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Thread: Are bodyweight exercises enough to overcome bird legs? page 2

  1. #11
    Doddibot's Avatar
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    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

  2. #12
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    There is always something heavy to squat - throw a sandbag over your shoulders and go from there.

  3. #13
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    Quote 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.

  4. #14
    Conner P.'s Avatar
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    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.

  5. #15
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    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.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Reena View Post
    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.
    You've added 90 to your squat, and you've reduced the number of legs used to lift it by half so really you've added 180.

    If you weigh 180, and you put 180 in the bar, each leg is approximately lifting half of the total weight i.e. 180. If you did a single leg squat with no weight on your back, a single leg is lifting about 180.

    It's sometimes true that single leg squats are easier, because though they require more stability, they don't require you to also support a heavy weight on your shoulders. There may also be truth to the idea that bodyweight exercises are more 'natural' for the body.
    "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

  7. #17
    dado's Avatar
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    You gotta squat.

    The answer to most things is to squat. Start squatting.

  8. #18
    norak's Avatar
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    Do you own a backpack and some books? Problem solved. Do squats in your living room with a backpack full of heavy stuff. If you don't have any books, go outside and find some rocks instead.

    Update: You probably shouldn't start with a full backpack though... Take it gradually as you progress.

  9. #19
    dado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norak View Post
    Do you own a backpack and some books? Problem solved. Do squats in your living room with a backpack full of heavy stuff. If you don't have any books, go outside and find some rocks instead.

    Update: You probably shouldn't start with a full backpack though... Take it gradually as you progress.
    Put calculus textbook in there, because this is really heavy material for your brain and your body. You will get tired when you remind yourself big calculus textbook is in backpack, and your bird legs will grow strong.

    But your bird legs, this is weakness, you are weak and have weak legs. You must do the squats.

  10. #20
    Abu Reena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doddibot View Post
    You've added 90 to your squat, and you've reduced the number of legs used to lift it by half so really you've added 180.
    Again, no. You haven't added anything. You've subtracted a leg. So it's 90. You are double counting by saying "you're adding 90 and reducing the number of legs." It's one or the other.

    By doing a single leg squat, you've, in effect, added half your weight to the other leg. That's it. Don't believe me? Go to the squat rack. Do a single leg squat. Now do your full BW on the bar and do a back squat. The second will be (wait for it) twice as hard as the single leg squat. Now, put half your body weight on the bar, and do it again. The exertion will be roughly the same as a single leg squat.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for BW exercises etc., but it's important to keep the math right.

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