You Don’t Need Weights To Develop Powerful Legs—Just This Three-Move Plyometrics Workout

Two people jumping in the gym
(Image credit: Getty Images / heshphoto)

Some expect all leg workouts to involve heavy weights, and it’s true that big moves like the leg press, back squat and deadlift should be the cornerstones of leg day if you want to build muscle. But if you want to build power too, it’s well worth adding plyometric training to your routine.

You can’t continue doing these explosive movements over long periods of time, so it’s an ideal approach if you’re short on time but still want to fire up your legs. Next time you’re in that position, try this quick session from WeGlow workout app founder Stef Williams. It’s a three-move circuit, followed by an optional 10-minute incline treadmill walk.

Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest, and repeat the circuit for a total of three rounds. 

Watch Williams’s video for a demonstration of each of the exercises, then lace up your gym trainers and get to work.

This is a short session designed to spike your heart rate, build power and test your muscular endurance, so make your movements fast and explosive to get the most out of it. 

However, never speed through reps to the point that you’re compromising on form. Make sure you complete a full range of motion for each movement, dropping your rear knee as close to the floor as possible during the lunge and split squats, and trying to get your hips below your knees when squatting.

A treadmill walk might seem like a simple (dare we say, easy) way to finish, but not when it follows nine minutes of plyometric exercises.

If you find this session a bit too intense and don’t have access to weights, try this leg workout at home instead.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.