My friend and I take 5-15 minute breaks every hour while studying. We like to be productive during these breaks. Most of the days, we do push-ups during these breaks. However, on days when our upper body muscles are sore from push-ups, we'd like to do some sort of quick/easy leg workout.

What's a suggestion for a "push-up like" leg workout that we could do during 5-15 minute breaks without any equipment?

  • 3
    Squats? Or, if that's too easy, one-legged squats (pistols). If you prefer isometric exercises, you can pushing your back against a wall and bending your knees at a 90 degree angle (sorry, I don't know the name). Hold this as long as possible - it's more challenging than it sounds.
    – VPeric
    Feb 15, 2012 at 8:37
  • 1
    @VPeric Feel free to post your comment as an answer and explain it more. You can delete the comment (or a mod can) afterwards.
    – user241
    Feb 15, 2012 at 15:17
  • Find a flight of stairs and get running. You can try [this great 4 step process][proc] to give your legs a quick workout without equipment. [proc]: livestrong.com/article/… Oct 9, 2012 at 4:28

4 Answers 4


Air squats, forward and side lunges, sprawl, wall chair, and lots and lots of jump rope. (if possible)

Vary it between lots of fast reps and holding in place for 30+ seconds or however long you can stand it.

Do them correctly and form first, reps second. You'll majorly mess up knees and back if you do them with bad form.

  • The wall chair is an amazingly effective workout but deceptively hard. It is especially good in scenarios like this when you only have a short time to do your workout.
    – Moses
    Feb 17, 2012 at 21:53

use mark lauren's (a special ops trainer) pistol squat, check this link

Most of mark lauren's trainings are "short" timed (max 7 mins) and highly efficient. And From personal experience ( i have been training continuous for 2 years), i never feel my body got "used" to this exercise ie everytime i do the pistol squat, i feel loads of energy, higher adrenaline, my leg muscles keep on growing and I actually feel the pain no matter how many times you have done it before and how many years u have been training.

Its the best short termed/highly efficient leg work out.

  • 2
    Care to explain why this exercise is so great compared to the other answers?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 15, 2012 at 17:04

Rotate through square, lunges and calf raises doing each until you feel a little burn. If you want, add isometrics. Sit halfway down in the squat, or make yourself a chair pushing against the wall. 5-15 mins of this repeated over a few hours of studying will do wonders. Don't forget to stretch too.


As a complement to the other answers, I can recommend the exercises in Brungardt - Leg workout. Besides a wide array of exercises with/without weights, it contains 12 week programs that has a lot of variation in exercises, difficulty level and time spent.

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