Building Big Legs with Bodyweight Exercises

22:00 Eugene Madondo 0 Comments


Legs are the hardest body part to train without weights, so developing your legs without weights is going to be a challenge. If you have ever watched any calisthenics video what you will notice is that many of the guys do not have thick legs, and those that do have thick legs it’s usually because they also do weighted training. In this blog post I will share with you several different exercises to build your legs so they develop as much as possible without weights.

Bodyweight leg Exercises for thick developed legs

cyclist developed legs
Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy developed legs

The first bodyweight exercise to do if you want thick legs is the bodyweight squats, you will have to do as many as you possibly can to really feel the effect (aim for 100 with no rest), the reason these bodyweight squats alone won’t develop your legs that well is that to properly develop legs you have to train them heavy. Bodyweight squats will not replace a 100kg plus squat, but they will give you better legs than if you don’t do them. In order to get better results in fewer reps I suggest carrying something heavy and doing squats for example you could squat your gym partner, the bigger your gym partner is the better, or you could carry a log or a rock that you can get a good grip on so you don’t hurt yourself or if you live in a farm you could carry (50kg or 80kg) chicken feed and squat it. Use your imagination and think of something, just because you don’t have weights doesn't mean you can’t get a decent leg workout.
Another workout for legs or more specifically calves is calf raises, you could do calf raises at the edge of a stair or when you are flat on a level surface by just going up and down on your toes. To make them more difficult you could do single leg calf raises so that you are raising your whole body with a single leg. Another variation of calf raises is donkey calf raises, just get a friend or gym partner to sit on your back as you raise your toes, Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do these (check out the documentary pumping iron and you will see what I mean).

A third bodyweight exercise you could do for developing legs is lunges, again to make the lunges more challenging you could carry something like your gym partner or a log or whatever you have lying around that would be safe to carry but heavy enough to give your muscles a hard time.

A fourth exercise you could do is the one legged squat otherwise known as the pistol squat, it is very difficult to do because you have to do it while trying not to fall as your whole body weight is supported by one leg as you attempt to go down and up again in a controlled fashion. Some guys like the Bar Brothers do single legged squats on a high platform with one foot on the bar of a jungle gym for example or the edge of a roof (but that is a bit dangerous start off by doing them on the ground first before you attempt daredevil fitness routines).


This video shares a whole bunch of bodyweight exercises you can do at home, included in there is the bar brothers leg workout. These guys are awesome...enjoy this video and try out their workouts.

Another thing you could do to develop legs is to sprint, sprinting is a great leg workout especially if you do hill sprints.

And the last exercise is for those with a bicycle. Have you noticed that cyclist have really developed legs, that’s because cycling is a great leg and cardiovascular workout, so ride fast and find a hill to ride up as fast as you can, don’t use those easy gears on the bike which make it easy to climb but you have to cycle 10 times more, go hard and fast.


I hope this post was helpful and gave you some ideas about how to get big legs with bodyweight exercises if you don’t have access to a gym.  Some of these exercise double as great cardio, so you will be killing two birds with one stone.

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