Anyone who thinks that they need to go to the gym in order to get a great workout is sorely mistaken. In fact, it is perfectly possible to get a great lower body workout with calisthenics alone and this is a great way to build strength wherever you are.
Got some dumbbells or a barbell to add to the mix? Even better! Now you can add additional resistance and thereby build more strength, explosiveness and definition.
In fact, in some ways, lower body workouts lend themselves better to training at home and with no weights than upper body! Why? Firstly, because your feet don’t have hands. That means that you don’t need any fancy pieces of equipment to get to work: just the floor!
At the same time, the legs are made up of lots of slow twitch muscle fiber. Their job is to keep you moving around all day and that, in turn, means that you’re going to be constantly using them. This is why leg training responds so well to volume. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who managed to get their calves to grow after years of struggling. It is always training every day, or training with very high reps that makes the difference.
Okay, so with all that out of the way, how do we go about training our legs from home? Here is a great little routine you can use:
- Jump Squat
- Alternating Stepping Lunge
- Single-Leg Hip Thrust
- Single-Leg Hip Thrust
- Alternating Stiff-Leg Deadlift
- Standing Calf Raise
- Speed Air Squat
- Alternating Side Lunge
- Hamstring Heel Curl
- Static Squat Hold
As you can see, this is a sequence of ten exercises, which means we’re going to be using them each for one minute before moving onto the next. There’s no break in between and what that’s going to do is to maximize the time under tension (constant tension) while at the same time allowing you to get something of a metabolic conditioning workout in here too. In other words, this is also great for cardio, for toning up and for getting those lean abs.
This is an easy workout that you can try anywhere and that will take care of all of the leg muscles. If you don’t have any weights for those deadlifts then you can use bodyweight good mornings instead and really feel the stretch on the posterior chain (don’t use weight for good mornings, they’re bad for your back). And if you’re wondering precisely how you’re going to manage to do a hamstring curl without a resistance machine, the answer is by sitting on the floor, curling your heel into the ground and using that to lever your body upward.
By using jump squats we are simulating resistance by using explosive speed instead.
Where there is a will there is a way! And we didn’t even touch on those more brutal workout moves such as the sissy squat or the pistol squat.