Most of you have had that day or morning when you don’t feel like waking up, tired and unmotivated. I can’t imagine the number of days I have failed to wake up early in the morning when it was gym time.
Well, knowing deep inside me that workouts will give me the energy, strength, and flexibility, the mere thought of getting out of bed early in the morning makes me feel like throwing my strength, fitness and flexibility goals through the window and think about them the next day.
Before we go any further, this article shows you 12 super effective leg workouts without weights.
The good news I have for you in this article is that; there are many ways you can work out using your body weight at home. You don’t need to spend money on equipment, going to the gym, and the time you spend in the car or bus travel.
Can you do leg workouts at home?
Doing leg workouts is pretty much easier than you may think. You may not need equipment like stair climbers, squat bars or any leg press to work out those lower-body muscles. All you need is the body weight and the courage to put up the resistance in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner thighs and calves.
As a matter of fact, having strong legs can take you far. You may not necessarily be training for a race or persuing an athletics goal, but you need legs strong enough to carry you all through life. Each and every body activity right from walking upstairs, lifting heavy laundry bags and many others, is easier when you put on some leg muscles.
Good enough, these bodyweight leg exercises don’t require a gym membership and there are so many bodyweight leg exercises that you can alternate so you don’t get bored along the way.
What are the best leg workouts without weights?
Well, the best leg workout is that which targets all the leg muscles. These leg muscles include; the quadriceps muscles, the hamstrings, and the calf muscles. The squats are one of the best leg exercises as they target all muscles. Let’s us look at some of these bodyweight leg exercises below
12 Super effective leg workouts without weights
1. Bodyweight squats
- Stand with feet at shoulder-width apart.
- Hinge forward at your hips and sit your batt back into a squat
- Bend the knees in the position parallel to the ground
- Through your heels push back to stand straight
- Squeeze your butt tight as you stand up
2. Plie squat calf raise
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart
- Turn out the toes with hands on the hips
- Squat in the position with thighs parallel to the floor
- While in this position, lift both heels off the ground and hold for a few seconds
- Lower back the heels
3. Squat jumps
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart
- Hinge forward at your hips and sit your butt into a squat position
- Bent the knees such that the thighs and in a parallel position to the ground
- Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs
- Keeping your back straight and chest lifted, land back on the floor with soft knees
- Repeat starting from another squat
4. Side lunges
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Take a step out to the right
- Bend the right knee as you push the butt back keeping the left leg straight
- With your chest lifted repeat on the other side
5. Single-leg calf raises
- Stand with your feet apart
- Raise your left knee to the hip level with your hands on hips
- Keeping your core tight, lift your right heel as high as you can off the floor balancing on the ball of your foot
- Hold this position for a few seconds then lower the heel back down
- Repeat on the other side
6. Reverse lunges and knee lifts
- With your feet about shoulder-width apart, stand upright
- Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of your foot and bending both knees to make 90 degrees angles.
- Push back to the standing position through your right knee
- Thrust your left knee toward the chest as you stand
- Repeat on the other side
7. Pistol squats
- Stand while holding your arms straight out in front of the body
- Raise the right leg, flexing right ankle and pushing the hips back
- While keeping the right leg raised, lower your body
- Hold the position for a while and then return to the standing position
8. Side leg raises
- Lie on one side of your body with your legs piled on top of each other
- Rest your torso flat on the floor
- From hip and butt, slowly lift the top leg towards the ceiling in a controlled movement
- Return to the start position and repeat on the other side of the body
9. Curtsy lunges
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart
- Step your right leg diagonally behind your left leg and bend the knees to lower into a lunge
- Push through your left heel to stand and bring your right leg back to start position
- Repeat on the other side
10. High knee toe taps
- Stand facing a chair with the hands by the sides
- Tap your left foot on the chair, change to the right foot and tap
- Repeat but with this time alternating sides with a greater speed
- Throughout the entire session, keep your back straight and chest lifted the entire time
- Slowly slide your back down a wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor
- Make sure knees are directly above ankles and keep back straight.
- Go for 60 seconds per set.
12. Inverted inner thigh openers
- Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor
- While keeping your thighs touching, lift your right leg up towards the ceiling
- Slowly lower the right leg out to the right side as far as you can
- Bring back leg to the start while keeping your hips and lower back to the floor
- Repeat with the left leg
What is the advantage of bodyweight work out?
Leg workouts without weights help us get in tune with our current fitness level by allowing us to listen to our bodies and push just the right amount. Think about it: When using weights or big machines, it’s easy to get caught up in how heavy things feel and lose proper form which, in turn, leads to injuries. Using our own body weight offers a variety of modes of exercise, making almost any exercise perfect for all levels!
Another advantage is that bodyweight workouts not only challenge the target muscles but rather the entire core since it stabilizes your body.
Does running build leg muscles?
As a matter of fact, since running involves your legs, you will develop specific muscles over time.
According to Livestrong, running builds up muscles in your legs. The type of running you employ however makes a significant difference. Long-distance runners develop leaner muscles while sprinters add bulk.
Therefore by varying your running techniques, you can develop leg muscles successfully. According to men’s journal, long-distance runners should include some sprint work and hill-climbing to improve on quad and calf strength. Sprinters, on the other hand, should do some long runs to keep the hamstrings strong and flexible.
Is it bad to have leg workouts without weights every day?
With strength training, it is not advisable to work out the legs every day. If you put resistance on the muscles, more so weights or resistance belts, you create small tears on your muscle fibres. The body definitely has to fix these small tears. It, therefore, shifts to repair mode. However, the repairs turn out as an increase in muscle mass. Muscles may need a minimum of 48 hours to rest in between exercises because it needs time to repair the tears.
According to the American Council on exercise expert Julia, large muscles such as quadriceps and hamstrings may need at least 72 hours to recover.