Contrary to what some misguided meatheads would have you believe, you should never skip leg day.
Even if that means getting your workout in away from a gym, make sure to always give your gams the TLC they deserve. Your legs have the largest muscles in your body, after all, so you want to work them hard.
But you don’t always need a heavy barbell or pair of dumbbells to truly make leg day worth it — you can only do so many heavy squats in the rack before you lose your mind.
Thankfully, your bodyweight and some serious willpower can get the job done, too, according to Robert Dos Remedios, C.S.C.S., strength and conditioning director for College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California.
Performing many of the exercises you would in the weight room sans iron will still give your legs the work they need, if you pump up the volume and focus on sets for time, instead of just reps.
Using a series of hard-hitting squats, lunges, and hip hinges, you can hammer all of the big muscles in your legs — hamstrings, glutes, and quads — until they burn. And since life rarely happens in just one plane of motion, these workouts will also have you moving in three directions so you can build real-world strength and mobility.
But those perks aren’t even the best part of adopting a bodyweight regimen: You can do these circuits anywhere—your living room, a hotel room, a park — as long as you have about six feet of floor space and an elevated surface (like a bed or box) handy. That makes these workouts the ultimate zero-excuse leg burners.
The Dos Remedios Leg Burner
Do the following six exercises as a circuit. Perform as many reps as possible of one move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then move on to the next move. When you’ve finished the last exercise, start with the first move again. Do three or four circuits total. The entire workout should take you 18 to 24 minutes.
With your feet hip-width apart, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then jump as high as you can. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, pause in deep squat position for one full second, and then jump again.
Walking Single-Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift Reach
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms hanging to the side of your thighs. Lift your right leg behind you. Keeping your lower back naturally arched, bend forward at your hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor while you reach your opposite hand to the floor. Return to the starting position, take two steps forward, then repeat the movement with the opposite leg.
Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width apart. Keeping your right leg straight, push your hips back and to the left. Then bend your left knee and lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Your feet should remain flat on the floor at all times. Pause for two seconds, and then return to the starting position. Complete all reps and switch sides.
Scissor Box Jump
Place your left foot on a box or bench with your right foot on the floor. In one movement, jump up and switch leg positions in midair. At the bottom position, pause for one second before alternating to the other leg.
Single-Leg Hip Raise
Lie faceup, arms out to your sides at 45-degree angles, left foot flat on the floor with that knee bent, and your right leg straight. Raise your right leg until it’s in line with your left thigh. Then squeeze your glutes and push your hips up—your lower back will elevate. Pause, and return to the starting position.
Alternating Drop Lunge
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Keep your chest and eyes up, shoulders squared. Cross your right leg behind your left, and bend both knees, lowering your body until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Return to start and repeat, switching sides.
The Do-Anywhere Leg Workout Challenge
If you’re ready for an extra bodyweight challenge, give this workout a try. You’ll perform each move for 10 minutes, which will test your lower body power and stamina for almost an hour. This one’s a killer.
Box Squat Jumps
Perform 10 box squat jumps every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. That means that you should set a time for 10 minutes, then do 1o reps every time a new minute starts. Rest during the remainder time for each period.
Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps
Exploding up on one leg can be tough for beginners, so it’s okay to try the jump-free version of the move instead. Perform five sets of 10 reps per side, every minute on the minute.
Set a timer for 10 minutes, then perform 30 box squat reps per minute, resting during any remaining time in each period.
Bulgarian Split Squats
If you subbed out the jumping version earlier, either repeat the exercise or think up an appropriate substitute, like performing 20 calf raises per minute. For the split squat crowd, try five sets of 15 reps per side, every minute on the minute.
Alternating One-Leg Box Squats
The finale is simple, but tough to complete without shaky legs: 10 straight minutes of alternating one-leg box squats. Focus on the slow eccentric lowering movement, then spring back up. Good luck walking the next day.
Source: Read Full Article