But it’s more than just having brute strength; you also need to be able to use your strength in a variety of different positions and angles.
That’s what will truly give you unbreakable legs, legs that will get you not just through your day at work, but ones that are ready for whatever you want to do.
You don’t need to spend all day at the squat rack, though. Some of the most effective leg exercises don’t require any weight at all. In the video below, I share my top 4 bodyweight leg strength exercises with the variations that will help you get started on them right away.
4 Exercises to Give You Unbreakable Legs
These 4 exercises can be performed in various different ways. You can change the tempo, elevation, or explosiveness depending on your needs. This gives you so many different options and can make each session fresh and new rather than doing the same thing over and over again.
For the full shrimp squat, grab one foot from behind and squat down on your base leg. This exercise can be regressed by using a prop to support your foot, or by holding on to a cable or rings. To progress this exercise, you can go deeper into the squat by starting from an elevated surface.
The pistol squat is probably the most well-known single leg squat exercise. Extend one leg in front of you as you squat back and down on your base leg. As shown in the video, use a support for assistance, or roll up to use momentum to assist as well.
You’ll progress by removing the support and/or practice going up from a dead stop. Also work on different positions of the opposite leg. Don’t be afraid to play with it!
The peacock squat is a unique movement that works the legs in different movement planes. Developing strength in these odd angles is a great preventative measure that conditions your legs for the unexpected forces and stresses that happen in athletics.
Concentrate on feeling where the rotational stresses are in the movement and move slowly through them to build strength and stability where you need it the most.
Play with how far you step and how low you go, and as you get more comfortable, speed up the movements. But don’t rush through it, especially if you are new to this type of motion.
The cossack squat is great for increasing hip flexibility as well as lower body strength. Start with your legs wider than hip width, and squat down towards one side, keeping the other leg extended in the opposite direction. Just as with the other exercises, a good regression is to use a rope or cable to support yourself as you squat down. Use the support to help you sit back as needed to get lower in the squat.
To progress, decrease the assistance, keep your upper body more upright, and practice speed changes.
Learn to Flow and Bulletproof Your Body
The exercises by themselves are great, but even better is learning how to chain them together and make your body more resilient by the different angles and stresses of movement. Be creative, change speeds and positions and you’ll condition your body to handle anything that comes at it.
At the beginning of the video above, I demonstrate one example of linking the moves together in a continuous sequence. It’s just one way to do it, but you can work and get comfortable with it and come up with your own different patterns!
Building strong legs isn’t just for aesthetics or fancy skills. A strong lower body is an important part of protecting yourself from potential injury. The stronger those powerhouse muscles are, the more force they will be able to absorb if need be.
The same goes for the rest of your body. It needs to be strong and resilient to bounce back when things don’t go according to plan.