Between job, taking care of family, and studying for certifications, it's a miracle I even have time to exercise.

I can easily purchase heavier dumbbells to work my upper body, but how to add resistance to lower body?

The only option I see is to buy ankle weights (I already have 5 lbs), but somehow I am thinking if I purchase heavier and heavier ones, the Velcro isn't strong enough to keep the ankle weights closed firm around the ankles.

Unfortunately, going to gym is not option at this time, else I'd do leg presses and all.

Any ideas?


  • 1
    Are barbell back squatting and calf raises good options? :) – Kneel-Before-ZOD Jun 2 '15 at 22:49
  • 2
    You can find some answers at fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/875/…. Basically, squats and plyometrics are your go-tos. For weight on the squats, if all you have are dumbbells, remember that you can always keep your arms mostly straight at your sides and do the squats, and the weight will go to the legs. And plyometric exercises like jumping up and down on higher surfaces (chairs, high curbs, and picnic tables are all good options) are excellent for working leg muscles. – Sean Duggan Jun 3 '15 at 0:12
  • 1
    Lunges, pistol squats, plyometrics, glute bridge, single leg Romanian deadlift. – Eric Jun 3 '15 at 0:29

The best body only exercises for your legs would be squats, lunges and dead lifts. If you have dumb bells you can try adding them to all of the above exercises, otherwise doing around 30 of each exercise a day, in my opinion is a good routine.

  • I like the idea of these exercises. And I can carry heavy dumbells along with it – Rhonda Jun 3 '15 at 12:10

Do you have a large (60+ liters) backpack? If so, fill it up with water (or better: sand) bottles and you can reach about 70-100 kg of weight. Put that on your back and do squats, lunges and other leg exercises.

Ankle weights will not give you strong legs, they are far, far too light.

  • 1
    Is this reasonably safe to do? I'd imagine backpack weight (sitting way more back than barbell weight) would require some leaning forward to compensate, which might not be the best thing. My only experience is "backpacking" one of my friends for a squat, which felt really iffy and uncomfortable. – user8119 Jun 3 '15 at 9:02
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    I don't see a big problem as long as you do it safely, i.e. not doing it in a way you can't handle, it'll be a bit like a low bar squat but even lower. – Mårten Jun 3 '15 at 9:15
  • @Mårten I totally agree these ankle weights are too light! – Rhonda Jun 3 '15 at 12:10
  • 2
    A properly situated (tight straps) backpack puts the weight onto your hips. – Sean Duggan Jun 3 '15 at 13:40
  • True but the center of gravity is still behind you so you will have to lean forward a bit to stay balanced. – Mårten Jun 4 '15 at 7:06

your best option is picking two exercise for example mine are star jumps and squats, and also 2 time under tension exercises or dynamic tension. they will tire your muscles out by working them in isolation. for example the quads, stand straight up and raise one leg (straight leg), as high as it will go from the hip, at the top of the movement hold it for a count of 10 slow seconds, do this 10 times on each leg alternating. then for the squats you can use some weights for added resistance but do them slowly and pause in-between movements, make it super controlled going down and going back up you will feel the muscles ripping underneath you.

  • oh I think I've seen this exercise .... looks challenging! – Rhonda Jun 3 '15 at 18:57

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