fbpx

35-Minute Leg Day: Base, Build, Power (HIITStrong 35, Day 2)

Upgrade your leg day workout with this base, build, power format. Start with a base lower body strength training exercise and increase intensity and power. The result, 12 of the best leg exercises at home to build strength in your legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, thighs and calf muscles!

This is DAY 2 of our HIITStrong 35 Full Body Workout Plan

Jump to Leg Day Workout Outline

Leg day is typically my favorite training day of the week! Your lower body contains so many big, powerful muscles — which means it gives you the opportunity to load up on those heavy weights.

No squat rack, barbell or fancy gym equipment needed — you can do this entire leg day at home with a set of dumbbells. 

Dumbbell Snatch | Leg Day Exercises At Home With Weights

What are the best leg exercises?

In my opinion, the best leg exercises for muscle building are broken into the following categories:

  • Squats (Front Squat, Back Squat, Goblet Squat, Lateral Squat, Bulgarian Split Squat). The most general leg exercise, engaging almost all the muscle groups in the lower body. Squats target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hips and calves.
  • Hip Hinges/Deadlifts (Romanian Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift, Conventional Deadlift). Targets the posterior chain or backside of the body; specifically the hamstrings, glutes and hips.
  • Lunges (Static Lunge, Walking Lunges, Reverse Lunges). Target the glutes, quads, calves, inner thighs (adductors) and outer thighs (abductors).
  • Glute Bridges/Hip Thrusts. Isolate the glute muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus.

And today’s leg workout contains all of these compound leg exercises.

Leg Day at home with dumbbells | High Intensity Strength Training Program

35-Minute Leg Day Workout At Home (Base, Build + Power)

Start with a basic leg day exercise, like a dumbbell squat, and increase the intensity with each set.

So you go from squats, to squat thrusters, to squat jumps and lunge jumps — base, build, power!

The combination of these 12 leg day exercises builds strength and burns calories for a complete lower body burnout.

You get to choose whether to make this leg workout low-impact (follow Rachel on the left in the video) or high-impact (follow Lindsey on the right).

If you feel like skipping leg day, grab your heavy weights and try this fun and engaging leg day routine.

Workout Equipment:

A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells.

I recommend 8-30 lbs depending on your fitness level. I’m using 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in this workout.

The Goal: The last 2-3 reps of each exercise should feel challenging to complete; that means you chose the right weights.

Workout Instructions:

Click here to follow along with the Leg Day Workout video at the top of this post.

I’ll coach you through the entire workout, keeping track of the timed intervals, providing exercise form cues and modifications.

Alternatively, work through the 12 leg day exercises below at your own pace.

The workout format:

  • 4 Circuits, repeating each circuit x2 before closing it out and moving on to the next one.
  • 2 STRENGTH Exercises and 1 POWER Exercise Per Circuit
  • Timed Intervals of Work (30 seconds of work per BASE exercise, followed by 30 seconds of work per BUILD exercise; that’s 1 minute of consecutive strength work. Followed by 30 seconds of rest. Finish with 30 seconds of an all out POWER exercise; then rest again for 30 seconds).
  • Workout Includes 5-Minute Mobility Warm-Up and 5-Minute Cool Down Stretching

Dumbbell Glute Bridge | Grow your glutes at home

LEG DAY: Base, Build + Power Workout

CIRCUIT ONE 

Base + Build (30 seconds per move back-to-back, followed by 30 seconds rest)

  1. Alternating Squat Thruster
  2. Alternating Squat Thruster + Overhead Reverse Lunge

Power (30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

  1. Isometric Lunge Jumps, R/L

CIRCUIT TWO 

Base + Build (30 seconds per move back-to-back, followed by 30 seconds rest)

  1. Deadlift + Calf Raise
  2. Single Arm Snatch, R/L

Power (30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

  1. Burpee + Single Arm Snatch, R/L

CIRCUIT THREE 

Base + Build (30 seconds per move back-to-back, followed by 30 seconds rest)

  1. Front Rack Lateral Lunge + Knee Drive, R/L
  2. Curtsy Lunge + Lateral Lunge, R/L

Power (30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

  1. Lateral Lunge + 3 Jump Lunges, R/L

CIRCUIT FOUR

Base + Build (30 seconds per move back-to-back, followed by 30 seconds rest)

  1. Dumbbell Glute Bridge
  2. Single Leg Glute Bridge + 3 Pulses At Top, R/L

Power (30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest)

  1. Reverse Table Top Single Leg Hip Thrust, R/L

12 Best Leg Day Exercises At Home

1. Alternating Squat Thruster

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstring, quads, hips, shoulders, abs and core.

how to do a squat thruster with dumbbells | leg day workout

How to do an Alternating Squat Thruster:

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders (front-rack position, overhand grip, palms facing in).
  2. With your weight in your heels, sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
  3. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall. As you stand, perform a single arm squat thruster, pressing the dumbbell in your right hand straight overhead. Your right bicep should be near your right ear.
  4. Bring the weight back down to shoulder height and perform another squat.
  5. This time, as you stand, alternate to perform a squat and single arm thruster on the left arm.
  6. Continue alternating the squat and single squat thruster for 30 seconds.

2. Alternating Squat Thruster + Overhead Reverse Lunge

Targets: Legs, hamstrings, quads, glutes, shoulders, traps, abs and core.

squat thruster to overhead lunge | leg day exercises with dumbbells

How to do an Alternating Squat Thruster + Overhead Reverse Lunge:

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders (front-rack position, overhand grip, palms facing in).
  2. With your weight in your heels, sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
  3. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall. As you stand, perform a single arm squat thruster, pressing the dumbbell in your right hand overhead. Your right bicep should be near your right ear.
  4. Keeping the weight in your right hand straight overhead, step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the ground.
  5. Then squeeze your left leg glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up back to the starting position. As you stand, bring the dumbbell back down to shoulder height.
  6. Repeat, alternating squat thrusters with an overhead reverse lunge for 30 seconds.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and lower the dumbbell back to the shoulder to perform a standard reverse lunge instead of an overhead reverse lunge. One dumbbell squat and one dumbbell reverse lunge.

3. Isometric Lunge Jumps

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hips, hamstrings, calves and core.

power lunge jumps | leg exercises without weights

How to do Isometric Lunge Jumps:

  1. Start standing feet hip-distance apart, slight bend in your knees and core engaged.
  2. Step your left foot back into a reverse lunge, aiming for 90-degree angles in each knee.
  3. Hold this split lunge stance, left leg back and right foot forward.
  4. From this split lunge stance, perform a “lunge jump” by exploding up from the split lunge position, raising your arms directly overhead as your feet leave the ground.
  5. This is one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds.
  6. Switch your front foot on the second set, so right foot is back and left foot is forward.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and make this lower body exercise low impact; performing a bodyweight split lunge and reach overhead.

4. Deadlift + Calf Raise

Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes, hips, calves, lower back and core.

dumbbell deadlift and calf raise | dumbbell leg day workout

How to do a Deadlift + Calf Raise:

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs (overhand grip, palms face your body).
  2. 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.
  3. Squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.
  4. As you stand tall, perform a calf raise; lifting your heels off the ground.
  5. Lower your heels back to the mat to return to the starting position with feet flat on the ground.
  6. Repeat for 30 seconds.

5. Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Targets: The legs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, back, shoulders and deep transverse abdomen muscles (core).

The single arm dumbbell snatch is a compound exercise that works the full body and improves coordination, explosiveness and strength! 

how to do a single arm dumbbell snatch

How to do a Single Arm Snatch:

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand at your side (palm facing in).
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbell down the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings).
  3. Then, drive your hips forward as you ‘snatch’ the weight overhead with your right arm (using the power and momentum created by your legs and hips). You should finish standing tall with your right arm straight overhead; lock out your elbow. Note, you shouldn’t struggle to press the weight overhead, it should be an easy extension of the move, with the majority of the work being done by your legs to create momentum.
  4. With control, lower the dumbbell back down to shoulder height.
  5. That’s one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left), substituting a high pull for the dumbbell snatch. Pulling the dumbbell just up to chest/shoulder height.

6. Burpee + Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Targets: Full body with an emphasis on the legs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, back, shoulders, abs and core muscles.

burpee and single arm dumbbell snatch

How to do a Burpee and Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch:

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand at your side (palm facing in).
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbell down the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings).
  3. Place the dumbbell on the ground in front of you (between your feet) and perform a burpee. Placing your hands on the mat and jumping your feet back into a high plank position.
  4. Jump your feet back in, landing with the dumbbell between your feet. Grab the dumbbell with your right hand and ‘snatch’ the weight overhead with your right arm (using the power and momentum created by your legs and hips). You should finish standing tall with your right arm straight overhead; lock out your elbow.
  5. With control, lower the dumbbell back down to shoulder height.
  6. That’s one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch arms for the second set.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left), and perform a walking burpee and deadlift stand up rather than a burpee snatch. Option to add an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench and performing burpees from an incline.

7. Front Rack Lateral Lunge + Knee Drive

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hips, hamstrings, outer glutes (gluteus medius), inner thighs and core.

lateral lugne knee drive | leg day at home

How to do a Front Rack Lateral Lunge + Knee Drive:

  1. Start standing, feet hip-width apart, slightly bent knees. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand in a front-rack position at shoulder height.
  2. Step your right leg out to the side as you push 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. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
  3. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing back to center. As you stand, perform a knee drive by pulling the right knee up in line with your right hip.
  4. That’s one rep. Repeat on the right leg for 30 seconds and switch legs on the second set.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and omit the balance knee drive; tapping your toe back to center with each rep.

8. Curtsy Lunge + Lateral Lunge

Targets: Mainly the quads and glutes, but also engages the gluteus medius (outer butt and thigh muscles), inner thighs and core.

curtsy lunge to lateral lunge | lower body exercises

How to do a Curtsy Lunge + Lateral Lunge:

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding one dumbbell in your right hand.
  2. Step your right leg back into a curtsy lunge (right knee should meet left calf), right knee lowers towards the mat. Lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
  3. Then squeeze your left glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up. As you stand, step your right leg out to the side into a lateral lunge. Push 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. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
  4. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, exploding back up to center and stepping your right leg back into a curtsy lunge.
  5. Repeat this curtsy lunge to lateral lunge movement on the right leg for 30 seconds; then switch sides for the second set.

9. Lateral Lunge + 3 Jump Lunges

Targets: Quads, glutes, outer glutes, inner thighs, calves and core.

lateral lunge and 3 knee drives | explosive lower body exercise

How to do a Lateral Lunge + 3 Jump Lunges:

  1. Start standing, feet hip-width apart, slightly bent knees.
  2. Step your right leg out to the side as you push 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. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
  3. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing back to center. As you hit center, immediately step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Then perform a “lunge jump” by exploding up from your reverse lunge position. Switch your legs by landing softly in a reverse lunge with the left leg back, right leg forward.
  5. Perform a lunge jump again, exploding up from your reverse lunge position, this time landing softly in a reverse lunge with the right leg back, left leg forward.
  6. Then squeeze your left leg glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up back to the starting position to repeat the lateral lunge to the right.
  7. That’s one rep. Repeat the sequence of one lateral lunge and three jump lunges for 30 seconds, lunging laterally to the right for the entire set. Switch sides for the lateral lunge on the next set.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and perform alternating step back reverse lunges rather than jump lunges.

10. Dumbbell Glute Bridge

Targets: Gluteus Maximus, gluteus medius, hips and hamstrings.

how to do a dumbbell glute bridges | leg day exercises at home

How to do a Dumbbell Glute Bridge:

  1. Lie flat on the floor on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the ground. Hold one or two dumbbell(s) at your hips, resting on your hip bones.
  2. Press through the heels to raise your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. This is a glute bridge. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
  3. Hold your bridged position for a second before lowering back down towards the mat with control.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Modification: Perform bodyweight glute bridges with no weights. Option to add an incline by placing your upper back on a bench to perform hip thrusts (if you’re not comfortable lying on your back).

11. Single Leg Glute Bridge with 3 Pulses

Targets: Glutes, hips, hamstrings, abs, obliques and core.

single leg glute bridge

How to do a Single Leg Glute Bridge with 3 Pulses:

  1. Lie flat on the floor on your back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Keep your right foot on the mat and lift your bent left leg so left knee is stacked over left hip.
  3. Press through the heel of your right foot to lift your hips up, performing a single leg glute bridge.
  4. At the top of the glute bridge, pulse your hips up and inch for a 3-count.
  5. After the 3-count pulse, lower your hips back to the ground with control, hovering just off the mat.
  6. This is one rep. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds, switching legs for the single leg glute bridge on the next set.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and perform a double leg glute bridge, keeping both feet flat on the floor. Option to hold one or two dumbbell(s) at your hips, resting on your hip bones.

12. Reverse Table Top Single Leg Hip Thrust

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, calves, shoulders, chest and core.

reverse table top hip thrust

How to do a Reverse Table Top Single Leg Hip Thrust:

  1. Start seated on the ground. Place your hands behind you on the mat, shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing towards your butt and legs bent at 90 degrees in front of you.
  2. Place your weight in your right heel and lift your left foot off the mat, so your left knee is stacked over your left hip.
  3. Then press (or thrust) your hips up towards the ceiling while transferring the weight in your right heel to your right toe.
  4. Hold at the top for a second with knees at a 90-degree angle and thighs and torso parallel to the floor.
  5. With control, lower your hips back down, hovering off the mat.
  6. That’s one rep. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds, switching legs for the single leg reverse table top on the next set.

Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left) and perform a double hip thrust, keeping both feet flat on the floor.

HIITStrong 35: FREE Full Body Workout Plan

A 2-week, high intensity strength training program designed to help you build muscle, burn fat AND train like an athlete at home!

If you liked this chest and back workout at home, download the FREE, 2-Week Full Body Workout Plan.

HIITStrong full body workout plan

Ready for more? HIITStrong 35 Day 3: 35-Minute Shoulder, Bicep + Tricep Workout

Pin this Leg Day Workout (HIITStrong 35, DAY 2)

Leg Day At Home with Dumbbells | HIIT Strong Day 2 Pin for Pinterest

More Leg Day Workouts At Home:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

no comments