Q&A: Lower Body Calisthenics for Gaining Muscle Mass

Cross-posted from here.

Are there any lower body calisthenics for gaining muscle mass?


If you want to gain mass, then you need to supply enough resistance that you’re unable to carry out the exercise for more than, ballpark, 20-40 seconds (or 6-12 reps).

If you’re a beginner, you might be able to make some progress with squats (and more advanced variations), but eventually you’ll reach a point where you can carry out the exercise for over a minute (or over 20 reps). At that point the exercise will be more of an endurance exercise than a strength exercise, which means it will no longer help you gain mass.

So, in the long run, you need to find some exercise where you can increase the difficulty enough to keep it in the ballpark of 20-40 seconds (or 6-12 reps). Below are my personal favorites:

  • Sprinting a distance of ~150-200 meters
  • Weighted squat-jumps (holding the weight in front of you). For the weight, you could use something as simple as a backpack filled with books or water gallons.