3 No-Equipment Leg Moves You Could Seriously Do While Waiting For the Bus (or a Flight)
Waiting for the bus, a flight, or on a long line at Disney? Why not get a quick leg workout in while you wait? You'll probably get some stares if you put in a little extra leg work in this unexpected setting, but you have the time, so take advantage of it. Your legs will be stronger, leaner, and primed for the day, no matter how long it gets.
"Life is hectic, but you can use every spare minute of your day to do something that is body positive. For instance, if you have to wait for the bus, don't just sit there staring down the street. Do some simple, no-equipment-required exercises to strengthen and tone your legs," said Sarah Chadwell, NASM, CPT. Here are the superfast exercises she suggests you try.
Seated Leg Lifts
Even if you are sitting on a bus bench, you can tone your quads. Try seated leg lifts! They are simple and look easy to do, but don't let the simplicity fool you. According to Chadwell: "The sheer weight of your legs will surprise you."
How to Do Seated Leg Lifts:
- Sit toward the edge of the bench or chair.
- Place your hands flat on the bench or chair right by your glutes to brace yourself.
- Keeping your left foot planted on the ground, lift your right leg straight up. Your toes should be pointed straight up and your leg should be locked at the knee.
- Lower your foot back toward the ground. Before your heel touches the ground, lift your leg again for the second repetition.
- Do 12-15 repetitions on your right leg, then switch to the left. That makes one set.
- Complete 2-3 sets.
If you want great, strong legs, you need to lunge — there's no way around that. "The lunge pulse is a challenging bodyweight exercise that targets your quads and secondarily targets your calves, glutes, and hamstrings," said Chadwell. "Some consider it more difficult than regular bodyweight lunges because your quads don't get a rest until the set is over. The constant tension will make your legs feel like they're on fire!"
How to Lunge:
- Begin in a standing position.
- Step forward to get into the regular lunge position.
- Move a quarter of the way down into the lunge.
- Now that you are in starting position, begin by pulsing up and down in a smooth, controlled manner. You will stay in continuous motion.
- Be sure your back knee never touches the ground and that you are constantly in the lunge position, never standing completely up during the exercise. There will be constant tension in your legs.
- Complete a set of 15 pulses on one leg, then switch to the other to complete a set.
- Do 2-3 sets.
This one is another no-brainer when it comes to building strong legs to show off. "Squats are a traditional move that is effective with or without weight. Since you don't have equipment available, train using high volume, or lots of reps," Chadwell says. "Get in as many bodyweight squats as you can to firm up your hips, quads, and glutes."
How to Do Bodyweight Squats:
- Stand up straight with your head facing forward. Pick a spot at eye level to focus on.
- Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Push your chest up and outward and hold your hands straight out in front of you, palms facing down.
- Begin the exercise by lowering your glutes down like you're going to sit on a chair or bench.
- Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your weight should be in your heels.
- Finish the move by pushing up through your heels and rising back to the standing, or starting, position.
- Complete 15-20 repetitions. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Do two more sets using this pattern or challenge yourself to do what's called a "burn out," where you complete one set of squats until failure or until the bus arrives.