Bodyweight moves are still perfect options whether you’re a fitness novice or an experienced gym-goer. Bodyweight exercise lets you learn how to work with your own body if you’re new to fitness.
If you’re more experienced, they’re perfect for an effective recovery day from lifting in the gym. Plus, if you need a quick workout, these exercises got you covered.
Check out the bodyweight leg workout below by Tara Nicolas, NASM-CPT, an instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City, if you’re looking for some bodyweight moves to build up body strength.
Bodyweight Leg Workout
Begin your session by foam rolling the quads, glutes, calves and back before you start moving. Then do air squats, lateral lunges, and inchworms (or walk out to the plank position) for 20 seconds each.
Through that, you’ll feel warmed up for these bodyweight leg exercises, which work all of your lower half’s muscles while still hitting various motion planes. Do this complete workout from shape.com in order, go for it at least one round.
3 x 6 x 1 Squat
Begin standing with feet approximately hip-width apart. Push your hips down slowly and back to lower into a squat, moving on a count of three.
Maintain the bottom of the squat for six counts. After this press through the feet, and stand back up on one count. Repeat it for 45 seconds at this pace.
Squat with Alternating Calf Raise
To start, stand with feet about hip-width apart. Push down your hips and back to lower into a squat. As you squat, lift your right heel up for a calf raise.
And bring the heel down again. Now, for a calf raise, lift your left heel. Then lower it back down, leaving your core engaged in a tight squat position. Keep alternating for 45 seconds.
Quadrupled Hip Extension
Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists and knees right under hips, feet stretched. Leave your right knee and foot off the ground slightly to proceed.
Drag the right heel in the direction of the butt and push the heel up to the. Engage your core to ensure your back remains flat and the movement comes from the hamstring and glutes, not the low back.
Without touching, lower your knee back down to the floor. (Do exercises 4 and 5 before shifting to the left leg, if you want to burn the right side.) Continue for 45 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
Quadrupled Hamstring Curl
Go for tabletop position on all fours, shoulders over your wrists and knees right under your hips, feet flexed. Stretch your right leg straight behind you and take it up to hip height to get going.
Holding your leg in line with the hip, curl your heel into the glute, bending the knee. Then straighten it out again, keeping the leg at hip height to get back to start. Continue forward for 45 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.
Quadrupled Fire Hydrant
Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists and knees right under hips, feet flexed. With the right knee bent, push up and out the right leg to the side, bringing it to hip height.
Then lower it down. Repeat for another 45 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.
Side-Lying Leg Lift
Start by lying on the right side with your legs stretched out and right hand propping your head up with your elbow on the floor. Take the left knee in toward the chest and rest it in front of the hip on the ground.
Lift it upward to the ceiling with the right foot flexed. Repeat for another 45 seconds. Last, keep the right leg straight up at the top and pump an inch up and down. Repeat for another 45 seconds. Switch sides.
“A lot of us see time, money, and space as an obstacle to getting in a workout,” Nicolas says, “but bodyweight training is cheap, and you really don’t need much room.”
More importantly, you will have greater control of your lower body movements without having to hoist a weight up. Ditching a weighted counterbalance during exercises on stability allows you to concentrate on how your body moves.