the floor.
I’d recommend you build your balance with simpler unilateral exercises before trying it.
When doing runner’s lunge, bend forward until your torso and leg are parallel to the floor. Keep the supporting knee slightly bent.
11. Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge
You’ll be amazed by how effective this exercise is. It targets your glutes and hamstrings.
Place one foot on an elevated surface like a bench and keep the other off the floor. Now, raise your hips as high as possible. Slowly lower the hips back to starting position and repeat.
If you find this exercise too challenging. Perform it on both feet. It’s still more rewarding than regular glute bridges.
12. Reverse Lunge to High Kick
Very few exercises for the back of the thighs are as effective as this one. It tones your thighs by building your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It’ll also help you gain balance.
When you do the reverse lunge, make sure both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Make sure the front knee doesn’t extend past the toes. It’s also important to kick the foot as high as possible while keeping it straight or slightly bent.
The Bottom Line
These exercises for the back of the thighs will make your thighs firmer, stronger, and slimmer. And the best part is you can do them anywhere since they don’t require any equipment.
With that said, you need to combine them with full-body workouts to burn fat and build muscle fast. These 28 fat-burning workouts are perfect for you if you’re too busy to exercise in the gym for an hour – they only take 15 minutes to complete.