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body weight exercises for legs?

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  • body weight exercises for legs?

    seems when reading others talk about body weight exercises the main thing i see come up is there is plenty of upper body exercises but they complain the only way to gain real strength in the legs is with weights. it does seem that except for squats/lunges there doesnt seem to be much for gaining real strength in the legs. i believe sprinting might help build muscle at least in theory but im not real sure that running is what most people have in mind for building muscle

    does anyone have any ideas for exercises to work the legs other then squats/lunges or sprinting that would help gain muscle mass?
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

  • #2
    You can do different variations of the squat/lunges. Pistol Squat, Flamingo, etc... Quad Press is nice for both legs and upperbody.
    ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

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    • #3
      Once you can do a single-leg squat, the bodyweight options do get more limited. You could always wear a heavy backpack while you squat, or you could do what gymnasts do and focus on power rather than strength in the legs. By doing single-leg box jumps, etc
      "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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      • #4
        Some ideas:
        - standing in low martial arts stances, e.g. Horse stance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        - jumping
        - pushing or pulling heavy sleds (not body weight, but also not exactly weight training)

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        • #5
          Weighted pistols is where I am now. I also do bridges which are a good workout for the lower body. HIIT sprints will certainly give your legs a workout also. There are lots of options out there, check out Al Kavadlo's website he has lots of options for variations on squats.
          Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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          • #6
            make a sandbag and do the squat/lunge variations.

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            • #7
              Weighted jumping shrimp squats, for distance. If you can do those, then you probably don't need anything more, except to maybe pay your $15 day pass to a gym once every month or two and squat something absurd.
              You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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              • #8
                Single leg squats while standing on a bench are great, I like to do single-leg bench getups and pistol squats too. None require weights. Here's some good examples: Leg Workout | Men's Health

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                • #9
                  i love al's site, lots of great stuff there

                  btw guys im a believer in body weight exercises, i just want to be able to give the naysayers something to think about when they say the only way to get leg strength is to do dead lifts with weights
                  Primal Chaos
                  37yo 6'5"
                  6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
                  current 338lbs 49" waist
                  goal 240lbs 35" waist

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                  • #10
                    A wall sit is a great bw excersise for front of the legs.
                    For hamstrings climbing ladders, climbing rope or running up and down the hills. Swimming in flippers. Skating.
                    Plyometric training, i.e. jumping up on objects.
                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                    • #11
                      I think you need to decide what your goal is. BW exercises are fine for developing strength, to a point, and can be very good for developing muscular endurance and probably hypertrophy, to a point, but notice that everyone eventually is talking about adding weight (weighted shrimp squats, weighted pistol squats, etc.) If we are talking about pure strength, your bodyweight won't cut it. And if you're adding a kettlebell or a backpack, that's no different than going to the gym and putting some iron on your back.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
                        check out Al Kavadlo's website he has lots of options for variations on squats.
                        Originally posted by Mike Gager View Post
                        i love al's site, lots of great stuff there
                        Thanks for the kind words!

                        As for training legs with nothing but bodyweight, try advanced Shrimp Squats. I can barely do these myself with no added weight. I'd love to see the legs of someone who can do ten shrimps in row with both hands behind their back.
                        "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                        "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                        My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
                          If we are talking about pure strength, your bodyweight won't cut it.
                          I usually agree with your posts, but not this one!!!
                          "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                          "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                          My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

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                          • #14
                            Al:

                            I'm talking pure strength, not power, not muscle endurance. What exercise compares to deadlifting 400 lbs for your glutes and hams? What compares to squatting with 400 lbs of iron on your back? If you actually measured the pressure exerted on the muscles in a shrimp squat, is it comparable or is it more difficult because it's a difficult movement to learn?

                            I'm not saying BW doesn't have a place, I'm simply saying that in terms of strength (defined here to mean "moving weight through space") I don't think any BW exercise compares to moving iron that is much heavier than you. If one's goal is different (power, hypertrophy, endurance) I would 100% agree with you.

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                            • #15
                              well my question is, can someone that is able to deadlift 400lbs do 10 shrimps in a row with their hands behind their back? if not, who is really stronger?
                              Primal Chaos
                              37yo 6'5"
                              6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
                              current 338lbs 49" waist
                              goal 240lbs 35" waist

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