Calisthenics Leg Workout: Get Big Legs with Only Bodyweight

Calisthenics is an amazing way to train your legs for multiple reasons, like that you can do it anywhere, you don’t need equipment, and much more. But you might not know exactly what exercises to do, so that is what this calisthenics leg workout is for.

When I started calisthenics, I also did not really know what to do for my legs, but I have figured it out and managed to build a good set of legs and some explosive strength in my legs as well. The exercises I am going to give you are some of the exercises that benefited me the most in my journey.

In this article, I will cover:

  • What is calisthenics?
  • Can You Build Leg Muscle with Calisthenics?
  • Calisthenics Leg workout
  • Why Should You Train Your Legs?
  • How to progess?

Let’s get into it!

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a style of exercise that relies on your body weight as resistance. It includes a wide range of movements such as push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and much more. The great thing about calisthenics is that you can do it almost anywhere, and you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. Although certain calisthenics equipment like pull-up bars or parallettes can help you out, it is not a must-have.

The difficult thing in calisthenics is how you continue to build muscle and progress further, because if you do 40 squats and it is too easy for you, where do you go from there and how do you progress? But I will cover how to do that later in the article.

Can You Build Leg Muscle with Calisthenics?

Can you build muscle with a calisthenics leg workout

Yes, calisthenics can be an effective way to develop leg muscle if you incorporate progressive overload correctly. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the intensity or difficulty of your workouts to stimulate muscle growth and strength. I will cover more on progressive overload later.

Here are some practical tips for effectively building leg muscles through calisthenics:

  1. Plyometric Exercises: Doing plyometric exercises like box jumps or squat jumps is a great way to build muscle and explosive strength in your legs.
  2. Isometric Moves: Doing static exercises like wall sits is also a great way to enhance leg muscles.
  3. Form Matters: Make sure to maintain proper form throughout your exercises and do them with a full range of motion.
  4. Increase the Challenge: Gradually make the exercises more challenging by increasing the reps, increasing the sets, or even doing different variations.
  5. Rest and Recovery: For any muscle to grow, it needs enough rest and recovery time, so make sure to get enough rest and proper sleep.

Calisthenics Leg workout

I am going to start off by explaining each of the exercises, and then I will give you a sample workout.

Box Jumps:

Box jumps are a high-intensity calisthenics exercise that focuses on your lower body, providing an excellent leg workout.

How to do it:

  1. Stand in front of a sturdy box or platform.
  2. Bend your knees and jump onto the box.
  3. Land softly, using your leg muscles to control the landing.
  4. Step back down and repeat.

Bodyweight Squats:

Bodyweight squats are a foundational calisthenics leg exercise that targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body by bending your knees while keeping your back straight.
  3. Go as low as you can with good form.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Wall Sits:

Wall sits are an isometric calisthenics exercise focusing on your leg muscles, aiding in strength and endurance.

How to do it:

  1. Find a wall and stand with your back against it.
  2. Slide down the wall until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Maintain this position as long as you can.

Jumping Lunges:

Jumping lunges combine the lunge exercise with explosive movements to strengthen your lower body.

How to do it:

  1. Begin in a lunge position with one foot forward.
  2. Jump explosively, switching your leg positions mid-air.
  3. Land in a lunge with the opposite foot forward.
  4. Continue alternating between legs.

Bulgarian Split Squats:

Bulgarian split squats are a challenging calisthenics exercise targeting your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do it:

  1. Stand a few feet in front of a bench or step.
  2. Extend one leg behind you, resting the top of your foot on the bench.
  3. Lower your body into a lunge, ensuring your front knee is above your ankle.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.

Glute Bridges:

Glute bridges are a calisthenics exercise focusing on your glutes and hip strength.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  3. Lower your hips back down and repeat.

Calf Raises:

Calf raises are a straightforward but effective exercise for building strength in your calf muscles.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Push through the balls of your feet to raise your heels off the ground.
  3. Lower your heels and repeat.

Walking Lunges:

Walking lunges are a dynamic calisthenics leg exercise targeting your quads, hamstrings, and glutes while improving balance and coordination.

How to do it:

  1. Begin by standing with your feet together.
  2. Take a step forward with your right foot, bending both knees to form a lunge.
  3. Push off your right foot to bring your left foot forward into the next lunge.
  4. Continue walking forward with alternating lunges.

Calisthenics Leg Workout:

  1. Box jumps: 3×10
  2. Glute bridges: 2×12
  3. Jumping lunges: 2×8 per side
  4. Calf raises: 3×fail
  5. Walking lunges: 2 x 10 per side
  6. Bodyweight squats: 3×fail
  7. Bulgarian split squats: 2 x 10 per side
  8. Wall sits: 2 x fail

Why Should You Train Your Legs?

Balanced Physique:

You don’t want a physique where your upper body is big and built, but when you look down, you have chicken legs. That just does not look good, so train your legs so that both your upper and lower body can look good.

Functional Strength:

Having strong legs will not only look good, but it will also help with everyday activities like climbing stairs or lifting heavy things.

Injury Prevention:

Training your legs will help strengthen crucial joints and muscles, acting as a protective shield against injuries during physical activities and workouts. You’ll stay safe and injury-free.

Improved Balance:

Strong legs will enhance your balance and stability. This is essential for various activities, whether you’re practicing yoga, martial arts, or just navigating uneven terrain.

Increased Mobility:

A strong lower body means improved joint mobility, allowing for more freedom of movement. You’ll find everyday activities more manageable and feel more agile.

How to progress?

Progressing with this calisthenics leg workout

To progress, you need to continually challenge your leg muscles and make the exercises more challenging, which is called progressive overload.

Here are a few ways you can make your exercises more difficult:

  • Increasing the number of reps you do
  • Adding weight using something like a weighted vest, weighted belt, dumbbells, barbells, etc.
  • Increasing the number of sets you do.
  • Doing harder variations, for example, a squat can go to pistol squats.
  • With things like box jumps, you can increase the height.

Other articles you can check out:

7 day calisthenics workout plan for amazing results

Weighted calisthenics: How to unlock super strength

Ultimate Calisthenics Bicep Workout To get bigger biceps

35 Best Calisthenics Exercises from Beginner to Advanced

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