Build strong legs at home with this 30-minute lower body strength workout! Including squats, lunges and deadlifts — these six leg exercises target every muscle in the lower body. The “triset” format targets both the lower body push muscles and the lower body pull muscles.
This leg strength workout is done in a triset format and includes my favorite lower body exercises with dumbbells. These are staple exercises that will effectively target the glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, hips and thighs.
Squats, lunges and deadlifts are some of the most effective exercises to strengthen the legs at home (Mayo Clinic). These compound exercises focus on building the glutes (butt), hamstrings (back of the legs), quads (top of the thighs), hips (hip flexors), adductors (inner thighs) and abductors (outer glutes).
What Is The Best Lower Body Workout?
The best way to grow muscle in the lower body is a combination of “complete” leg day workouts targeting all of the major muscle groups and isolation (muscle-group specific) leg workouts, like thigh workouts or glute workouts.
What Is A Triset Workout?
A triset workout combines three exercises performed back to back that target the same muscle group in slightly different ways. This workout includes a “push” triset (targeting the quads, glutes and calves) and a “pull” triset (targeting the glutes, hamstrings and hips).
30-Minute Lower Body Strength Workout
Strengthen the legs at home with this lower body strength workout with dumbbells!
This triset workout focuses on the lower body push muscles (quads, glutes, calves) and the lower body pull muscles (glutes, hamstrings, hips).
Targets: Legs, glutes, quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings, calves and core.
How To Do A 2-Pulse Squat and 2 Calf Raises
Start standing feet shoulder-width distance apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest between both hands (goblet-hold).
Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel with your knees. Drive your knees out toward your outer three toes.
At the bottom of your squat, pulse by rising up an inch, then lowering down an inch and repeating for a two-count pulse.
Drive through your heels to stand tall, squeezing your glutes.
As you stand, perform a calf raise by lifting your heels off the ground.
Slowly lower your heels back to the ground, then repeat for a second calf raise.
Targets: Legs, butt, quads, hamstrings, calves and core.
How To Do A Pendulum Lunge
Start standing feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest between both hands (goblet-hold).
Step your left leg forward into a front lunge, dropping your back 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.
Drive through your front left heel to stand tall, reversing the movement.
Rather than stopping at the top, immediately step your left leg back into a reverse lunge. Again, drop your back right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front right thigh is parallel to the floor.
Then drive through your front right heel to stand tall, reversing the movement again as you immediately repeat the front lunge.
Modification: Option to tap the toe of the moving leg at center between each front to back lunge movement. The tap will provide stability.
Start standing, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand.
Step your left leg out to the side as you push your hips back, bending your left knee while leaving your right leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your left leg while your right leg remains straight. The dumbbell in your right hand will fall just inside your left foot.
Then, drive off your left foot to reverse the movement, pushing back to center and returning to a standing position. Option to perform a knee drive on the left leg as you return to center to increase the balance challenge. Alternate sides on the next set.
Modification: Option to omit the dumbbell, performing this with just your body weight.
Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes, hips, calves, lower back and core.
How To Do A Romanian Deadlift
Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your thighs (overhand grip, palms face your body). Option to hold one heavy dumbbell horizontally with the heads of the dumbbell in each hand.
Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.
How To Do Dumbbell Swings
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a single dumbbell vertically between your hands.
With a slight bend in your knees and weight in your heels, ‘hike’ the dumbbell back between your legs to start the swing movement.
Drive through your heels to stand tall, pushing your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes to swing the dumbbell up. Aim for shoulder height, with arms extended out away from the body. Think long, loose arms (your arms are just a vehicle for moving the weight, your hips and glutes generate the power).
As the dumbbell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with a hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.
Frog Pump Glute Bridge
Targets: Gluteus maximus (large glute muscles), gluteus medius (side butt muscles or outer glute muscles), and gluteus minimus (hip extension).
How To Do Frog Pump Glute Bridges
Lie flat on your back and bend your knees, making a 90-degree angle with your legs, feet on the mat. Place one heavy dumbbell horizontally across your hips.
Press the soles of your feet together and let your thighs fall open. Externally rotating the hips (heels together and knees out).
Squeeze the glutes to lift the hips off the mat. Think of performing a shallow hip thrust.
Hold at the top of the movement for a moment, tucking the pelvis under. Then slowly lower your hips with control back down to a hover position (glutes hovering off the mat) and repeat the movement.
Modification: Option to omit the dumbbell, performing this as a bodyweight exercise. You can also omit the external hip rotation and perform standard glute bridges with feet flat on the floor.
We were so excited to have Dr. Taylor Spronk join us for today’s workout – she is a wealth of knowledge and we learned so much from her! Dr. Taylor is a veterinarian (and a former MN Pork intern) who works with farmers daily.
We love pork around here because it’s the basis of so many easy and healthy meals. Our family-favorite is this Smoked Pork Butt Recipe from The Real Food Dietitians (pictured above). I love that pork is so forgiving and that it pairs well with different flavor profiles. I love pork stir frys, kebabs, tenderloin roasts and carnitas.
Pork is also an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of pork is an excellent source of:
Protein: supports muscle growth.
Selenium: supports thyroid health.
Vitamin B-6: supports mood and brain health.
Zinc: supports tissue repair and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
Beta-alanine: form of amino acid found in pork and a crucial element in muscle development.
SHOPPING TIP: Dr. Taylor recommends looking for pork tenderloin at the store – it is considered “extra lean” and has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast.
Tips for Cooking Pork:
One of my favorite things about pork is how simple it is to cook. The secret to keeping pork juicy and delicious is to avoid overcooking it – a little pink in the middle is okay! You can take all the guesswork out by purchasing a meat thermometer, which makes it even easier.
The Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) administers checkoff programs relating to pork promotion, consumer and producer education and research on behalf of more than 3,000 family pig farms in Minnesota.
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