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35-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout (Slow Burn)

Build strong legs at home with this 35-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout! From goblet squats to lunges and deadlifts, these dumbbell leg exercises hit every muscle in your lower body. The “Slow Burn” format increases time under tension – which is essential for muscle growth.



 

Build strength, improve mobility and increase control with this 35-Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout.

This “slow burn” format supersets standard reps with slow, controlled isometric reps. The strength training reps take the muscles through a full range of motion, building strength and increasing muscle tone. While the isometric holds improve strength and stability while testing control.

This 35-minute lower body workout with dumbbells includes some of the most effective variations of squats, lunges and deadlifts to target the glutes, quads, hamstrings and thighs at home.

two women performing a lunge with a calf raise as part of lower body dumbbell workout

Lower Body Dumbbell Workout FAQs

Are Lower Body Dumbbell Workouts Effective?

The legs contain some of the largest muscles in the body. That means training the lower body is an efficient way to both build strength and burn calories. In order to reach muscle fatigue (which is necessary for muscle growth), make sure you are picking up dumbbells that are heavy enough to truly challenge you. The last 2-3 reps should be difficult to perform with good form.

What Are The Best Lower Body Dumbbell Exercises?

Squats, lunges and deadlifts are some of the most effective lower body exercises you can do at home with dumbbells (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).

How Often Should I Do Leg Workouts?

Most beginner workout plans include dumbbell leg workouts 1-2 days a week. More advanced workout plans may scale up to 2-3 times a week. Each muscle group needs at least 48 hours of recovery before training it again, so you want to avoid training legs back-to-back.

What Is The Best Leg 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, glute workouts, calf workouts and hamstring workouts.

Two women performing hamstring press outs as part of lower body dumbbell workout

35-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout

Build strength, increase mobility and control, and burn calories with this “slow burn” dumbbell leg workout.

This is a complete dumbbell leg workout you can do at home to build muscle in the legs, quads, thighs, hamstrings and glutes.

Add lower body workouts like this one to your exercise routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle mass and increase endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells.

I recommend 8-25 lbs. I’m using 15-20 lb dumbbells in this workout video.

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I’m using 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in this lower body workout.
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Woman holding a front racked dumbbell as part of lower body dumbbell workout

Workout Instructions:

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

The Workout Looks Like This:

  • 2 Circuits
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds of eccentric reps right into 30 seconds of isometrics or pulses; followed by 20 seconds of rest)
  • Repeat Circuit One x3 Sets; Repeat Circuit Two x2 Sets
  • Complete Legs and Abs Burnout After Each Circuit (30 seconds per move, repeated x2)

Workout Outline

CIRCUIT ONE: 
1. 1.5 Squats
2. Handswitch Squat Pulse

1. Eccentric Split Lunge
2. Split Lunge Hold and Front Calf Raise

1. 1.5 Deadlifts
2. Dumbbell Swings

Legs and Abs Burnout
1. Squat and Chop
2. Dumbbell Overhead Calf Raises

CIRCUIT TWO:  
1. Eccentric Single Leg Squat
2. Lateral Lunge and Towel Adductor Pull

1. Eccentric Hamstring Towel Slides
2. Single Leg Glute Bridge
3. Single Leg Glute Bridge Hold

Legs and Abs Burnout
1. Squat and Chop
2. Dumbbell Overhead Calf Raises

Woman performing a low squat with a dumbbell as part of lower body workout with dumbbells

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Leg Workout

6 Dumbbell Leg Exercises

1.5 Dumbbell Squat

Targets: The glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.

The additional half squat (or pulse squat at the bottom) increases time under tension. This forces the leg muscles to work longer and harder than they would during a standard squat.

two women performing goblet squats as part of lower body workout with dumbbells

How To Do 1.5 Squats

  1. Start in a standing position. Feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell vertically at your chest between both hands (goblet-hold).
  2. Sit back into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees and driving your knees out toward your pinky toes.
  3. Press through your heels to lift up one-two inches, performing a half squat. Then lower back down, returning to the bottom of the squat.
  4. Then, drive through the heels to stand tall, returning to starting position.

Hand-Switch Squat Pulse

Targets: The glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.

The additional half squat (or pulse squat at the bottom) increases time under tension.

two women performing a low squat with a squat pulse as part of lower body dumbbell workout

How To Do Hand-Switch Squat Pulses

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width distance apart or slightly wider than shoulder-width, holding a dumbbell in your right hand between your legs.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees. Drive your knees out toward your pinky toes.
  3. Press through your heels to stand up an inch, then down an inch, pulsing into the squat. Each time you pulse, transfer the dumbbell from right hand to left hand, keeping the dumbbell between your legs.

Eccentric Split Lunge

Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings and core.

two women performing eccentric split lunges as part of lower body workout with dumbbells

How To Do Eccentric Split Lunges

  1. Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body. Step your left leg back into a reverse lunge, keeping your right leg in place.
  2. Slowly lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front right thigh parallel to the floor. Shoulders remain stacked over hips throughout the entire exercise, torso upright.
  3. Press into your front right heel to slowly lift, returning to starting position.

Split Lunge Hold and Front Calf Raise

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and core.

two women performing a low lunge with a calf raise as part of lower body dumbbell workout

How To Do A Split Lunge Hold and Front Calf Raise

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Option to hold a dumbbell in your right hand.
  2. Take a step backward with your right foot, both knees bent at 90 degrees, aiming to get your left thigh parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold this low lunge position, then perform a calf raise by lifting the heel of your left foot off the ground, balancing on your left toes for a second before returning your heel to the floor.

Modification: Perform this move with just your bodyweight.

1.5 Deadlifts

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

The additional half rep increases time under tension.

two women performing slow and controlled deadlifts as part of lower body dumbbell workout

How To Do One and a Half Rep Deadlifts

  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 facing 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). Range of motion looks different for everyone. 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 to lift halfway, then return the dumbbells to the bottom of the deadlift, performing a half rep.
  4. Then, drive your hips forward to stand tall and return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Swings

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.

The kettlebell swing is a popular glutes and hamstrings exercise, but can easily be done with a single dumbbell as well. A dynamic exercise that will build strength and raise your heart rate.

two women performing dumbbell swings as part of lower body workout with dumbbells

How To Do Dumbbell Swings

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a single dumbbell vertically between your hands.
  2. With a slight bend in your knees and weight in your heels, ‘hike’ the dumbbell back between your legs to start the swing movement.
  3. 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).
  4. As the dumbbell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with a hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.

Pin this 35-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout

Image of a woman performing a lateral lunge as part of a at home lower body workout with dumbbells

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4 comments
  1. I absolutely love all of your workouts! They are always well put together and such a great workout! I’m excited to try this one out. Thanks also for the weekly schedule – I used to do full body workouts all the time and now I’ve moved into straight upper body and lower body (plus 1 full body just because!!) surprisingly I’m liking it a lot for now!

    • Hi Kathleen! I’m so glad you’re loving the workouts! This is a great lower body burn, especially if you’re into split muscle training routines! Thanks so much for checking out the workout, I hope you enjoy it! xo-Lindsey

  2. Love all these moves, and I’m definitely saving this for later (as in, probably tomorrow). Also, your outfit is super adorable and that quarter zip is going on my wish list. Thanks for the workout!

    • Naomi! So glad you love these moves and I can’t wait to hear what you think when you do the workout! And yes, new workout clothes are always the best motivation! Enjoy! xo-Lindsey