I am one of those few calisthenics athletes who train the legs even more than the upper-body, and because I’ve built them quite muscular and athletic, I want to offer you two of my calisthenics leg workouts. It will require absolutely no equipment, and you can train at home or everywhere else you prefer.
Follow along with the explanations as well because building muscular and athletic legs with calisthenics isn’t about one or two leg workouts only.
High Volume Squat Workout: 500 Reps
- Bodyweight Squats: 10 sets x 50 reps
- Calf Raises: 10 sets x Max. Reps
Don’t rush and underestimate this workout for it looks too simple, less cool, less complicated, and because it lacks in variety. From all the hundreds of exercises and routines available and those I also do myself, this one still belongs in my training journal even after years of constant training. I actually do it at least once every two weeks. The same calisthenics leg workout can be found in the video below:
I know this calisthenics leg workout doesn’t strike like something much, especially if you didn’t try it before, but trust me that it will pump, fatigue and burn out your leg muscles really well. You will have great difficulties walking the days after.
To train your legs well with calisthenics, you don’t need a variety of exercises all the time, and sometimes, you may also need to be time-efficient. Though, the most significant benefit is that it consists of high-rep or other said high-volume bodyweight squats with a total work volume of 500 squats.
I suggest a pause from set to set of no longer than 60 seconds. Go as deep as possible, and if you go fast on the concentric part, then please slow down on the negative portion.
I included calf raises too because that is the only muscle that high-rep squats can’t fully recruit and drain of energy to stimulate development.
High-Rep Calisthenics Leg Workout
- One-Leg/Pistol Squats: 4 sets x 10 reps
- Bulgarian Splits: 4 sets x 15 reps
- Jump Squats: 5 sets x 20 reps
- Bodyweight Squats: 5 sets x 35 reps
- Crouch Walk: 200 steps (reps)
The total work volume gathered is of 575 repetitions, bodyweight reps, if you do the exact same scheme as presented. This calisthenics leg workout is based on high-rep like the first one but also consists of more variation. It’s a killer leg workout. Trust me!
The pause I suggest is of 60-90 seconds from set to set and rest around 2-3 minutes before moving on to the next squat variation.
Worry not if it seems too difficult to engage. For beginners but more so to those struggling with pistols, skip them altogether to Bulgarian Splits. Though, I recommend here 2 more sets and perhaps even do 20 reps instead, for compensation.
The difference between One-Leg Squats and Pistol Squats is that with the first variation, you can stay on higher ground, on a box, and have the other leg fall as you go through the negative portion. With Pistols, you have to take care of balance and coordination as the other leg will slide forward. Therefore, the first one may be better to contract the muscles and for hypertrophy reasons.
Use a different rep range for bodyweight squats if you want, something that suits your fitness.
Divide the 200 steps you have to do for Crouch Walk in several sets. Your aim should be to do as many steps as possible, to failure, and only then rest before completing. Within these reps, take a minimum essential pause.
Squats are a part of my training. I also complete with running and various sprints. Hence, see the leg workout video below: