Build Functional Strength & Massive, Strong Legs with Bodyweight Leg Exercises

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Build Functional Strength & Massive, Strong Legs with Bodyweight Leg ExercisesDo you want to…
•    Build strong, powerful legs
•    Build massively, muscular legs
•    Build toned, sculpted legs and
•    Prevent injuries to your legs
•    Build functional strength

The most powerful, biggest and strongest muscles you have in your body are your legs. You could describe these muscles as the engine that drives your entire body in virtually every activity that you do.
Simple things, such as walking from one room to another in your home or complex things, such as competing in just about any sport, are all powered by your legs.

This is why it’s so important for anyone who is really serious about getting into shape to use the best leg exercises possible.

The Best Way to Train Your Leg Muscles Is …

Bodyweight leg exercises and here’s why

First of all – Safety. Since the leg muscles are so powerful, the usual way to train them is with massive amounts of weight. However, this isn’t the safest way. Your lower back and knees can be put under a lot of stress and strain when you are using weights. This can result sin a lot of injuries that take a long time to heal.

Secondly – Better Balance and Coordination. Since a number of bodyweight leg exercises are done with one leg and there’s no machine for balance, you can increase your co-ordination and balance.

Finally – Better Performance. You will become better at virtually every activity you participate in because training each leg separately teaches you balance, agility, and coordination. It also increases your functional strength and builds powerful, toned leg muscles.

How To Use Bodyweight Exercises To Build The Legs You Want

It’s all about leverage. Using your bodyweight to train each leg at a time gives you more defined, sculpted muscles. These exercises also make your legs incredibly strong.

If you don’t believe this, take a trip to your local fitness center. See how many of the huge bodybuilders that use machines or weights can do 10 reps of a one-leg squat! You probably won’t find many; however, you will be able to if you train correctly.

The Best Leg Exercises

Before you begin any bodyweight leg exercises, you must ensure that you warm up with a few minutes of cardio, just 5-10 minutes worth. If you have had a hamstring injury in your past, you know why this is so vitally important.

For those who are new to leg training and your goal is to build functional strength and amazing endurance, the Bodyweight Hindu Squat is the best place to begin.

Just a note – these are very, very hard. 25 repetitions can leave your legs quite like jelly. However, within three short months, you’ll be able to do a whopping 500 of these without missing a beat. That is how good the bodyweight Hindu Squat is! You simply will not believe the power, endurance, and functional strength you will build in your legs.

How to Perform Hindu Squats

First, stand with back straight and your head up. Your feet should be hip width apart. You can point your toes straight forward or outwards slightly, depending on which is most comfortable.

Reach your arms forward and then pull them back in a rowing motion. Bring your fists back until they are even with your chest. Begin to inhale and start to bend your knees, squatting slowly.

Let your arms swing behind your hips. As your get lower in the squat, raise your heels up so you are on the balls of your feet. Go down in the squat until your calf and your thigh are touching.

Once you have reached the bottom of the squat, begin to rise up slowly. Exhale and let your arms swing forward.

This is a little bit different than a traditional squat. The breathing pattern is opposite and the arms are moving throughout.

It is important to look straight ahead and keep your back straight at all times during this exercise. Keep your weight evenly distributed on your feet so you don’t fall. Hindu squats should be performed quite slowly the first few times, so you can get accustomed to the different breathing and technique. Never bounce back up. The entire movement needs to be graceful and smooth – just like with any leg exercise.

Do Hindu Squats Build Strength, Power, And Muscle?

Hindu squats are promoted a powerful, muscle building exercise. However, they really are not. It’s a difficult exercise for a beginner, but after only a few months, you can work up to 500 reps in one set. If you’re doing such high reps, you not going to build functional strength, power, and muscle. You will, however, build extraordinary leg endurance, lung power, and muscles tone. There are no let exercises that are better for these three things.

The Best Leg Exercise For Building Big, Powerful, Strong Legs is…

…The one-legged or pistol squat. Imagine how this bodyweight leg exercise works your leg muscles.  If you can lower your entire body down with only the support of one and push back up again, it’s pretty evident that you have an incredible amount of power in your legs.

However, remember this is an advanced leg exercise that you should build up to. Take my word for it they are very difficult. 

How To Do The One Legged Squat

A strong box is a good training aid if you have never done this exercise before. The strong box is directly behind you and it only allows you to do a few inches of movement before you thigh touches it. Then you can push back up. You can uses shorter boxes as you progress to make your squat deeper.

How To Perform A One Leg Squat – The Best Leg Exercise

Assume the position of a normal squat. Hold one leg out in front of you and keep it as straight as you can. Don’t worry, though if it’s not perfectly straight. You will be able to straighten it more as your overall flexibility increases.

Keep your balance by holding both of your hands straight out in front of you.

Squat down on one leg and make sure to keep the other leg off of the floor for the entire set.

When your thigh touches the back of your calf, you have reached the bottom of your squat.

Now for the easy part (not really).

Push hard against the floor with the leg you’re using to do the squat. Tense your leg muscles and then slowly straighten back up to the start position. There you have one rep of one of the most difficult leg exercises you can do.

When you master this and you want to make the one legged squat harder…

…Isometric tension is the answer.

Hold the one legged squat for ten second and tense the muscles as hard as you can in either the top, bottom, or middle of the exercise. Start with ten seconds at the top, then work your way to the middle and the bottom as you progress through intensity. This will really increase your functional strength, muscle size, and power.

Once you can do ten reps in this manner, you have mastered this very difficult bodyweight exercise.
You also need to cool down a bit after your training sessions with a few passive stretches. You will relax, but this will also remove lactic acid that builds up during exercise. You’ll have less soreness the next day when you stretch after training.

The Best Way To Develop Strength And Flexibility In Your Legs

Isometric stretching is a form of training that really has almost been forgotten. It’s the best way to build your leg strength and flexibility.

Isometric Stretching

Not only will this build your leg muscle strength and functional strength in a way that no other leg exercises can, it also the fastest way that you can increase your flexibility.

The results are amazing. You’ll be able to do many things you never thought you would be able to do before. Any sports athlete will tell you that isometric stretching is the best method for building functional strength and flexibility in your legs.
People who aren’t involved in sports can also benefit from this type of training. For starters, you’re less likely to injure yourself. This isn’t just in your training, but in your everyday life as well. You will build up incredible functional strength and flexibility, too.

Isometric Stretching Basics

Take the position you would take for a passive stretch.

Tense the muscle so tightly that you can’t move it for at least 15 seconds.

Relax that same muscle for at least 20 seconds.

For example…

Stand up ramrod straight with something solid at your side, such as waist high table.

Place your leg on the table and if possible, straighten both legs.

Tense the leg that is resting against the table for 15 seconds.

Relax both of your legs for about 20 seconds and then repeat.

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