If you’re anything like me, you’re self-conscious about how paltry your Squat PR is. Sure, there is the option of doubling down and strength training but…just hiding out at home and lifting legs there where no one can judge me sounds so much more comfortable.
Not to mention, gyms are dirty. People cough on things. Yeah. No thanks. Now, I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t go to the gym to make me feel better about skipping legs day, but in case you do feel like validating me, then here’s a really great leg workout using resistance bands.
All jokes aside (for now), sometimes making it to the gym is nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue making dem gainz though! We got too many aesthetic goals for that nonsense.
- Quad sweeps to achieve
- Peaches (glutes) to grow
- Hamstrings to striate beyond belief
- Calves to carve into diamonds
What you’ll need:
- Resistance bands: Obviously
- Pre-workout: You can’t make GAINZ without energy,* pump,* endurance,* and focus.*
- BCAAs: Recovery FTW*
Banded Squats (band around knees) 4 x 12-20
No doubt you’ve seen your local gym’s booty “expert” doing these. They might look silly to some, but they’re actually a fantastic way to help stabilization. They also add extra resistance in areas otherwise a squat wouldn’t target as effectively.
- Wrap resistance band around knees
- Get into a stance a little wider than shoulder-width
- Tighten your core. When performing a squat, the movement begins with the hips, not the knees — keep that in mind.
- Focus on keeping your knees from bowing in. Pushing outward against the band, slowly perform the negative portion of the squat.
- Go to just below parallel. The angle of knee flexion would be seventy degrees
- Slowly squat yourself up and squeeze the booty at the top of the repetition
Banded Lying Lateral Leg Raises 4 x 12-20
These are very similar to the hip adductor machine you would do “booty burnouts” with or to warm up the glutes prior to a killer legs workout. These will be done on both sides, but for this example, I’ll be using the right leg/glute. For the left, just reverse the side.
- Lay down on your side and loop a band around your ankles. Straighten your legs out. Stack your right leg on your left.
- Bend your left elbow and prop your head on your hand, like you’re laying on a baby grand about to sing to some lovers of jazz. Place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest for support.
- Slowly lift your right leg. Keep it straight as you lift it, and go as high as you can while squeezing your butt until you start to feel your back arch.
- Lower your right leg with control. That’s a rep. Don’t pause at the bottom of the rep.
Curtsy Lunges 4 x 15-20
These are some fun alternatives to regular in-place lunges. They add a nice challenge to core stability and, depending on how coordinated you currently are, your Dexterity stat. Whoever thought practicing some 1800’s classic sexism could be so great for leg development?!
- Start with your feet at shoulder width
- Keeping your weight in your right foot, step back with your left, and cross it behind your right leg
- Slowly start lowering your body by bending your knees, continue until your right thigh is parallel to the floor
- Return to the starting position then repeat on the opposite leg. That’s one rep.
Plyo Jump Squats 4 x 15-20
Not only are squat jumps great for adding in some heart-rate accelerating movements into a workout, they’re also solid options to help improve athleticism.
- Okay. You know how to do a squat. I told you two exercises above. The biggest difference here is that I want you to take a little wider stance, go “ass to grass.”
- Explode on the way up and make sure to squeeze your butt when you get airborne.
- Note: don’t hit your head on any low ceilings. That would be…less than ideal.
Sissy Squats 4 x 10-15
Nothing sissy about these bad boys. They are the freaking quad killers. They require ankle mobility, knee mobility, and good balance. Several bodybuilders, both old school and new, attribute much of their quad development to being proud sissies. Know this, if you don’t have the flexibility or mobility to safely perform sissy squats, skip them and work your way up. Just because they’re bodyweight exercises doesn’t mean they can’t exacerbate any previous injuries or lead you to a new one.
Unlike regular squats where the movement begins at the hips, Sissy Squats begin at the knees — keep that in mind.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Find a surface to place one hand on for balance, should be about level with your middle back or upper abdomen. Straighten the back and tighten your core. Raise up onto the balls of your feet.
- As slow and controlled as possible, slowly lower yourself by bending your knees.
- Maintaining balance using your support hand, float your knees forward while leaning back.
- Descend until your calves are (about) parallel with the floor.
- Hold this for one second, then drive through the balls of the feet to perform the positive portion of the exercise.
Stair Climbing Calf Raises 4 x 10 reps for every stair
These are a brutal exercise. I honestly feel a little bad even suggesting them, but according to pretty much anyone I’ve ever trained, I’m a sadist. Luckily, this is one time I don’t have to take credit for a form of torture. I owe this one to the video model, Mike Symkoviak. So, when you can’t walk the next day, send all hate mail his way.
- Stand on the balls of your feet at the bottom stair of any nearby staircase (the more steps the better).
- Perform 10 reps of calf raises, fully contracting at the top of the exercise and getting a good stretch at the bottom
- Without resting, climb to the next step, perform 10 more calf raises
- Do this until you’ve reached the top of the staircase
Modifications: If you’re a true masochist, you can continue the exercise, going back down the staircase.
Do you seriously skip legs day? No. My quadriceps have canyons they’re so freaking shredded.
Is your Squat PR really that bad? Well, that’s perspective now, isn’t it? In other words, yes. It’s nothing to brag about. To be fair, I’m not a powerlifter.