sidelying leg lift

Lean Lazy Legs

Who could use a lazy lower body workout? I recently posted “Lean Lazy Arm” exercises and I thought just maybe you’d like some for the lower body too. This whole workout is done laying on the ground.. But Mindy Fresh, how can we do that and does it even work?

Of course it does. The muscles are activated in a way that allows better focus. Better focus=muscle gains. Besides if this is all you’re willing to do, it still counts. Any movement counts! You are more likely to do an exercise that feels easier. These exercises are also good on the joints for those who have trouble. If I were to work with someone who has back pain, knee pain, or hip pain – these are the common exercises I would suggest.

Squats and lunges are exhausting and can be hard on some bodies (if you prefer that, here’s a different workout). Laying on the floor taking a nap sounds better. There might be a happy medium? The following exercises are EASY for lazy days and you don’t even have to get off the ground. Watch your favorite television show. You may as well take a nap when you’re done.

Remember to exercise the whole body. This is meant to be one part of the whole but if you only do even just one of these you are ahead of the game. 

Lazy Lower Body Workout

Here are 5 lazy lower body exercises to try. Do them all together to make it a workout. Each exercise is recommended to start with 3 sets of 10. Please, please if you need to only do 1 set. It’s all good. 

Keep in mind, all of these need to include a tight abdominal hold (while breathing of course) to engage the core while lifting legs around. A strong core keeps the back safe from injury and increases work for the abs that we all want to have. 

Sidelying Leg Lifts

Sidelying leg lifts work the abductors of the thigh (the muscles that pull the leg away from the center of the body). The main muscles are the glutes (especially gluteus medius) and the muscle that creates the IT band (tensor fascia latae)

Lazy Lower Body Workout

  1. Start laying on the right side
  2. Rest your head on on the right hand
  3. Prop your body with the left hand
  4. Keep core engaged
  5. Lift the left (top) leg about 1-2 feet off the right leg. 
  6. Lower and repeat


The clamshell works the hip external rotators. This includes the piriformis, which is blamed for “sciatica” and a bunch of other tiny muscles in the hips. Bigger muscles like the glutes can come into play as well. 

Lazy Lower Body Workout

  1. Set up like the sidelying leg lift exercise
  2. Bend both knees up around 90 degrees and stack them 
  3. Lift the left leg up as far as comfortable
  4. Lower and repeat

Reverse Clamshell

The reverse clamshell works the hip internal rotators. These include the gluteus medius (one of the glutes) and the tensor fascia latae I mentioned above. 

Lazy Lower Body Workout

  1. Set up like clam pose
  2. Keep the knees together
  3. Lift the right lower leg up
  4. Lower and repeat

Supine Leg Lifts

The supine leg lifts work the hip flexors and abdominals as an added bonus. The muscles that flex the hip are the iliopsoas (don’t worry about the name) and one of the quadriceps. 

Lazy Lower Body Workout

  1. “Supine” means to lay on your back
  2. Keeping the abdominals tight, do NOT let the lower back come off the floor
  3. Bend the left knee up 
  4. Lift the right leg up to left knee height with a flexed foot
  5. Lower and repeat


The bridge is done by the hip extensors and back.  I am keeping it in general terms, but there are many muscles involved. The glutes and lower back muscles are primarily working.

Lazy Lower Body Workout

  1. Lay on the back
  2. Bend knees up and rest feet on floor, hip width apart
  3. Heels can be anywhere comfortable away from butt
  4. Squeeze the butt and abdominals to raise the body off the ground
  5. Move slow like a ripple effect in the spine
  6. Lower and repeat

Lazy Lower Body Workout

Now that you’ve worked out, try my Simple Lower Body Stretches!

Fresh Fitness: A lazy lower body workout will provide plenty of exercise while laying down. 

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Let's get healthy together!


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