Along with a bigger, stronger chest, shirt-straining arms and perfectly carved six-pack abs, most guys want their legs muscles to really pop. But it's easier said than done — especially at the minute when the coronavirus pandemic has made getting to the gym impossible.
But while getting to the gym may be impossible, building bigger legs without a gym full of equipment isn't. Below, we showcase how you can pump up your legs with little or no weights, so no squirming under a deep barbell squat or tearing a deadlift from the floor necessary. In fact, all you need is a small amount of room and a shedload of tenacity.
To help you build bigger legs (calves, quads, hamstrings and more all included), we tapped up personal trainer Alex Crockford to draw you a personal blueprint to getting stacked down below. "This workout is a home workout using no equipment other than usual things you'll find at home," explains Crockford. But just because it's a weight-free workout, it doesn't mean it'll be a walk in the park. Far from it.
"You need to feel it working, so if it’s too easy you can add weight with home dumbbells or anything heavy enough at home," continues Crockford. "These are a mixture of standard sets and supersets to build muscle, but with reasonably short rest periods to also keep the heart rate up to burn fat too."
Sounds like a win-win. Let's go.
Bodyweight Moves to Build Bigger Legs
1. Walking Lunge
Reps: 12 each leg; Sets: 3; Rest: 30 secs after each set
How to do it: Lunge forward as far as you can with your right leg, bending your trailing knee so it almost brushes the floor. Use the heel of your right foot to push yourself off into the next lunge, this time leading with your left leg
Reps: 12; Sets: 3; Rest: No rest, go straight into squat jumps.
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Start the movement by bending your knees and sitting back with your hips. Go down as far as you can and quickly reverse the motion back to the starting position. Keep your head up and back straight throughout the move.
2b. Squat Jump
Reps: 12; Sets: 3; Rest: 30 secs after each superset.
How to do it: Stand straight with your arms across your chest and your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push up explosively from your feet keeping your arms folded as you jump up. Immediately jump again when you return to the squat position.
3. Split Squat (With or Without Dumbbells)
Reps: 12 each leg; Sets: 3; Rest: 30 seconds before step ups
Alex says: "Use a platform such a chair, bed, sofa or a stool, but make sure it is secure and safe."
How to do it: Stand facing away from bench with one leg resting on it, laces down. Squat down with your standing leg until the knee of your trailing leg almost touches the floor. Push up through your front foot to return to the start position.
4a. Step Up
Reps: 12 each leg; Sets: 3; Rest: No rest, go straight into single leg bridge.
Alex says: "Complete 12 reps one leg before switching."
How to do it: Place a bench or a box in front of you and step onto it with one foot. As you plant your foot, drive with your other foot to join the other. Lower back down and step back onto the floor. Repeat on the other side.
4b. Single Leg Bridge
Reps: 12 each leg; Sets: 3; Rest: 30 secs after each superset.
How to do it: Lie flat on the floor with your legs bent. Drive through your heels to push your hips upwards as far as you can go, before pausing and returning to the start position.
5a. Lunge Jumps
Reps: 1 min, Sets: 1; Rest: no rest, go straight into squat pulses.
How to do it: Lunge forward until your rear knee is almost touching the ground. Jump into the air, bringing your rear foot forward and the front foot back. Land in a lunge and repeat.
5b. Squat Pulses
Reps: 1 min, Sets: 1; Rest: after superset.
Alex says: "At the bottom of the squat, 'pulse' your body up and down a few inches either way."
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Start the movement by bending your knees and sitting back with your hips. Go down as far as you can, 'pulse' your hips up and down for 5 seconds and quickly reverse the motion back to the starting position.