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Are bodyweight exercises enough to overcome bird legs?

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  • Are bodyweight exercises enough to overcome bird legs?

    I am blessed with bird legs. I can remember the first insult I ever received. It was from my father. We were out skiing and as I was riding the momentum back to the bank, my dad asked me, "Are those your legs or are you riding a chicken?" I couldn't help but laugh.

    Well, almost 30 years later, they are still bird-like. They have been a blessing, of sorts. When I wear long pants, I always fool the guys at the carnival that try to guess weight. They thought I weighed 200 when I would come in between 175 and 180. Isn't that great?

    They are more proportional now that I run between 148 and 152 on the scale, but they are still tiny. I am wondering (and hopeful) that body weight exercises would be enough to level them out. I don't care to join a gym and I have no equipment at home for squats or leg presses.

    Has anyone really built considerable muscle by body weight alone? Better yet, has anyone here made strides in curing bird leg syndrome without a squat rack?
    Started my journey on May 22, 2010:

    Beginning weight ~180
    Current weight ~145

    Nov. 9, 2009........Nov. 9, 2010.....Jun. 17, 2011
    LDL 155...............LDL 176............LDL 139
    HDL 39................HDL 66..............HDL 95
    TGL 154..............TGL 77..............TGL 49

  • #2
    I don't know about bird leg syndrome, but I'm strictly sticking with PBF exercises. My arms are disproportionally skinny and I need to increase the size of my arms by about 50%. I also need to increase the size of my legs, but not nearly as much. Anyway, PBF is slow progress. You will not burn out with body weight exercise, but it will be slow going.

    You better start working out because those Chinese aren't going to keep foolishly lending us money to grow our wasteful government. You're going to need to start running from starving food stamp beneficiaries who are chasing you down to eat the leather you are wearing.

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    • #3
      Gymnastic Strength Training - Gymnastics Exercises

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      • #4
        lmao grok. do you think they like the tungsten we sent to them?
        my primal journal:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Saoirse View Post
          lmao grok. do you think they like the tungsten we sent to them?
          Hi Saoirse, how are the handstands coming? I just found a couple of videos on YouTube from a channel called GrokTV where Ron Paul says we will have 50% inflation within a couple of years! Meat prices have been going down recently though, I guess we need to see what Bernenke does in the coming weeks, of course he will print more money. I don't understand the tungsten reference, what is that referring to?

          http://www.youtube.com/user/graniteg.../0/PqifevnYDY4
          Last edited by Grok; 06-12-2011, 08:10 PM. Reason: add link

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          • #6
            Well what would seem to be the most obvious way is to take up cycling.
            Last edited by jhc; 06-12-2011, 09:12 PM.

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            • #7
              haha, i've taken this off-topic (sorry kcult). i don't know if i believe it, but here's an article.

              i think bodyweight (squats with proper form) and bridges would be a start. after that you can add weights in the form of kettlebells, a weighted vest, or a smaller family member (if applicable). i doubt that a squat rack would be necessary.
              my primal journal:
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

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              • #8
                I've never had this problem; I have god-legs. If my legs aren't from genetics (they are) then they're probably from this unique dance I do. Legs partially bent, hop twice on one foot then switch to the other (only one foot on the ground at a time), all the while moving your upper body (bending, twisting, arms above head, etc.). You can switch to straight leg jumps every once in a while to hit the other part of your calf.
                Also, tapping your feet while sitting builds up the front of your leg a bit (other exercises will be needed once you get normal sized legs). The muscles in the front of your leg don't need much strength but I'm assuming you want looks, right?
                In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                • #9
                  I have the same bird legs all my life until recently. Here are my findings in my quest to overcome their birdiness:

                  1) Bodyweight squats help only slightly in increasing the girth of my upper leg. I reached a point where I could do sets of 100 bodyweight squats and they weren't growing any more.

                  2) Unilateral squats like the Bulgarian split squat (body weight) help a bit more but not much.

                  3) Cycling intervals on hills help some.

                  4) The thing that helped my legs grow like weeds within a very short time are barbell squats in the rage of 6-8 reps per set. 8th rep being the last rep that you can possibly do without failing. The birdiness in my legs are finally gone after 4 decades because of these.

                  My conlusion: using weights will allow you to achieve your goals much more easily in a much shorter time.

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                  • #10
                    I should have clarified that intervals was what I was referring to; I ride a short, 10 minute route to and from work with four hills in the range of 30-50 feet climb, all over 30% grade as well as longer stretches at easier grades (the route follows a lake shore). I actually snapped one of my pedals off last year climbing one of them (/flex). I do this course twice daily (obviously) as fast as I can manage, and never changing gear.

                    I saw a noticeable improvement in leg musculature over the course of my first summer riding this route. (Not major, but then again I was only trying to get to work.) The pertinent observation is that if you have the option, cycling provides a great way to work more leg exercise into your daily routine without consuming too much extra time.
                    Last edited by jhc; 06-12-2011, 10:36 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Muscle growth happens only if you can get some real resistance on the muscle (if you're doing 30 or 40 reps, you need to add resistance). But your muscles don't have any preference as to whether the resistance is your own body or something you're lifting. If you can do one-leg squats, that's the equivalent resistance to your legs (more or less) of a barbell squat with your bodyweight on the bar. Plus the extra balance. And I'm sure you can find something kinda heavy around the house to hold while you squat to up that a bit more.

                      If you can already do a one-legged pistol squat, and you still want legs to be bigger, you will need to find something heavy to lift or push. Some frugal people opt for pushing their car across parking lots or unused roads. But usually if you can lift your entire body on one leg, there's not much need for any more strength, and instead power becomes key. So jumping exercises and hill-sprints would be in order.
                      "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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                      • #12
                        There is always something heavy to squat - throw a sandbag over your shoulders and go from there.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doddibot View Post
                          Muscle growth happens only if you can get some real resistance on the muscle (if you're doing 30 or 40 reps, you need to add resistance). But your muscles don't have any preference as to whether the resistance is your own body or something you're lifting. If you can do one-leg squats, that's the equivalent resistance to your legs (more or less) of a barbell squat with your bodyweight on the bar. Plus the extra balance. And I'm sure you can find something kinda heavy around the house to hold while you squat to up that a bit more.
                          Not really. It's the equivalent of doing a barbell squat with about half your bodyweight on the bar. If you think about it, half your bodyweight is supported by each leg. Let's say you weigh 180. Each leg supports 90 lbs. Take away one leg, and you've "added" 90 lbs to your squat. Not to mention your weight is distributed differently than a barbell on your back. I've never seen someone do an EMG or anything like that, but I think a one legged squat is easier than doing a BB squat with your bodyweight on your back. In my experience, I can do one legged squats fairly easily (but for the balance) but a BB squat is much harder.

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                          • #14
                            Go get a log you can hold (I like crossing arms and doing a front squat) and use that. We did that in track last spring and they were TOUGH.

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                            • #15
                              You can absolutely build muscle without going to a gym.

                              BW squat variations... regular, split, pistols.
                              Glute/ham raises... going to have to build something to do them on.
                              Calf raises, jump rope, etc for calves
                              Hill Sprints
                              Plyometrics (jump squats, box jumps, jumping lunges, etc)
                              Odd object squat and lunges... like with a sandbag for example.

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