Bodyweight Leg Workout (Beginner / Intermediate)

June 12, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

Great bodyweight leg workout that is suitable for both beginners and intermediates. Will hit all the muscle groups of the legs!

When it comes to legs or any other part of the body, the versatility of your training actually matters more than the intensity.

What does this mean? Although heavy back squats and deadlifts are amazing exercises and will develop strength and size, they simply aren't enough.

If you simplify too much, certain muscle groups will become strong and mobile, whereas the rest are becoming weaker and tighter with every workout session. This is why you want to often shake things up and do versatile leg training. 

Just doing two simple movement patterns over and over again, the same way you have always done them, is the recipe for injuries and chronic problems.

This is due to the fact that certain muscle groups will get stronger than others and the structural balance of the body is tarnished.

Structural imbalances are almost always the cause of problems.

When the workouts have variety and versatility, the body will stay healthy and capable. That's how our own training is done and how we structured Movement 20XX.

Bodyweight Leg Workout

Bodyweight Leg Exercises

Rear lunge & skater squat: 3 x 10-20 repetitions.

Hip bridge: 3 x 10-20 repetitions.

Turning squat jump: 3 x 10-16 repetitions.

Bigfoot walk: 3 x 10-20 steps.

Leg hold: 3 x 10-20 seconds per side.

Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets and exercises. You can do this workout 1-5 times per week.

Rear Lunge-Skater Squat Combo

beginner bodyweight leg workout

You first do the skater squat where your legs cross, then you take a step back and do a rear lunge.

The skater squat will hit your glutes and quads from a different angle, but also work the abductors of the rear leg. 

The rear lunge will target the front thighs, hip flexors and glutes. 

Any squat or lunge variations where you cross your legs are highly recommended because they will hit your leg muscles from different angles, muscle lengths and also target different muscle groups (adductors + abductors).

Hip Bridge (2-leg or 1-leg)

single leg hip thrust for glutes

Hip bridge is an amazing exercise for your lower body because it will heavily target the posterior side of the body - lower back, hamstrings and glutes

This is optimal to do if you can't do deadlifts or other posterior chain exercises. There's no excuse to do these either: you can do them anywhere. 

You don't even have to elevate your legs - you can just do the hip bridges on a floor and it's almost as effective.

You can begin the exercise with two legs and then move onto the single leg hip bridge. Eventually you can add plates or dumbbells on your waist to make it even harder.

Turning Squat Jump

side jump

Turning squat jump is a solid movement exercise where you switch from one side to another with every jump. You can do the exercise in one place or move forward/backwards.

It's similar to the bunny hops, but the rotational factor of the exercise will hit the leg muscles a bit differently.

Good for warm-up but also a solid exercise on its own. You can make it harder with additional weights.

Bigfoot Walk

duck walk

This is a fun movement exercise where you will look like a bigfoot walking around. 

It doesn't look much but it's actually an effective exercise for your quads. You squat halfway down and then take steps forward while staying at the same height.

Your quadricep muscles are under tension the entire time and if you do it for long enough, you will certainly feel the burn. 

Leg Hold

active leg hold

You can raise the leg to different directions (front or side) to target different muscles. When your leg is in front, you will hit more the hip flexors and quads. When it's directed to the side, your abductors will burn.

Raise the leg as high as you can. In the beginning you probably can't lift it very high, but it will still be very effective drill to build strength and mobility in that range of motion.

Try different directions and you can also move the leg from one side to another while holding the leg up for maximal benefit.

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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