Is it possible to build strong and muscular legs
through calisthenics training alone?
The short answer is yes, absolutely.
While weights have the advantage that
you can adjust the resistance very precise.
Bodyweight training alone can also give you
truly impressive squats, hamstrings and calves.
It also depends on your current level and goals.
Most bodyweight leg exercises are a good mix
between building muscle, increasing in strength and improving your mobility.
Weighted-basic exercises on the other hand,
are great to boost your max strength and optimize your muscle growth.
Because there’s no limit how much resistance you can add.
The following workout will focus on calisthenics exercises.
But if you are an advanced athlete,
you could also do some of the exercises with additional weight.
To save time and give you a unique leg workout,
we combined all exercises to a giant set.
The giant set in this workout consists of 6 exercises,
which you do after each other without any kind of rest in between.
You start with the hardest exercises and continue with the easier one.
This is very important because you have more strength,
energy and concentration at the beginning of the giant set.
You do every exercise until fatigue
and then continue with the next one.
The first exercise is either a Pistol Squat or a slow Step Up.
You can choose between one of those tools
because most beginners aren’t able to do pistol squats.
If you choose to pistol squat,
you could do it on the ground or standing on an object.
It’s way harder to do it on the ground at least for the straight legs.
If you aren’t mobile enough to keep your leg above the groun
in the lowest position, you will lose your balance.
If you do it on a box,
you don’t have to raise the straight leg that much.
While both variations make nearly no difference in terms of strength for the bent leg,
we still prefer the version on the ground.
The ground will force you to work on your straight leg strength
and mobility on the other leg.
This works your squat
and also improves your performance when it comes to else’s and leg else’s.
When you do the pistol squat,
keep your knees stable all the time and do it slowly in control.
If pistol squats are too hard but you still want to work on them,
you can do it by using an object as a support.
If you choose the single leg step up,
make sure to choose the right height for the object you step on.
The higher the object, the harder the exercise gets.
You should be able to lean yourself forward
and release your rear legs in the ground without any kind of momentum.
No matter if you do the pistol squat or the step up,
we suggest you to start with your weaker leg
and continue with a stronger one.
Right after that you do the Archer Squat,
here we got several important key points.
1. Find the right distance and don’t choose a too narrow stance.
1. 找到合适的距离 不要选择太窄的站姿
2. Keep your upper body upright.
Bend your hips and knees and don’t lean yourself forward
even if you can’t get that deep.
And 3. Keep your heels on the ground.
You can do the archer squat with an internal rotated leg
to stretch the adductors of the straight leg
or with an outward rotated leg to stretch the hamstrings.
You continue the giant set with the One Leg Glute Ham Raise.
This exercise is quite simple.
Press one leg into the ground,
raise your body and keep the other one above the ground.
The more extend the bent leg on the ground,
the harder the exercise will be.
The next exercise are Jumping Lunges or Normal Lunges.
At this point of the workout,
you already did 3 different exercises without rest.
You can now choose between lunges and jumping lunges.
The goal is to be able to do some clean reps,
like at least about 10 per side or so.
In both versions,
you have to aim for a stable knee position during the complete movement.
When you do jumping lunges,
take care that the rear knee doesn’t hit the ground too hard.
After you finish the jumping lunges,
you continue with the Deep Squat.
Hold this position as long as possible
before you continue with the last exercise.
The deep squat is one of the best lower body exercises.
So always take care that you do it right.
There are 4 key points.
1. Don’t lean your upper body forward
and aim for a nearly vertical position.
2. Keep your spine straight and don’t round your upper body.
2. 脊椎要挺直 上身不要弓起来
3. Keep your heel on the ground.
4. Don’t let your knees collapse inwards
and aim for an evenly distributed load between the inside and the outside of your feet.
If you lack in mobility and can’t get that deep,
you can either go to the lowest position possible and hold it,
otherwise and this is what we suggest.
Hold yourself onto an object and go deeper.
The object will ensure that you don’t lose your balance
if you lack an ankle mobility.
Always make sure that you hold an active and not a passive deep squat
even if you use an object as a support.
The last exercise are Single Leg Calf Raises.
We suggest you to do elevated calf raises
because you will get a better range of motion.
The key points are quite simple.
Do it slowly and controled and keep your knees slightly bent.
Like in the pistol squats, the step ups or the glute ham raise,
you first finish one leg before you continue with the other one.
Okay, guys, now, the routine is done.
We recommend to do this routine
if you want a short and intensive leg workout.
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If you have further questions, just leave a comment.