So many people hate working their legs. Maybe it’s because it takes a little more effort than other muscle groups. That’s because these muscles are larger and require a lot more blood to be pumped to them during contractions.
This, in turn, causes your heart to beat faster and your lungs to work harder. The end result is discomfort, which is what people don’t like.
If you can dig deep enough to overcome this short-term mental trauma, you can get a decent leg workout using nothing but the weight of your body. You just need to know how to pull this miracle off. It shouldn’t be too hard as long as you’re not a whiner.
1. Figure out what specific muscles you are working
In order to know what exercises to do, you must first know a thing or two about anatomy. That way you can easily throw the right exercises in to target the right areas.
The quadriceps, which are located on the front of the thighs, are engaged when you do knee extensions. This occurs when you straighten your leg from a bent position. You want to make sure to get exercises in that involve this motion.
In reverse of extension, you have knee flexion. This occurs when you bend your knee, and you want to make sure to include exercises that involve this motion, too. These drills will work the large muscles on the back of the thighs called the hamstrings.
The calves are the muscles that sit on the back part of the lower legs, below the knees. They get worked when you point your toes downwards in a motion called plantar flexion. You will need to include exercises that involve this motion as well.
The glutes will get worked by default because bodyweight drills to work your quads and hamstrings involve hip extension, which is the motion performed when your thigh moves backwards.
2. Pick your poison
Use these exercises in your workout because they give you the best bang for your buck. And they work all the muscles in the lower body, which is your goal. On a side note, you should always go from largest to smallest muscle groups and hardest to easiest exercises.
- alternating reverse lunges
- sumo squat heel raises
- drop lunges
- Bulgarian split squats
- single-leg Romanian deadlifts
- chair-lying hip extension
3. Follow this workout schedule
Do all the exercises in the order they appear and rest for 30 to 45 seconds between each one. Start back at the top and repeat the series four more times for a total of five. Perform 10 to 15 reps for each drill and do the workout three days a week on alternating days.
You might be able to hit 15 reps on the early rounds, but as you go along you might get tired and have to reduce them.
4. Make sure to execute proper form
Even though you are only using the weight of your body, you still need to have perfect form or you risk injury and you won’t get the results you want. Make sure to move through a full range of motion, never use momentum, and squeeze your focus muscle for a full second at the midpoint of each drill.
Take squats, for example. Slowly lower yourself down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Pause for a split second, then stand back up in a steady motion. Stop when you get back up and squeeze your quads and glutes for a second. Then start your next rep.
Although this is a bodyweight routine, feel free to add load by holding a gallon water jug. This is a good way to increase resistance when you are at home and don’t have access to actual weights.
Otherwise, go give it a spin and remember to always have fun! If exercise is too demanding or boring, you won’t want to do it.