Super Bodyweight Leg Exercises for Incredibly Strong Legs

Introduction

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.

1. Squats

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.

How to perform:

  • Stand with your feet either at shoulder width or hip width apart
  • Drive your hips back as if you want to sit down on a seat behind you
  • As you drive your hips back, let the knees bend until they reach your desired depth
  • Extend your arms out straight so that they’re parallel to the ground, with the arms facing down
  • Now initiate the squat movement by inhaling and unlocking your hips

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2. Lunges

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.

How to perform:

  • Stand with one of your foot in front of the other
  • Maintain a straight upright posture with your toes, knees and eyes pointing straight ahead
  • Clasp your hands in front of your chest for balance
  • Bend your front knees and hip to lower your body until the front knee is in line with your toes and the back knee touches the floor
  • Now come back up by extending the front knee and hip
  • Now swap your legs and repeat the last three steps

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3. Pistol Squat

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.

How to perform:

  • Stand on either of your legs with your arms spread wide open for balance
  • Extend the other leg in front
  • Now lower your body by bending at the knee and hip of the weight bearing leg, until the butt touches your heel
  • Don’t let the other leg to touch the floor
  • Now come back up by pushing through your heel and straightening your knee
  • Now repeat with the other leg

See the Video:


4. Jump Squat

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.

How to perform:

  • Begin by standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart
  • Lower your body into the squat position with the thighs parallel to the floor
  • Make an explosive jump straight up while still maintaining the squat position
  • Land softly and quietly in the squat position
  • The landing position should be like the starting position

See the Video:


5. Jump Lunges

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.

How to perform:

  • Start by getting in the lunge position with one leg bent behind you and the other one bent forward in a 90-degree angle
  • Once you’re at the bottom of the lunge, make an explosive jump in the air
  • While in the air, switch your legs so that you land with the opposite leg in front

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.

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6. Glute Bridge

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.

How to perform:

  • Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and at hip-width apart
  • Now place your palms on the ground above your shoulders and just by your ears
  • Push your heels and palms into the ground as you raise your hips towards the sky
  • Once at the top, keep your abdominals tight as you squeeze the glutes to prevent arching in your lower back
  • Ensure the shins are vertical then bring your hips back down to your starting position

See the Video:


7. Running Man

source: Youtube

source: Youtube

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.

How to perform:

  • Start in the full plank position, with your hands at shoulder-width apart and elbows straight
  • With your toes on the ground, keep your knees and hips straight and legs stacked close together
  • Ensure that the shoulders, back, knees, hips and ankles are in a straight line
  • Now in this position, try to perform a running action with your legs

See the Video:

Takeaway Message

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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