The Toughest Leg Workout Without Weights
This bodyweight workout gives a whole new meaning to leg day
I used to think that no leg day was complete without using heavy weights or machines. That is until I tried this Kamikaze mission of a workout.
For one, every move is done one leg at a time to put more direct loading onto your leg and hip muscles without needing access to anything besides your own bodyweight in the beginning (and a pair of lighter dumbbells if you’re really fit). In addition, by doing 4 straight single-sided moves in a row (strategically sequenced, I might add), your poor muscles are going to feel loaded to the max.
Because this routine is so challenging, I’ve created a beginner and advanced version. The beginner version has you perform all 4 moves back to back, but you alternate between sides each set to mitigate the fatigue. The advanced version has you do all 4 moves on one side first before switching, and will change your life.
Directions: Alternate between 50 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest for each move in the following circuit.
1a. Single-leg shoulders-elevated hip thrust, left then right leg
1b. Single-leg feet-elevated hip thrust, left then right leg
1c. Bulgarian hip hinge, left then right leg
1d. Bulgarian split squat, left then right leg
That’s 1 round. Do 2 to 3 rounds, resting 1 to 2 minutes between rounds.
Left Leg Circuit
Directions: Perform each move for a minute with little to no rest between moves.
1a. Single-leg shoulders-elevated hip thrust
1b.Single-leg feet-elevated hip thrust
1c. Bulgarian hip hinge
1d. Bulgarian split squat
Rest 1 to 2 minutes and move to the other side.
Right Leg Circuit
Directions: Perform each move for a minute with little to no rest between moves:
2a. Single-leg shoulders-elevated hip thrust
2b. Single-leg feet-elevated hip thrust
2c. Bulgarian hip hinge
2d. Bulgarian split squat
That’s 1 round. Rest 1 to 2 minutes and return to the starting side. Do 2 to 3 rounds/side.
Look to first increase reps before adding load due to the sheer amount of systemic fatigue from this collective grouping of movements. You could also wear a weight vest to increase the challenge, which may be more practical due to limited transition time between moves.
Article originally published on menshealth.com