Good leg bodyweight workout?


I'm after some recommendations for a good bodyweight leg workout that I can do in about 20-30 minutes. I'd prefer to be able to do it indoors (I have an 8 month old).

I like high pace, with lots of variations.

I've got some ideas of my own, but I want to see if they match up with the experts here.

I'll post one later.




Hill springts and jog


pistols (one legged squats)

One legged deadlifts

Jumping split squats



An old Frank Shamrock "callous circuit" here for the legs that you can use.

"The Leg Blaster" (Fitness Level - Difficult) This 5 minute callous circuit is guaranteed to leave you and your legs trembling! Do each exercise as hard as you can with no breaks between them for the full five minute round.

Jump Squats (1 minute): Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands up at head height (boxing guard). With head up and back straight, squat down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Then jump back up as high as you can. Repeat for the entire minute.

Boot Strapper Squats (1 minute): As seen in "Scrapper's Bodyweight Routines". Put your feet together, bend down and put your hands in front of your feet (bend your knees if you have to). Now walk your hands about 1 foot away from your toes. Keep them there. Now bend your knees until your ass touches your heels, then straighten your knees out as far as you can.

Free Body Lunges (1 minute): Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands up at head height (boxing guard). With head up and back straight, take a big step forward with left foot (approximately 3 feet), dropping your right knee down till it's about 1 inch from the ground. Then push back off the left foot to standing position. Repeat the entire sequence but, switch it up stepping forward with the right foot, etc. Alternate feet for the entire round.

Starbursts (1 minute): Start in a very low squat position, with your ass resting on your heels, and your arms resting down to your sides (you should be in a little ball). Explode up, jumping as high as you can, shooting your arms and legs apart into a star shape (it will look like an open jumping jack in the air). Then land back down into the small ball.

Haunch Hops (1 minute): Start on your toes in a very low squat position, with your ass resting on your heels, and hands up at head height (boxing guard). Staying in that very deep squat position, start hopping 2 -3 inches off the ground. Continue for the entire round. These feel easy for the first few seconds, but they will light up your quads like nothing else.

That's 1 round. If you want to do more leave a 30 second to 1 minute gap in between rounds.

Ok here you go.


  1. One-Legged Squats @ 8-10 reps each leg

  2. One-Legged Hamstring Bridges @ 8-10 reps each leg

  3. Sustained Tension Side Leg Raises@ 8-10 reps each leg

  4. Modified Russian Lunges @ 6-8 reps each leg

  5. Running Stairs @ 10-20 Floors

Basic level is one set each of the first three movements only.

Level 1. Is 2 sets of the first three movements and 1 set of the fourth.

Level 2. Is 4 sets of movement 1, 3 sets of movement 2, 2 sets of movement 3, 3 sets of movement 4, plus the stair running.

Each series should be done with no rest between exercises.

Stay on a level as long as it is challenging.
You can do all the sets of one exercise and then move on to the next or do one leg all the way through the series before returning to do the other side.

Exercise descriptions:


Stand perpendicular to a wall, about arms length away from it. Extend your arm out to the side and place your palm against the wall at just under shoulder height. Angle the foot farthest from the wall out ward 45 degrees. Bend the other leg (non-weight-bearing) back. Keeping your body upright, lower yourself until the non-weight-bearing knee is close to (but not touching) the ground. Support yourself by leaning against the wall. Press yourself back up to starting position. Repeat for desired number of reps, and then repeat with other leg.


These are killers if you have never tried them look out! Lie on your back with one leg extended, heel on the ground. Hold the other leg up off the floor (as if you just threw a knee). Pushing through your heel, flex your hamstrings to lift your body (imagine you are pulling your heel in to your butt but it doesn't move so your hips lift up instead). Lower and repeat for desired number of reps. Repeat on other leg. You can control the resistance and the degree to which the Glutes contribute by changing the distance you place your heel relative to your buttocks. The greater the distance, the greater the stress on the hamstrings. The lesser the distance, the greater the Glutes contribute to the movement. For most, only the position with the legs almost fully extended will offer sufficient resistance to make the exercise effective.


support your self by holding onto a fixed vertical pole. A fence post or lamp will do, as will the edge of an open door. Position your self, sideways to the pole. Angle the foot closest to the pole as if you were doing a classic side-kick. Raise your leg straight out to the side as high as it will go. Don't worry if it won't go up very high. Your foot should be parallel to the floor. You should be able to draw a straight line through your shoulder, hip, and ankle. If you bend forward at the waist, or twist over so you are facing down, rather then sideways, you decrease the stress on the target muscles. Slowly lower your leg from the raised position, but only by a foot or so. Then reverse direction and go back up. (Don't bounce as you change direction.) Repeat up and down never touching your foot to the ground, for the desired number of reps. Repeat on other leg. Add ankle weights when it gets to easy in the standard version.


Begin in lunge position, bent at the waist, with your weight over your toes of the front foot and your rear leg extended behind you, slightly to the outside. Your chest should nearly rest on your forward thigh. Slowly push yourself up about 6-8 inches; you should also travel slightly forward. Lift your rear foot off the ground as you push your self up. The angles at your hip and waist must not change during the exercise-in other words; your chest should remain in the same relation to your thigh throughout the movement. Lower and repeat for the desired number of reps. Repeat on the other leg. When done right these are felt in the Glutes a great deal. Tweak until you know you are hitting the right position.


Try doing 10-20 one-story sprints, preferably two stairs at a time. Work up to that number slowly! Also be careful to keep one hand on the stair rail to catch yourself if you lose your balance. To limit the aerobic component run up and walk back down in between sprints. To increase resistance add a weighted vest or a backpack full of heavy books or sandbags.



Nice! Thanks all!

We really need a 'store' of all this stuff.

Bryce Lane's (from "B-Circuit" is a killer:

-15 short ROM jump, as explosive as possible

-15 long ROM jump, as explosive as possible

-20 full ROM free squats, as slow and controlled (creating as much tension) as possible

The above is 1 "B-circuit." Perform as many as you can in 20 minutes.

JC Santana's "Leg Cranks:"

  1. 24 bodyweight squats

  2. 24 alternating lunges (12 reps each leg)

  3. 24 split jumps (12 reps each leg)

  4. 12 jump squats

Repeat from 1-6 sets, depending on your level of fitness.

Leg Cranks rock.



Here's what I just gave a go (cheers Taku):

3x10 One-Leg squats. My right knee stability's poor, so I'll work on that.

3x10 One-leg bridge. I'm really flexible, so I actually reached the bend limit of my ankle while trying to get my leg fairly straight. I did feel a burn in my hamstrings.

2x10 Tension side leg raises. I did TKD for years (sad, I know..), so my movement here was good. I did notice that I let my right foot angle in (that's the weak knee), so I'll work on that.

3x10 Russian lunges. Not too sure of the form here, do I push off with the back foot, or raise it a bit and then come up (at about 30-40deg?) on the supporting leg? My hamstrings didn't like that one at all.

I then did some abs (30x Bicyles, Leg raises and crunches). Followed by 4x25 Jumping Squats.

My legs felt like SH*T after all that!

Keep 'em coming!