How to Sculpt Killer Legs Using Just Your Body Weight
Your legs hold the largest muscles in the body and therefore burn more calories when working out. However, many people don’t have access to a gym and leg equipment. Good news, you don’t need fancy equipment to develop awesome legs; you can get the job done with a circuit of hard-hitting body weight exercises that will not only kill calories, but sculpt and lean out your legs. Follow Infofit’s best body weight leg workout and sculpt your legs!
We have put together a series of exercises that will hammer all the muscles in the legs including the quads, hamstrings, adductors and glutes. You will be working in all directions and using isometric holds that will leave your legs burning! You can do this circuit wherever you go, so there is never an excuse for not getting in leg day.
Please keep in mind this is an intermediate to advanced program, so if you are new to exercise you will need to modify it. Infofit always advises people who are new to exercise to hire a certified personal trainer for guidance. Your personal trainer can review proper form with you and discuss how to make a balanced program, so you protect your joints and get the most out of your workouts. You should also review the questions that you find on a Par-Q to see if you should get medical clearance before starting any new program.
The Best Body Weight Leg Workout Program
Before any intense workout, you should always start with 5 – 10 minute cardiovascular activity to warm up the muscles and get fluid moving through your joints to decrease the risk of injury. Should you be doing this workout at home, a brisk walk around the block or a light jog should be adequate. Follow up with some quick range of motion stretches such as butt kicks, some light running on the spot with high knees followed by some leg swings and air squats. Do each range of motion exercise for about 15 to 30 seconds. Make sure you keep the joint moving, but ensure you are not doing any ballistic movements that could cause an injury to the joint.
Check out this lower body warm up to get a better idea of what warming up entails.
Run the program from start to finish then start at the top again if you wish to do it as a circuit – in this case, you would do a set of the prescribed reps and move on to the next exercise until you complete them all. Once you have completed the entire circuit start at the top again. Do two to four circuits depending on your experience, allotted time or fitness level.
You could also run through each exercise doing all of the sets for each one before moving on to the next exercise. Again, this would depend on where you are at in your training. Straight sets would be most beneficial if you are doing them with weight instead of body resistance. Complete 2 – 4 sets of 8 – 12 reps if you are working at trying to increase muscle mass instead of working on muscular endurance and muscle tone.
Split Lunge Jump
Instructions: Start with one foot forward and other foot back with your knees slightly bent. Drop body down until your legs are bent to 90 degrees. Power through the legs and immediately jump upward. Switch the legs in mid-air, landing with the opposite foot forward. Drop down again bending your legs just short of the rear knee touching the floor. Keep the body upright and repeat the sequence alternating the legs until you have completed all reps.
Complete 2-4 sets of 15 reps on each leg
Instructions: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, arms by your sides, and point your toes out to 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock. Start by hinging at the hips pressing your hips behind you. Flex your knees and squat down, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. At the bottom of the movement make sure your knees are directly over your ankles. Pause at the bottom and count for 5 seconds, then straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes on the way up.
Complete 2-4 set of 15 reps
Bulgarian Split Squats
Instructions: Get into a lunge position with your back foot elevated on the bench with the torso upright, core braced, and hips square. Your leading leg should be 2 to 3 feet in front of the bench so that when you go into the lunge, your front knee is at 90 degrees. Lower down shifting your weight into your back leg until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your front knee in line with your foot. Return to the starting position squeezing your glutes as you go up and reach the top.
Complete 2 – 4 sets of 15 reps on each leg
Step Jump Squats
Instructions: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of the step, arms by your sides and slightly back. Squat down until your knees are bent about 90 degrees. Immediately swing your arms overhead and jump upward as high as possible and land mid-step. As you land, gently bend your knees and sink back down into the squat position. You can either gently hop backwards in the same manner or simply step backwards and reset to do the next rep. Complete 2-4 sets of 15 reps.
Reverse Bridge on Step
Instructions: Drive through your hands and heels and raise your hips up off the ground toward the ceiling, keeping your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Press your chest up and out as you raise your hips until the hips are fully extended. As you bridge up relax your head back to a neutral position. Your body should be in a nice straight line at the top.
Beginners may need to keep their hips bent a bit to hold the bridge at the top. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down and repeat.
Complete 2-4 sets of 15 reps holding each one for 3 – 5 seconds
Lateral Step Hops
Instructions: Stand to one side of the step with the left foot on top of the step in the middle. Squat down until your leg on the step is bent close to 90 degrees. Using a double arm swing, jump up and over to the other side of the step, landing softly with the right foot on top of the step and the left foot on the floor. Then push off with your right foot and jump across the step and land on the other side of the step with your right foot and your left foot on the step. Jump back and forth landing softly with each rep.
Complete 2-4 sets of 15 reps on each leg.
Instructions: Start off in a four point kneeling position. Grab the resistance band handles and place your hands, so they are directly under your shoulders, elbows should be straight, but not hyper-extended. Hook your foot into the band on the other end (you could loop it around your foot for extra security and resistance). Keeping your back straight, push your leg out and up, extending the knee. Draw it back towards your chest then repeat.
Complete 2 – 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps on each leg.
Side Lateral Leg Raises
Instructions: Lying on your side, straighten your bottom leg, and cross your top leg over, resting your top foot on the floor. Place your head on your hand, or rest your head on your arm. Make sure your hips are neutral (hips stacked one on top of the other). Maintain this position through-out the set. Lift your bottom leg with the knee straight and lower it down, stopping just before you touch the ground. Make sure your hips stay neutral and your torso stationary during the movement. Add in pulses to increase the difficulty.
Complete 2 – 4 sets of 15 reps on each.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Instructions: Lie on your back on a mat. Bend one knee, and place the foot flat on the floor. Flex the other hip and extend the knee of the other leg. The foot should be in the air facing the ceiling. Place arms down on a mat to each side of the hips. Raise the body by extending the hips and pressing them towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a few seconds, squeeze the glutes. It is important that as you rise the hips that your lower back remains neutral (do not arch) and your hips stay in line with one another. Return to original position by lowering body with extended leg straight and hip should flex. Repeat for all of the reps on that side and repeat with the opposite side.
Complete 2 – 4 sets of 15 reps on each leg. Keep in mind this program is for intermediate to advanced exercise enthusiasts. When starting any new program it is always best to use the W.A.S. method (wait and see). In other words start with less, wait and see how sore you are and add in more later. If you are overly sore, then rest a couple of days and repeat the program, but perform less sets and reps than you did the first time. The first time you run through this program start with 2 sets and add on a set the next time, after you see how intense your D.O.M.S (delayed onset of muscle soreness) is after your initial work out. It is always easier to add on after the fact then spend a day not being able to get off the toilet! Good muscle soreness should be felt as a “happy reminder” of your workout and should not impede your daily movements.
Are you interested in learning more about program development and exercise progression? If you have a passion for fitness and are looking for a rewarding career, then why not become a certified personal trainer! Infofit’s Personal Training Certification is second to none and uses creative and innovative teaching techniques to accelerate your learning. Our classes are hands-on providing you with a fun and interactive learning environment. We have a wide variety of students from those who are coming to change their career to those who are coming for personal development (so they can understand how to work out more efficiently on their own). The Infofit staff are here to help, contact us and let us help explain your various learning options and help you decide what’s perfect for you.