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35-Minute Legs and Back Workout (SplitStrong 35, DAY 1)

This efficient STRENGTH workout combines the two largest muscle groups in the body — the back and legs. Super-setting six leg exercises and four back exercises in the best legs and back dumbbell workout at home!

This is DAY 1 of our SplitStrong 35 Workout Program

Jump to Legs and Back Workout Outline

Squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows and back flys — 10 efficient strength training exercises targeting the two LARGEST MUSCLE GROUPS in the body: the LEGS and BACK!

Build strength in your lower body and back with this efficient 35-Minute STRENGTH TRAINING workout (that will also raise your heart rate, no jumping)!

Is it good to workout legs and back together?

Your back and legs are the two largest muscle groups in your body. Training legs and back together:

  1. Strengthens core muscles (which also improves balance, low back pain and assists with daily activities).
  2. Maximizes muscle building and calorie burn (strength training large muscle groups burns calories for hours after your workout).

Legs and Back workout at home with dumbbells

35-Minute Legs and Back Workout

Grab your heavy dumbbells because you are strength training two of the largest muscle groups in this legs and back workout at home.

10 dumbbell back and leg exercises targeting the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, lats and rhomboid muscles.

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 Legs and Back 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 lower body and back 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
  •  2-3 Exercises Per Circuit
  • 40 Seconds of Work Per Exercise, 20 Seconds Rest (striving for 10 to 12 reps per exercise within the 40 second interval)

The workout videos also includes a 5-minute dynamic warm-up and a 5-minute cool down with mobility stretches.

back legs workout at home | squat with dumbbells front racked

Legs and Back Dumbbell Workout

CIRCUIT ONE (repeat x2)

  1. Dumbbell Squat
  2. Dumbbell Squat Clean
  3. Reverse Grip Row

CIRCUIT TWO (repeat x2, first set on right, second set on left)

  1. Staggered Deadlift
  2. Staggered Deadlift + Uneven Clean Squat
  3. Single Arm Row

CIRCUIT THREE (repeat x2, first set on right, second set on left)

  1. Dumbbell Split Lunge
  2. Dumbbell Back Fly

CIRCUIT FOUR (repeat x2)

  1. Lateral Squat
  2. Prone Flys

10 Leg and Back Exercises At Home

1. Dumbbell Squat

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, inner thighs (adductors) and outer thighs and glutes (abductors).

squat with dumbbells | p90x legs and back workout

How to do a Squat with Dumbbells:

  1. Begin in neutral standing position, feet shoulder width distance apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  2. With chest up, lower down into a squat, pushing your hips back and down till your hips align with your knees (making a 90 degree angle with your hips and knees). Driving knees out toward your pinky toes.
  3. Then drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you stand tall to return to the starting position.

2. Squat Clean

Targets: Lower body, hips, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and low back.

clean squat with dumbbells | legs and back workout

How to do a Dumbbell Squat Clean:

  1. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, hold them at your sides, and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. With a slight bend in your knees, hinge at the hips; pressing your hips back towards the wall behind you.
  3. Then drive your hips forward to propel the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Front racking the dumbbells (back head of the dumbbell rests on the shoulders, elbows in line with shoulders, pointing straight ahead).
  4. From here lower down into a front squat. Bend at the knees and squat down keeping your weight in your heels (squat down to about 90 degrees).
  5. Then drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you stand tall.
  6. Lower the dumbbells back to your sides to return to the starting position.

Modification: Omit the clean and squat with the dumbbells front racked (at shoulder height). Option to hold one dumbbell at the front of your chest.

3. Reverse Grip Row

Targets: The lower back and upper back muscles, specifically the lats and rhomboids.

wide back row | reverse grip row with dumbbells

How to do a Reverse Grip Row with Dumbbells:

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing out away from the body.
  3. Hinging at the hips till your body is in a straight line, neck in line with your spine, flat back, and belly button and rib cage pulled in.
  4. Pull the weights back towards your hips. Shoulder blades squeeze together.
  5. Control the dumbbells back down to the starting position.

4. Staggered Deadlift

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

staggered single leg deadlift with dumbbell

How to do a Staggered Deadlift:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then stagger your stance; so your right foot is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, palm facing in towards your body.
  3. Keep 80% of your weight in your front right foot, 20% in your back left foot.
  4. With a soft bend in the knees, hinge at your hips to lower your torso as you slide the dumbbells down your legs. Think about pushing your hips back behind you.
  5. Hinge until you feel a stretch in the back of your front right leg (range of motion will be different for everyone). Then drive through your front right heel to stand up; returning to the starting position.

5. Staggered Deadlift + Uneven Squat Clean

Targets: Legs, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, low back and core.

deadlift squat clean | legs back workout

How to do a Staggered Deadlift and Squat Clean:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then stagger your stance; so your right foot is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, palm facing in towards your body.
  3. Keep 80% of your weight in your front right foot, 20% in your back left foot.
  4. With a soft bend in the knees, hinge at your hips to lower your torso as you slide the dumbbells down your legs. Think about pushing your hips back behind you.
  5. Then drive your hips forward to propel the dumbbell up to your left shoulder (palm facing in towards your shoulder), as you bring your back left foot up to meet your right foot.
  6. With feet parallel and dumbbell at your shoulder lower down into a squat.
  7. Drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you stand tall.
  8. Lower the dumbbell back to your left hip and step your left foot back to a staggered stance to return to the starting position.

6. Single Arm Row

Targets: Upper body, specifically the back, latissimus dorsi (or lats) and core.

single arm back row

How to do a Single Arm Row:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, or take a staggered-stance — right foot forward, left foot back.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand (palm facing your midline).
  3. Hinge forward at the hips.
  4. Hold this bent over position while performing a single arm row. Pull your elbow back to meet your rib cage; squeezing your back.
  5. Lower the dumbbell with control back to the starting position.

Modification: Place your non-working hand on a chair or bench to provide additional support. Really focusing on one side of your body at a time.

7. Split Lunge

Targets: Legs, quads, glutes, inner thighs and calves.

split lunges | split squat with dumbbells

How to do a Split Lunge or Split Squat with Dumbbells:

  1. Start standing feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body.
  2. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge position.
  3. Hold this lunge position as you drop your back right knee towards the ground. Lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90 degree angle, front left thigh parallel to the floor. Shoulders remain stacked over hips throughout the entire exercise.
  4. Press into your front left heel to stand tall, returning to the starting position.

8. Alternating Dumbbell Back Fly

Targets: The posterior deltoids (rear shoulders), major upper back muscles including the rhomboids and trapezius, low back and core.

Alternating Dumbbell Back Fly

How to do an Alternating Back Fly:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards each other.
  3. Hinge forward at the hips.
  4. Keep a soft bend in your elbow as you open your right arm, raising the dumbbell parallel with your right shoulder.
  5. Control the dumbbell back down to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the left arm.

9. Lateral Squat

Targets: Legs, mainly the hips, gluteus medius (or outer glute muscles that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), quads and inner thighs.

lateral squat with dumbbell

How to do a Lateral Squat:

  1. Start with your feet wider than your hips, think a wide squat stance. Knees and toes should be pointing forward (or toes just slightly turned out away from your body). Add weight by holding one dumbbell at your chest.
  2. Shift your weight into your right heel 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.
  3. Then, drive through your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center.
  4. Repeat on your left leg.

10. Prone Back Fly

Targets: The entire posterior chain (or backside of your body) — gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.

prone back flys | back leg workout at home

How to do a Prone Back Fly:

  1. Lying on your stomach, activate your lats by pulling your shoulder blades down towards your hips.
  2. Goal post your arms, with a 90 degree bend, and hover your palms off the mat.
  3. With your chest and shoulders lifted off the mat, squeeze your shoulder blades lifting your elbows up off the mat.
  4. Hold at the top for a moment, then lower back down to the starting position.

Modification: Perform a single bent arm fly from a quadruped position on all fours. Or perform bird dog from a table top position on all fours.

SplitStrong 35 Free 2-Week Workout Program

A 2-week, FULL BODY workout plan with new workout videos DAILY — a 5 day workout split, 35-minutes a day, 5-days a week.

If you liked this legs and back workout (day one of the SplitStrong 35 workout plan); download the full training plan.

Ready for more? Click here for your next workout:

SplitStrong 35 Day 2: 35-Minute Push Workout (Chest, Shoulders and Triceps)

Pin this Legs and Back Workout (SplitStrong 35 DAY 1)

Legs and back dumbbell workout at home

More Leg and Back Workouts:

8 comments
  1. Hi, Lindsey!
    Thank you so much for all of the amazing workouts and making them so accessible! I’m a 42 year old wife, mom (ages 3-13) and a teacher, so time is limited! I recently finished a beginner 30-day challenge and tomorrow I will finish day 5 of the first split strong workout. It’s definitely work, but I always feel so great when I’m done. I’m even starting to see a little definition in my arms!! Thank you again…keep up the amazing work!

    • Hi Debbie!!I’m so glad you’re loving the workouts, sounds the perfect quick + effective home workouts you need as a busy, working mom! Keep up the awesome work and I love that you are feeling strong!! -Lindsey

  2. I’ve been working out “with” you since the whole Covid business began, and I really appreciate all of your efforts to bring us these awesome workouts. The split strong series has been great! I am enjoying the variety in each video…definitely keeps me engaged. God has given you some sweet skills and you’re using them brilliantly 🙂

  3. Thank you! I really like your options and how to’s. The longer mobility cool down is great! Thank you!

    • Way to go Leah! So glad you loved this workout and the longer mobility cool down (really excited about those additions to these workouts)! Keep up the great work! -Lindsey

  4. I loved the simple moves in this workout. It really allowed me to focus on working the right muscles. I am so excited for the next 2 weeks!