Almost all fitness beginners make the same mistake – they do not pay enough attention to bodyweight leg exercises to strengthen the lower body while preferring exercises on the development of biceps and broad shoulders. But lower body exercises have several advantages, such as improving the cardiovascular system, increasing the endurance and functioning of all lower body organs. Moreover, they are the most effective for the production of testosterone, a hormone that helps us to burn excess fat and build muscles without any additional additives. So let’s check the most useful bodyweight legs workouts.
If you include these easy, but effective exercises in your training plan, you will get insane legs workout.
Best bodyweight leg exercises:
1. Deep lunges
Technique of execution
Stand up straight, hands on the belt, legs at shoulder width.
On a breath retreat with the right foot forward approximately 50 cm and lower the upper part of the body, keeping the body straight and maintaining the balance. As in the other exercises, make sure that your knees do not fall on your toes during the body tilt as this increases the load on the knee joint. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. A long lunge will train the buttock muscle, while a short lunge will train the quadriceps.
Push back and return to the original position on exhalation, . Tip: To make the quadriceps work, push off with your fingertips. To give the load on the buttocks, push off with the heel.
Repeat the exercise from the other leg.
Variations: there are several ways to do this exercise.
a) You can do the classic Lunge with your weight when one foot is already in the front position. In this case, you just go down the recommended number of approaches. Then you change your leg and repeat the exercise.
b) A more difficult way is to do it with your own weight when you move around the room in this way. This method is suitable for more experienced athletes.
2. Single leg exercises (Pistol squat)
The pistol squat is one of the most popular bodyweight leg exercises. Lift one leg from the floor from a standing position. You should look straight ahead with your chest up, knees, and thighs slightly bent and your back straight. This will be your starting position.
Go down into a squat, bending your hips and knee. When you squat, pull your non-working leg forward to make it easier to move. Go down slowly, paying close attention to balance and the correct mechanics of movement, as far as your flexibility allows.
Hold the lower position a little, then go back to the beginning, passing through the hips and knee, passing the heel of the working leg.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then change the leg.
This is an excellent exercise that requires flexibility, coordination, and strength from the athlete. If you can’t keep your balance when squatting with a pistol or if you don’t have enough strength to get up, you can do this exercise by holding on to the support. Also, if you are not able to squat with extra weight, the pistol will help you to work out the leg muscles.
Shrimp squat is a basic, difficult coordination exercise performed on one leg with its own weight, which can improve the training of any athlete.
Shrimp squat: advanced level of pistol squats
Another great activity from single leg exercises. Instead of stretching your leg in front of you as if you were doing squats with a pistol, you remove the leg back and hold it with your hand in the shrimp squats. Because of this name, the position is like a shrimp.
As a result, the hip muscles carry the bulk of the load when you do it, like when you do lunges, not squats.
There is nothing complicated in the exercise. Standing on the floor, bend your leg in the knee and grab the ankle with your hand, taking it back (as if stretching quadriceps). From this position slowly go down until your knee touches the ground, then go up to the original position. Very simple!
When doing the exercise, stretch your free hand forward to balance your body position. As with most squats, you need to tilt your body forwards to avoid falling backward.
You can simplify the exercise by pulling both hands out in front of you. Conversely, to make the exercise more difficult, you need to put both hands behind your back. This position will additionally load your muscles with stabilizers and you will not be able to use your free hand for balance.
3. Jumping out of a half-crouch
Cross your arms above your chest. Look forward, straighten your back, place your legs on the width of your shoulders.
While keeping your back flat, take a breath, and sit down to parallel with the floor or below. Breast stretch up.
Jump as high as possible on the exhalation. Hips act like springs.
When your feet touch the floor, sit down again and jump out.
Repeat as many times as necessary. Warning: This exercise is not recommended for those who have knee or back injuries. Keep an eye on your landing. Lower the floor with two legs at the same time (socks touch the floor first). An incorrect landing can lead to sprains.
4. Bodyweight squats (Deep squats)
Stand up straight, legs at shoulder width, hands behind your head.
Fold the knees and hips, squatting, working with the thigh muscles.
Make a squat as deep as possible, then quickly stand up and return to the original position. Keep the body and head straight. Of course, this type of exercise without weight will not build your massive legs but still, it is basic and very productive for your muscle legs.
5. Length jumps from a place
This exercise is better performed on sand or another soft surface. Get in a semi-squat position. The legs are on the width of the shoulders.
Swing your hands back and, while sitting down, jump forward as far as possible.
Land on both feet in a deep sitting position.
Measure the distance from the starting point to the endpoint and track your progress.
Bonus: Horse Stance
Horse Stance is excellent for improving the circulation of the small pelvis, as well as the most effective leg strengthening exercises. Performing this exercise will allow the blood to nourish the pelvic organs better. Also it will help to improve their work and it will be an excellent addition to your bodyweight leg exercises.
The technique of the exercise:
a) Stand up straight, spread your legs wider than your shoulders, so that you can get about two shoulder widths.
b). Look in front of you, breathe evenly and calmly, put your hands in front of you by touching your palms.
c) Slowly start to sink down while breathing, and try to spread hands apart, but do not let the muscles do it,
d) Down to an angle of 90 degrees in a knee, stay in this position for 20-30 seconds and during all this time you should pull the muscles of the hand to the side and counteract this. You have to keep your back straight.
The most impressive thing is that you can make all these leg exercises at home without any special equipment. By the way, there are no leg workouts for mass, these calisthenics leg workouts will increase your explosive power, develop functionality, and stamina.
So what are the best bodyweight leg exercises in your complex of physical activity? Share your comments with us!
Nina Burkovskaya is a senior content writer at Raisetwice since 2020. She has 12 years of yoga experience and 5 years experience of motivational coaching. On a free time loves to read biographies of the famous people and go for a walk with her dog.