Bodyweight Quad Exercises At Home That You Can Do Without Equipment

If you want to build a strong, toned quad without equipment at home, then you are at the right place.

There are many bodyweight quad exercises that you can do at home to build strong legs.

Not only do these exercises target your quadriceps, but they also improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility.

Plus, since they don’t require any weights or machines, you can do them anywhere, anytime.

My home leg workout routine must include quad domination exercises. It strengthens the knee and builds bigger legs.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the following topics:

  • 15 best quad exercises
  • Tips for proper form
  • Advanced variations
  • Quad Anatomy
  • Benefits of bodyweight quad exercises

15 At-Home Bodyweight Quad Exercises No Weight Required

You don’t need a gym or weights to build strong, toned quads. Bodyweight exercises can be just as effective in targeting and strengthening your leg muscles.

Here are 15 quad exercises you can do at home or anywhere without any equipment.

1. Bodyweight Squat

Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the lower body (leg) muscles and developing core strength.

The primary agonist muscles used during the squat are the quadriceps femoris, the adductor magnus, and the glutes. The squat also Isometrically uses the erector spinae and the abdominal muscles, among others.

It can be performed virtually anywhere with no equipment and limited space. It’s a highly functional movement, working all the major muscles of the legs.

Beginners need to learn the bodyweight squat before progressing to weighted squats.

This is one of my favorite leg exercises. Sometimes I do 300–400 reps during my leg workout day.

Bodyweight Squat

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees and feet should be pointing in the same direction.
  2. Raise your arms out in front of you for balance (or you can leave them by your side).
  3. Inhale as you squat by simultaneously flexing your hips and knees.
  4. Make sure to descend at least until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. Exhale as you return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8–12 repetitions.


  • Keep your back straight, head up, and torso upright.
  • Don’t allow your knees to push too far forward.
  • Make the bodyweight squat more difficult by pulsing at the bottom of the squat.

2. Bodyweight Lunge

Bodyweight lunges are an exercise that targets the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core and lower back muscles.

They are a great way to strengthen and tone the lower body without any equipment, making them a convenient exercise option that can be done anywhere, anytime.

Lunges help you build balance, coordination, and unilateral (one-sided) functional strength of your legs.

You could try another variation, such as:

  • Walking lunges
  • Jump Lunges
  • Reverse Lunges
Bodyweight Lunges

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips or by your sides.
  2. Step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and your left knee almost touches the ground.
  3. Make sure to keep your torso upright and your core engaged.
  4. Push off your right foot to return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.


  • Bend as far and low as possible without losing form.
  • Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward.
  • If you have balance problems, it’s best to hold on to something steady.
  • Try to do different types of lunges, such as reverse lunges, walking lunges, or side lunges.

3. Step-Up

Step-ups are a great way to build lower-body strength and power. This exercise primarily targets the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. It also involves calves and glutes & hip flexors.

This is a great all-around workout that is great for everyone, since it is flexible enough to make it tough or easy for anyone, regardless of how long you have been working out or how new you are.

It has a low risk of injury and, with a few adjustments, can offer a good cardio and strength workout.

Bodyweight Step Up

How To Do

  1. Place a knee-high box or bench in front of you.
  2. Stand with your feet in a comfortable hip-width stance.
  3. Step forward with one leg onto the step and drive through that thigh to bring your body upward.
  4. Bring the trailing leg to the top of the step and stand on the box.
  5. Then, step back with the opposite leg to the floor and lower yourself.
  6. Alternate legs with each rep.


  • Control the movement, using your muscles to lift and lower yourself slowly.
  • Be sure to keep your lower back in its natural arch and your upper body upright throughout the whole movement.
  • Keep your body upright and your feet and knees pointing in the same direction.
  • Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.

4. Bulgarian split squats

Bulgarian split squats, or rear-foot elevated split squats, are unilateral lower-body exercises targeting the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

They are a challenging exercise that requires balance, stability, and core strength. It can help improve lower body strength and athletic performance.

Bodyweight Bulgarian Split Squats

How To Do

  1. Stand about 2–3 feet in front of the bench, facing away from it.
  2. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench and step your right foot forward so that your right knee is directly above your ankle.
  3. Engage your core and lower your body until your left knee almost touches the ground.
  4. Push through your right foot to return to the starting position and repeat for reps or time.
  5. Then, switch legs and repeat on the other side.


  • Your knee should stay in line with your ankle.
  • Keep your torso upright and your chest lifted.
  • Engage your core and prevent rounding of the spine.
  • Ensure your back foot is stable on the bench, and avoid wobbling or shifting your weight to one side.
  • Try to perform the movement in a slow and controlled manner to maximize muscle activation.

5. Bodyweight Sumo Squat

The Sumo Squat is a lower-body strength exercise that’s a variation of a standard squat. The key difference in this squat is that you take a wider stance and position your feet turned out.

While all squats work the glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves, the leg positioning of the sumo squat also works the inner thighs.

When performed in high volume, the sumo squat is a great movement option for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout.

Because the move recruits multiple large muscle groups in the legs, glutes, and core, its calorie-burning potential is high.

And there have been many research papers that have investigated the effects of squats on testosterone levels.

Bodyweight Sumo squat

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and turn your feet out, externally rotating your hips.
  2. You can keep your hands clasped together at your chest or open your hands in front of the chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in, then push your hips backward, lowering into a squat.
  4. Pause, then exhale, and ensure you’re pushing through your heels.
  5. Engage your inner thighs as you return to your starting position.


  • The lower back should have a natural arch with a chest out.
  • Keep your core tight and back straight.

6. Jump Squat

Jump squats are the power-packed HIIT version of squats. Squat jumps and their variations help shed fat from the lower body, tone your butt and legs, and improve strength and balance.

This exercise is often used as the beginning movement to develop proficiency in vertical, high, long, and box jumps.

It is a great exercise to include in At-home quad workouts since they can be done in a small space without any equipment.

The greatest amount of power is produced when exercising with just bodyweight.

Jump Squat

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Quickly drop down by bending at the knees and hips, letting your glutes track backward to lower yourself into a squat.
  3. At the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  4. Reverse direction, driving up through your heels and the balls of your feet to lift your body off the floor as high as possible.
  5. Land with soft knees and immediately lower into the next rep.


  • Keep your head up and your torso upright.
  • Don’t perform this exercise with cold muscles. Do a cardio warm-up before it.

7. Hip Bridge

The hip bridge is a good starter move for the butt, quads, hamstring, and low back muscles.

When you practice glute bridges regularly, you target your glutes, hamstring, and lower back muscles. Those muscles that are meant to hold your body upright will get stronger.

Hip Bridge

How To Do

  1. Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
  3. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees and shoulders form a straight line.
  4. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
  5. Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.


  • Do not push with your arms.
  • Don’t overextend your back during the exercises. This may cause lower back pain.
  • Hold a weight plate on your lap to make the Hip bridge exercise more difficult.

8. One-Arm Bench Dip

The one-arm bench dip is a challenging and very effective movement that primarily targets your triceps, but your glutes and quads also get worked secondarily.

Now, this is not a beginner’s exercise or for someone with inadequate upper body strength.

One-arm bench dip

How To Do

  1. Place your hands (palms) on the side of a flat bench with your back straight, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Slide your buttocks off the bench. Raise your left arm and right leg straight out in front of you.
  3. Your body weight should be supported by your right arm and left leg.
  4. Inhale as you flex your elbow to lower your body until you feel a mild stretch in your shoulder.
  5. Exhale as you extend your elbow to push your body back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and repeat the exercise with your left arm.


  • Keep your body upright and your back straight.
  • Keep your elbow close to your body, and do not flare out.
  • Keep both feet on the floor to make the one-arm bench dip easier.

9. Pistol squats

Pistol squats, or single-leg squats, are challenging bodyweight exercises requiring strength, balance, and flexibility.

The unilateral movement strengthens the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors (the muscles along the inner thigh), calves, and core muscles through a full range of motion while training balance and stability.

Pistol squats

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended in front of you.
  2. Lift your right foot off the ground and straighten it out in front of you.
  3. Slowly lower your body down into a squat position on your left leg.
  4. keep your torso upright and your right leg straight.
  5. Lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the ground or as low as you can comfortably go.
  6. Push through your left heel to return to the starting position and repeat for reps or time.
  7. Then, switch legs and repeat on the other side.


  • Keep your weight on your heel and knee aligned with your ankle.
  • Engage your core and keep your torso upright.
  • Hold on to a higher surface, like a chair or railing, until you feel comfortable with the movement.
  • You can also perform assisted pistol squats by holding on to a TRX or resistance band to help you balance.

10. Wall sits

Wall sits are a great bodyweight exercise that targets the quadriceps, glutes, and calves.

They are static exercises that involve holding a seated position with your back against a wall and can be performed anywhere on a flat surface.

You can hold a weight or a medicine ball in front of your chest to make the exercise more challenging.

Wall Squat
  1. Stand with your back against a wall and your feet hip-width apart, about 2 feet away from the wall.
  2. Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair.
  3. Engage your core and keep your back flat against the wall.
  4. Hold the position for as long as possible, aiming for 30–60 seconds.
  5. Slowly slide back up the wall to the starting position and repeat for reps or time.


  • Start with shorter holds and gradually increase the time.
  • Keep your weight in your heels and your toes pointing straight ahead.
  • Avoid arching your lower back or rounding your shoulders forward.
  • Keep your breathing slow and steady throughout the exercise.
  • Use your arms to balance and stabilize your body, but don’t push off the wall with your hands.

11. Kneeling Leg Extension

The kneeling leg extension is a highly functional bodyweight exercise that targets the quadriceps muscles while also engaging the knee joint, lower back, and hamstrings.

It is a simple exercise that can be performed anywhere without any equipment.

Kneeling Leg Extension

How To Do

  1. Get into a kneeling position with your knees hip-distance apart, torso tall, core and legs engaged, and hands on your hips.
  2. Keep your back flat and hips extended, and slowly tip your torso backward until your butt is a few inches away from your heels.
  3. Take a moment to pause, then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  4. Continue for a set number of reps.


  • Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid arching your lower back or rounding your shoulders forward.
  • Breathe slowly and evenly throughout the exercise.

12. Bodyweight Reverse Lunge

Bodyweight Reverse Lunges are an excellent leg exercise to build quad muscles and glutes.

  • small lunge emphasizes your quadriceps,
  • Whereas a large lunge emphasizes your gluteus maximus.
Bodyweight Reverse Lunge

How To Do

  1. Keep your torso upright, inhale as you take a large step backward with one leg, and plant your forefoot behind you.
  2. As you do so, flex the knee and hip of your front leg to allow yourself to descend into a kneeling position.
  3. However, do not allow your rear knee to contact the floor.
  4. Exhale as you get back up into the starting position by pushing off with your rear leg.
  5. Repeat the movement with your opposite leg.


  • Keep your feet and knees pointing in the same direction.
  • Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward.
  • Be careful that the knee of the forward leg does not extend past the toes as you bend the leg.

13. Side Lunge

The bodyweight lateral lunge is the best variation of the bodyweight lunge that people typically perform when they want a little more glute involvement with the movement pattern.

It can help you to improve muscular imbalances, increase strength in each leg, and benefit from a functional movement.

bodyweight lateral lunge

How To Do

  1. Step out to your right as far as you can with your right foot.
  2. The forefoot should be turned out slightly as you plant it on the floor.
  3. Squat, shifting your weight to the left until your left leg is about parallel with the floor.
  4. Extend your left leg back up to lift your body up.
  5. Repeat in the same manner with your left leg, and continue alternating legs each rep until all reps are completed.


  • Do not lean the torso forward as you rise out of the bottom of the lunge.
  • Always push through your heels to protect your knees.

13. Seated Knee Extension

Seated knee extensions are a commonly prescribed exercise in physical rehabilitation programs.

This exercise isolates the knee extension mechanics to gently strengthen the knee joint and quads with minimal impact or excessive movement.

It is particularly useful when the knee has a limited range of motion or when other leg parts need to remain immobile during rehabilitation.

A study has shown that knee extensions with an elastic band result in significantly higher voluntary peak quadriceps muscle activity than knee extensions in a machine.

Seated Knee Extension

How To Do

  1. Sit on a chair or bench with your back straight and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place a rolled-up towel or cushion under your thigh so that your knee is slightly off the edge of the seat.
  3. Slowly straighten your knee, lifting your foot up towards the ceiling.
  4. Hold the position for a few seconds.
  5. Then, slowly lower your foot back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 12-15 repetitions, then switch legs.


  • Keep your back straight and avoid hunching over.
  • Don’t lock your knee at the top of the movement.
  • Keep your movements slow and controlled.
  • Use a resistance band or weight that allows you to perform the exercise without pain or discomfort.

14. Box Jump

The box jump is a plyometric exercise that develops an athlete’s lower body explosiveness and proprioception.

Plyometric exercises like the box jump help improve explosiveness, which combines power and speed to output force from the exerciser’s body.

This exercise is commonly used as part of an athletic training circuit, providing both leg muscle training stimulus and sports-specific skill development, such as proprioception, lower body stability, and multi-joint movement coordination.

Box Jump

How To Do

  1. Stand before a sturdy box or platform with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower yourself into a quarter squat position, swinging your arms back for momentum.
  3. Explosively jump upwards, swinging your arms forward to help propel you upwards.
  4. Land on the box with both feet, ensuring you have fully extended your hips and knees at the top of the jump.
  5. Step back down from the box and repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Start with a lower box height and increase it as you get stronger and more skilled.
  • Use a sturdy box or platform to support your weight and not slip or slide during the exercise.
  • Keep your core tight and your knees aligned with your toes during the jump.
  • Make sure to fully extend your hips and knees at the top of the jump.
  • Land softly and quietly on the box to minimize the impact on your joints.

15. Bear Crawl

The bear crawl is a full-body exercise that engages multiple muscles, including shoulders, chest, back, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core.

Regularly incorporating bear crawls into your workout routine can improve total-body strength and endurance.

This exercise is commonly used in agility workouts and has been shown to help athletes adapt to the physical and physiological demands of various training phases.

You can make the exercise more challenging by crawling backward or laterally or by adding a push-up at each step.

Bear Crawl

How To Do

  1. Start in a quadruped position with your hands and feet on the ground.
  2. Keep your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and your back straight.
  3. Begin by moving your right hand and left foot forward simultaneously, followed by your left hand and right foot.
  4. Keep your core engaged and maintain a steady pace.
  5. Continue crawling forward for a set distance or time.


  • Keep your hips low and your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Move slowly and deliberately, focusing on good form.
  • Avoid arching your back or letting your hips sag.
  • Start with shorter distances or durations and gradually increase.


A study compared muscle responses in young (25 years) and older (70 years) adults during different exercises. Older adults showed higher muscle activity, especially with elastic bands and machine exercises, than younger ones. This could guide effective exercise for age-related muscle strength.

You can also try resistance band quad exercises to build stronger legs at home.

Quadriceps Muscles (Anatomy)

The quadriceps muscles, commonly referred to as “quads,” are a group of four muscles located in the front of the thigh.

These muscles work together to extend the knee joint and flex the hip joint.

It has four separate heads:

  1. Rectus femoris arises from the front of the pelvic bone.
  2. Vastus medialis arises from the inner edge of the femur.
  3. Vastus lateralis arises from the outer edge of the femur.
  4. Vastus intermedius arises from the front surface of the femur and lies underneath the rectus femoris.
quad muscles

The four heads merge together, attach onto the patella (knee cap), and then insert via a single (patellar) tendon onto the tibia, just below the knee joint.

The quadriceps muscles play a crucial role in lower body movements such as walking, running, jumping, and squatting.

Benefits of Bodyweight Quad Exercises

  • Bodyweight quad exercises can improve leg strength and overall lower body power.
  • They can increase flexibility and range of motion in the hip and knee joints.
  • Bodyweight quad exercises can improve balance and coordination
  • Bodyweight leg exercises are a low-impact exercise option that reduces the risk of getting hurt.
  • These exercises can be done anywhere, anytime, without any equipment
  • Bodyweight quad exercises can help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • They can help increase muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Since bodyweight exercises involve no equipment, they are a convenient and accessible exercise option for people with limited space or resources.
  • Bodyweight quad exercises can be used in various workout routines, such as HIIT, circuit training, bodyweight strength training, and fat loss exercises.


How can I workout my quads at home?

You can do various bodyweight exercises at home to work out your quads, such as squats, lunges, step-ups, pistol squats, wall sits, and Bulgarian split squats.

These exercises can be modified for different fitness levels and can be done with little to no equipment.

Can bodyweight quad exercises help prevent knee injuries?

Yes, strengthening your quads can help improve the stability of your knee and reduce your risk of knee injuries.

However, if you have a pre-existing knee condition, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

How often should I do bodyweight quad exercises?

Ideally, you should do bodyweight quad exercises 2–3 times weekly, with at least one day of rest between sessions.

Are bodyweight quad exercises suitable for beginners?

Yes, many bodyweight quad exercises are suitable for beginners, such as bodyweight squats, lunges, and step-ups.

How many reps and sets should I do for bodyweight quad exercises?

A good starting point is 3–4 sets of 12–15 reps. You can adjust the number of reps and sets as you get stronger and the exercises become easier.


Toning and strengthening your quads can enhance knee stability, lower the risk of knee injuries, boost athletic performance, and make daily movements more manageable.

Numerous quad exercises can be performed at home without any specialized equipment.

It is recommended to start slowly and gradually increase the number of reps or sets as you become more comfortable with the exercises.


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  2. Kilgas MA, DenHerder AE, Lytle LLM, Williams CT, Elmer SJ. Home-Based Exercise With Blood Flow Restriction to Improve Quadriceps Muscle and Physical Function After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Case Report. Phys Ther. 2019 Nov 25;99(11):1495-1500. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz110. PMID: 31392999.
  3. Thomas Linding Jakobsen, Markus Due Jakobsen, Lars Louis Andersen: Quadriceps muscle activity during commonly used strength training exercises shortly after total knee arthroplasty: implications for home-based exercise-selection. J Exp Orthop. 2019 Dec
  4. Donnelly DV, Berg WP, Fiske DM. The effect of the direction of gaze on the kinematics of the squat exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20:145–150.
  5. Desiana, Istingadah & Moeliono, Marina & Prabowo, Tertianto. (2017). Effects of Quadriceps Strengthening Exercise on Quadriceps Muscle Strength and Its Relation to Lower Extremity Lean Mass. International Journal of Integrated Health Sciences. 5. 84-88. 10.15850/ijihs.v5n2.1010.
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