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8 Bodyweight Leg Workouts To Add To Your Exercise Regime

Bodyweight Leg Workouts

Bodyweight Leg Workout - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • Most bodyweight leg workouts are either in the category of squats or lunges. However, a few are leg raises.
  • Bodyweight leg workouts help strengthen and make the legs flexible. It enables the legs to perform daily activities and exercise.
  • Bodyweight leg workouts help work the quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings, thighs, core, heels, and even the arms and chest.
  • Every bodyweight leg workout beginner should start with a simple bodyweight leg workout, then move to more challenging ones to avoid injury and exhaustion.
  • A workout that allows seniors to hold onto a stationary object is the best bodyweight leg workout. It will prevent falls and injuries.

Introduction

“If you can walk normally after leg workouts, then you need to train harder” is a popular quote to urge you to work your legs more. Come to think of it. Your legs carry your body weight wherever you go.

Whether walking, running, swimming, jogging, lifting weights, squatting, playing, lunging, or doing most other activities, your legs play a big role.

Studies show that working your legs helps produce some hormones like testosterone and cortisol. Cortisol production is related to stress. It could raise the metabolism of fat. On the other hand, testosterone supports growth and sexual functions, especially in males.

Fortunately, you can do the best bodyweight leg workout within your home without equipment. This will keep your largest body muscle groups in perfect condition.

About Bodyweight Leg Workouts

Bodyweight Leg Workouts
A bodyweight leg workout routine involves working the legs, mostly using your bodyweight only. When you get more used to leg workouts, you might add extra weight.

Bodyweight leg workouts help strengthen the lower body and leg muscles. But, some bodyweight leg workouts also build the core, chest, and arms muscles.

Almost every workout requires you to have strong leg muscles and joints. So, even if you won’t do body leg workouts alone, you must do them before other exercises.

Generally, a bodyweight leg workout routine has many variations. It may include squats, raises, jumps, and lunges. But, you can also use raised or inclined surfaces or objects to make them more challenging.

Combine the gigs since some bodyweight leg workouts like hinges work the back of the leg, while the squats tone the front.

As you advance, you can add single-leg raises, squats, and lunges to your bodyweight leg workout at home, instead of doing exercises where you use both legs at once. You will work the glutes, calves, thighs, quads, hamstrings, heels, and abs.

Even if you’re a bodyweight leg workout beginner, you will develop strong, muscular, and well-toned legs that are flexible and mobile. Also, you will maintain an upright posture[1] that gives you confidence as you walk, carry weights, perform daily activities, and exercise.

Which Are The Best Bodyweight Leg Workouts To Do At Home?

You may choose any bodyweight leg workout at home from the many that exist. You don’t necessarily require any equipment or a gym. Just ensure to combine many forms like lunges, raises, and squats. Also, ensure you mix both bilateral and unilateral moves like squats and glute bridges, respectively.

You can pick your bodyweight leg workout at home from the following exercises:

1. Bodyweight Squat

Bodyweight Squat
Anywhere will do for you to perform this bodyweight leg workout at home. You may be in normal sport’s shoes or barefoot.

To perform the bodyweight leg workout routine, stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes out slightly, with arms on your side and palms facing. Arch your hips backward, sit back, and lower the hips. Stretch the arms forward for balance and bring your palms together. Ensure to engage your core, chest forward a bit, as you bend your knees to squat slowly. Squeeze your glutes as you stand. Do a few repetitions.

2. Side Step Squat

To perform this bodyweight leg workout, stand with your legs close, sidestep one leg, with hands chest high. Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width and push your butt back as you bend your knees.

Go down into a squat. Always engage your core as you bring back the feet together to complete one rep. Then, sidestep the other leg to complete repetition.

3. Squat Jumps

With your feet wider than hip-width apart while standing, put your butt back and hinge forward. Ensure your thighs are parallel to the ground after bending your knees at 45 degrees. Then, jump up high above the ground, as you straighten your legs. Let your arms swing down for balance. Maintain a straight back and lift your chest as you jump. Go down into a squat straight from the jump, pose 1-2 seconds, and jump again. Repeat a few times.

4. Plié Squat Calf Raises

It’s easy to do this bodyweight leg workout at home since it combines a squat and a calf raise. Stand on your feet slightly wider than your shoulder with a part with turned-out toes. Keep your hands on the hips or put them slightly forward around your chest. Take a squat till your thighs go parallel to the ground. Lift your heels off the ground while in a squat for 1-3 seconds. Next, get heels back to the floor and start again.

5. Side Leg Raises

Side Leg Raises
You can benefit more if you incorporate leg raises in your bodyweight leg workout routine. There are several variations of leg raises, whether front, back, or side leg raises. Otherwise, to do side leg raises, get down on your side and stretch your legs one on top of the other. Support your body with your forearm, or rest your body on the floor. You may do it on a mat for comfort. Raise one leg as high as possible slowly from the hip. Hold it up for a second and bring it back. Do it a few times, then lie on the other side, and lift the other leg.

6. Reverse Lunges with Knee Lifts

Another super bodyweight leg workout at home is the reverse lunge with knee lifts. Here, you work out each leg in turns to make sure both legs get toned.

Start with the feet shoulder-width apart while standing. With one foot, step back and land on your flat foot. Bend your knees to form an angle of 90 degrees. Using the front leg, push back your heel to go back to the standing pose. You can lift your other knee from the back to your chest as you stand. Then, alternate.

7. Jump Lunge

Though the jump lunge may not be the best bodyweight leg workout, it’s certainly up there. But, only do it when you get used to simpler bodyweight leg workouts. This is because it needs more strength and better coordination.

To jump lunge, stand with feet hip-width apart and step forward with one leg. The step must be 2-3 times your normal step when walking. Bring your back knee towards the floor so that you lower your hips.

Bend your front knee as you lower your body mass and lower your back knee about 6 inches from the ground. Lunge forward and jump, switch your feet, and land in a lunge posture. Repeat and switch the legs.

8. Glutes Bridge

Glutes Bridge
Since you have done the raises, lunges, and squats, try the glute bridge for a different effect from your bodyweight leg workout routine.

To do the glute bridge[2], get on the ground with flat feet, and bend your knees. Support yourself on the heels, raise your hip while squeezing your glutes, and get into a bridge position. Pose for about 2 seconds while up, then get back down slowly. Remember to keep your hips level and not arched throughout the movement.

Bodyweight Leg Workout For Beginners

Though most people can do many bodyweight leg workouts, a bodyweight leg workout beginner may find some routines difficult. This is because beginners may get muscle tears and injuries or experience a lot of pain at times.

So, beginners should start with a less taxing bodyweight leg workout routine and progress slowly to the more complex ones.
As always, beginners should start with warmups and do fewer repetitions at the beginning.

So, if you are a bodyweight leg workout beginner, consider the following workouts first:

  • Side Lunge
  • Walking Lunge
  • Calf Raises[3]
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl
  • Glutes Bridge
  • Split Squat (Lunge)
  • Leg Raise
  • Swiss Ball Wall Squat

Special Tips For Seniors Doing Legs Workout

There are bodyweight leg workout routines that seniors can do[4] to keep in shape. Continuous workouts build muscle mass, reduce joint pain, and improve balance and coordination.

Seniors must wisely choose the best bodyweight leg workout for them with caution.

Tips For Seniors Doing Legs Workout

Here are a few tips:

  • Take light warmups before any bodyweight leg workout.
  • Start with simple workouts.
  • Alternate between raises, squats, and lunges.
  • Hold on to objects for support[5] to maintain balance as you squat or leg raise.
  • Take rests between each bodyweight leg workout.
  • Train 2-3 times a week and work full body muscles and joints.
  • Change the chair height from higher to lower if using a chair to help you stand.
  • Do partial squats if full squats prove uncomfortable.
  • Take a proper diet before and after exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bodyweight leg workout variations are effective in toning muscles and building strength. However, their effectiveness decreases as you get used to them. In the long run, add weights, and lengthen the workouts.

To build strong legs, you must mix bodyweight leg workouts that condition the calves, hamstrings, and quads. Incorporate walking, lunges, squats, squat jumps, split squats, step-ups, single-leg bridges, lunge jumps, and more.

Yes, you can get ripped with bodyweight exercises[6] as you work the full body. But, increase the repetitions, vary the workouts, rest, hold more, and brace the muscles. You can get strength, stamina, bigger muscles, and six-pack abs.

Yes. Bodyweight leg workouts work since they help build muscles if you develop a proper bodyweight leg workout routine.

You’ll gain coordination, flexibility, strength, and more fitness. Also, you'll condition the glutes, quads, hips, calves, and hamstring.

Conclusion

Every bodyweight leg workout is a great way to develop muscle strength, flexibility, tension, and endurance. You will work the quads, calves, glutes, abs, arms, hamstrings, and more.

You only need to combine squats, raises, and lunges to get the full benefits of a bodyweight leg workout routine. With time, you may need to add weights or lengthen the sessions to continue enjoying the benefits of muscle strength and endurance.

Those starting should concentrate on bodyweight leg workouts for beginners. Likewise, seniors can take precautions to avoid serious injuries.

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