“Is it possible to actually give your legs a good training by only using body weight exercises?”
Before we go into the exercises, the answer to this question is a ‘YES’, with capital letters! You might not believe it at first, but after you are done with this exercise, believe me you will know that you can give your leg muscles a serious burn by only using your body weight.
Most people hate a body weight leg day, because a good leg day implies walking like:
- a grandma;
- who got shot;
- in both legs.
Imagine what that looks like and imagine walking like that for the next 5 days until you have another leg day.
Well that’s exactly what you are going to look like after this exercise! Still ready to go for it?
Training legs with your own body weight?
When you say you are going to train your legs with your own body weight, people might laugh at you. How can you train your legs with your own weight, you are already carrying that weight day-in-day-out.
A Bar Brother doesn’t need a machine to train his legs. Wonder how you might look like this after your leg day?
Well you could use a machine, but you definitely don’t need a machine to train your legs. Actually the opposite is true, your body weight is more than enough. Especially when you do the pistol squat.
“The what?” The pistol squat. Why is this a killer muscle burning guarantee leg exercise? Because you do three things in one:
- train flexibility;
- gain strength,
- and at the same time practice coordination all in one!
It looks like this.
The primary muscles are the hamstrings, quates and glutes, at the same time a strong core for balance is also important. There are three ways to do the pistol squat.
Remember that technique is more important than the amount of repetitions. Technique is especially important in this exercise, because of the required coordination and injury risk. Considering all the aforementioned information let’s delve into the different pistol squats.
“If you are still walking normal at the end of your workout, you didn’t train hard enough” – Bar Brothers Groningen
Beginner Bar Brother: Regular squats
Before you are able to do a good pistol squat, focus on your regular squats first. Compare it to doing a one handed push up, you should learn to do regular push ups first.
The squat exercise involves bending through the knees, while making sure your knees don’t pass your toes. Bend as far as possible with your hands pointed straight forward, make sure your ankles and feet are flat on the floor.
Intermediate Bar Brother: Pole pistol
Once you have mastered regular squats, you can start doing pistol squats using a pole, preferably vertical. Horizontal poles however are also useful, but they will make it easier for you to cheat on your reps.
Start by loosely grasping a pole with two or one hand while standing in the side of the pole. Use the pole to allow you to do the downward motion in a controlled manner.
Point one leg in the air while the other bends and repeat this according to your goal.
Advanced Bar Brother: Free pistol
After mastering the regular squats and pole pistol squats, the next step is the free pistol squat. Here no support is allowed, meaning that the upward and downward strength and coordination are all dependant of one leg.
Your ankle, knee and hip need to be flexible in order to perform this move.
Remember the importance of core strength while doing the pistol squats. Make sure you squeeze your abs on the way up and keep your non-squatting leg stretched as much as possible.
Contract the muscles in that leg to make sure it remains above the ground, while at the same time focussing on your downward motion.
Note: Do not force your body (Focus on the execution and technical aspects), especially with this exercise, because you will regret it if you neglect the technique.
Well you know the stuff, time to get into a smooth walk like a penguin.
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