When one mentions “leg day,” we immediately think of exercise machines and heavy weights. There is no doubt that a heavily loaded leg press machine or barbell can build strong muscular legs. However, that doesn’t mean that you should skip working your legs entirely when you are away from the gym. With a mix of plyometrics and unilateral bodyweight leg exercises, you can build your leg muscles with your body weight alone.
Here are 7 of the best bodyweight leg exercises you should include in your regular leg work out or perform as a bodyweight condition circuit for strong, powerful legs.
These bodyweight leg exercises are sometimes known as the king of all exercises, and for a good reason. Squats are a lower-body staple that work the hamstrings, hips, quads and glutes, and sneakily strengthen your core. Better yet, this leg exercise may help improve body balance and well as boost bone density. More excitingly, they are totally functional.
Lunges are another variation of bodyweight leg exercises that specifically targets your glutes and quadriceps. To perform this exercise correctly, you’ll need to have a flexible hip and calf muscle.
When performing this exercise, the lower back and core muscles are always kept tight to stabilize the pelvis and lower back. You should not arch your lower back while going down as it may cause lower back pain.
The pistol squat is a bodyweight leg exercise variation that challenges both balance and strength. The hamstrings and quadriceps are worked a great deal since you will need to go down and come back up only on one leg. The pistol squat is a highly powerful exercise that requires good calf muscle strength and a high level of fitness.
While the conventional squats are excellent bodyweight leg exercises, the jump squat is a more intense leg exercise you should perform for excellent leg power. By adding a plyometric element, the jump squat is a more challenging exercise that spikes your heart rate and builds your leg muscle strength. Better yet, you’ll burn more fat and calories with this exercise.
Jump lunges are bodyweight leg exercise variations that humble even the most physically fir individuals because they not only require leg strength but also a combination of balance and coordination.
To perform this exercise, you need to have an excellent mastery of the lunge before you can spruce it up with some plyometric movements. The result is an incredibly efficient and unilateral exercise you can perform anywhere.
While it’s advisable to focus on form so that you do not fall over, in the long run you should perform this exercise as quickly as possible for optimal leg burning and conditioning.
The glute bridge is a posterior chain exercise that’s ideal for individuals who cannot perform lunges or squats because of various injuries. This bodyweight leg exercise targets the lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders.
This exercise is a calisthenics replacement for the deadlift and has the added benefit of working your flexibility and mobility.
The running man exercise is a bodyweight leg exercise that’s almost similar to the plank exercise variation. Apart from conditioning the chest muscles, this exercise targets the hamstrings, hip flexors, quads and glutes.
While this exercise is excellent for great leg muscle strength, it also helps you shed upper body fat, strengthens your core and improves your posture.
If you are looking for a workout that torches far and builds your leg muscles at the same time, look no further than well-programmed bodyweight leg exercises. You must not hit the gym to fire every single muscle in your lower body.
There are excellent bodyweight leg exercises that’ll do the trick, targeting your calves, glutes, hip stabilizers, hamstrings, quads and more.
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