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30-Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout

Build strong, defined legs with this dumbbell leg workout at home. Each circuit includes a strength exercise, plyometric exercise, and isometric hold. This combination of exercises builds muscle, improves athletic performance, and strengthens the muscles and ligaments surrounding the knee and hip joints. Target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and thighs, using just a pair of dumbbells.

Strength, power and stability – get it all, in this 30-minute dumbbell leg workout.

You loved the Strength, Power and Isometrics Workout in our Stronger 25 program. This challenging and effective format is one of the best ways to train at home with limited time and equipment.

Each circuit in today’s leg workout includes three exercises, each of which benefits the body in a different way:

  • Strength exercise: promotes muscle growth and increases metabolism.
  • Power exercise: improves speed, power and athletic performance.
  • Isometric exercise: improves joint stability and muscular endurance.

This combination of lower body exercises is a well-rounded way to train the legs at home, using just a set of dumbbells.

two women performing a goblet squat with dumbbells as part of dumbbell leg workout

Dumbbell Leg Workout FAQs

Can You Build Legs With Just Dumbbells?

Yes. Dumbbells are an effective and versatile tool for adding resistance to lower body exercises, such as squats, lunges and deadlifts. Unlike machines (such as the leg press machine or hamstring curl machine), dumbbells allow you to strength train the lower body in all planes of motion.

Are Squats Enough for Leg Day?

Squats are one of the most effective compound lower body exercises that targets the quad muscles, glutes, hamstrings, and core. However, a well-rounded leg day workout will also include a variety of movement patterns, such as deadlifts, lunges, and hip thrusts/glute bridges.

What Are The Best Dumbbell Leg Exercises For Beginners?

Beginner leg workouts should include a hip-dominant movement (deadlifts), a knee-dominant movement (squats or Bulgarian split squats), and moving in different planes of motion. Beginners may benefit from performing each exercise with just their body weight to learn proper form before adding dumbbells.

How Often Should I Train Legs?

In general, beginners should train legs one to two times a week. As you progress, you can advance to training legs up to three times a week. A well-rounded workout plan will also include upper body workouts and full body workouts.

two women performing a lateral lunge and calf raise

30-Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout

Build leg strength, endurance, power and control with this 30-Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout.

A complete workout targeting every muscle group in the lower body: the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and thighs.

Add this leg workout to your home workout plan 1-2 times per week to build and maintain strength in the lower body.

Workout Equipment:

Medium Set of Dumbbells. I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout. Option to drop weights at any time and do this workout with just your body weight.

Option to add a mini loop resistance band (discount code: NML) and/or plyo box (or sub a bench/chair).

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I’m using both a 15 and 20 lb dumbbell in this leg workout.
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woman performing a single leg glute bridge with a dumbbell as part of dumbbell leg workout

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Dumbbell Leg Workout on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Circuits
  • 3 Exercises Per Circuit (Strength, Power, Isometrics)
  • Timed Intervals (perform each strength exercise for 40 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest; perform each power exercise for 30 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest; perform each isometric exercise for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x2 Sets

Workout Outline


  1. Strength: Goblet Squat
  2. Power: Goblet Squat Jack
  3. Isometrics: Squat Hold


  1. Strength: Split Lunge
  2. Power: Step Ups
  3. Isometrics: Lunge Hold


  1. Strength: Staggered Deadlift
  2. Power: Staggered Swings
  3. Isometrics: Single Leg Deadlift Hold


  1. Strength: Lateral Squat
  2. Power: Lateral Lunge and Dumbbell Clean
  3. Isometrics: Lateral Lunge Hold and Calf Raise


  1. Strength: Hip Thrust
  2. Power: Single Leg Hip Thrust
  3. Isometrics: Hip Thrust Hold
two women performing reverse lunges as example of dumbbell leg exercises

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

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5 Best Dumbbell Leg Exercises

Goblet Squat

Targets: Leg muscles, quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs (hip abductors), chest and core.

Goblet squats are easier on the back than traditional barbell squats. Additionally, holding the weight in front of your body increases core engagement.

two women performing goblet squats as part of dumbbell leg workout

How To Do Goblet Squats

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest, elbows tucked in (goblet hold). Engage your core.
  2. Inhale as you bend your knees and sit your hips back (as if sitting down in a chair). Aim for 90 degree bends at each knee, focusing on pushing your knees out (not letting them cave in). Keep your torso in an upright position.
  3. Exhale as you press through your heels to stand tall, driving your hips forward to return to standing position.

Split Lunge (Dumbbell Lunges)

Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core and calf muscles.

The dumbbell lunge is one of the best strength training exercises for muscle development in the lower body. Slightly lean forward to hit more of the glutes, or keep the torso upright to isolate the quads.

two women performing split lunges as part of dumbbell leg workout

How To Do Dumbbell Lunges

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  2. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle. Front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Then squeeze your left glute, keeping the weight in your front (left) heel as you straighten your left knee, pushing back up to a standing position.

Staggered Deadlift

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, hips, lower back and core.

Single leg deadlifts and staggered dumbbell deadlifts shift more of the load into one leg at a time – increasing the intensity without the need for additional equipment.

two women performing staggered deadlifts as part of dumbbell leg workout

How To Do Staggered Deadlifts (B-Stance Deadlift, or B-Stance Romanian Deadlift)

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold dumbbells in each hand in front of your thighs, palms facing in towards your body.
  2. Stagger your feet, so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back left toe.
  3. Maintain a staggered stance as you hinge at the hips. Push your hips back towards the wall behind you as you glide the dumbbells down the front of your legs. Range of motion will look different for everyone.
  4. Drive through your front right heel to push your hips forward, pulling the dumbbells back up towards your hip as you stand tall.

Lateral Squat

Targets: Glutes (gluteus medius), quads, hip adductors (inner thighs), hamstrings and core.

two women performing lateral squats as part of dumbbell leg workout

How To Do Lateral Squats

  1. Start standing, feet wider than shoulder width (lateral squat stance), with toes pointed slightly outward. Hold one dumbbell vertically at the chest (goblet hold).
  2. Sit your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight.
  3. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing back to center as you stand tall.

Hip Thrust

Targets: Glutes (both the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius), hamstrings and hip adductors.

two women performing hip thrusts as example of dumbbell leg exercises

How To Do Hip Thrusts

  1. Sit in front of a bench or chair, feet shoulder width apart and planted on the floor. Then rest your upper back on a bench. Hold one dumbbell at your hips, resting on your hip bones.
  2. Press through the heels to lift your hips (or thrust your hips) until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
  3. Hold at the top of the hip thrust for a moment before lowering your hips back to the starting position with control.

Modification: Perform glute bridges from the floor if you don’t have a bench or box available.

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  1. Lindsey,

    The last couple of leg workouts have been fire! But I LOVED the isometric/isotonic exercise combo of this one. Thank you! Just like you “leg day” is THIS girl’s favorite day!