Bodyweight Leg Exercises: Build Muscle Without Weights

January 31, 2012

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The Bodyweight Leg Exercise Circuit is an intense workout for building muscle without dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells. Training the muscles of the lower body provides injury-preventing and power-enhancing strength and stability for athletes of all ages and levels.

My circuit of bodyweight leg exercises is a quick and efficient way to finish off your strength training session. All you need is an 18-inch plyometric box or bench and a stop watch.

Bodyweight Leg Exercise Circuit
Aim to finish all four bodyweight leg exercises (70 reps total) in 90 seconds or less.

Squats

  • Assume athletic stance with feet slightly wider than hip width
  • Keeping back straight and knees behind toes, sink hips back and lower into squat until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Extend hips and knees to drive up out of squat position
  • Perform for 20 reps

Alternating Lunges

  • Step forward into lunge position
  • Lower until top of front thigh is parallel to floor, keeping knee behind toes
  • Push back into standing position
  • Repeat with opposite leg
  • Perform 10 reps each leg

Alternating Step-Ups

  • Stand behind box or bench
  • Place one foot on box and other on ground
  • Jump as high as possible, pushing off foot on box
  • While in air, switch legs so you land with opposite foot on box
  • Repeat with other foot as quickly as possible
  • Perform 10 reps each leg

Squat Jumps

  • Begin with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hands behind head
  • Perform Squat and explosively jump as high as possible
  • Land softly in squat position and immediately perform again
  • Repeat for 10 reps

Once the circuit is complete, take a two-minute break. Repeat the circuit in the same order for two to three sets.

A strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level since 2002, Jason Spray is currently the director of strength and conditioning for men’s basketball and assistant director for football at Middle Tennessee State University, where he also aids in day-to-day physical and nutritional development. Spray earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee and is CSCS, SCCC, USAW, NSCA, NASE, FMS and CSCCa certified. He is also a USA Weightlifting Club coach and a certified physical therapy aide. Spray has trained athletes ranging from high school to professional and Olympic levels. He has been featured in Premier Players Magazine and is the head sports performance adviser for RSP Nutrition.

Jason Spray
- A strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level since 2002, Jason Spray is a head strength coach at Middle Tennessee State University, where he...
Jason Spray
- A strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level since 2002, Jason Spray is a head strength coach at Middle Tennessee State University, where he...

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