I’ll count the repetitions and provide form cues for all six lower body exercise. All you have to do is press ‘play’ and follow along.
Or you can work off of the six dumbbell leg exercises below at your own pace.
Perform 16 repetitions of each leg exercise (8 repetitions per leg for single leg exercises, like lunges).
Moving directly from one lower body exercise to the next.
Repeat all six lower body exercises x 3 sets.
6 Dumbbell Leg Exercises
1.5 Dumbbell Squat
3 Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass (8 reps per leg)
Goblet Squat Jumps
Straight Leg Deadlifts
Dumbbell Swing + Lateral Hop
Dumbbell Split Lunges (8 reps per leg)
I’ve included GIFs below of the 6 leg exercises in this lower body workout.
1. 1.5 Dumbbell Squat
Targets: The glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.
Trainer Tip: The additional half squat (or pulse squat at the bottom) increase ‘time under tension’. Thus, your leg muscles have to work longer and harder than they during a standard squat. Increasing time under tension is a great way to build lower body strength at home with lighter dumbbells.
How to do a 1.5 Dumbbell Squat:
Start standing feet shoulder width distance apart or slightly wider than shoulder width, holding dumbbells at your sides or front racked on shoulders (front racked dumbbell squat shown in the GIF above). Note, the front rack increases core and upper body engagement.
Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees. Driving your knees out toward your pinky toes.
Drive through your heels to stand 3/4 of the way back up, then lower back down to the bottom of your squat.
From here drive through your heels to stand tall and then return to standing position.
Repeat for 16 reps.
2. 3-Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass (8 reps per leg)
Targets: The quads, glutes and hips.
How to do a 3-Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass:
Start standing feet shoulder width distance apart, arms at your sides holding one dumbbell in your left hand.
Step forward with your right foot into a lunge position – right knee bent at 90 degrees at the knee and hip and left knee bent directly underneath your body. Focus on keeping your front knee behind your toes.
Pulse up and down through your front right heel 3 times while passing the dumbbell around your front right leg with each pulse.
Then push off your front right heel to return back to the starting position.
Repeat this movement for 8 reps on the right leg, then 8 reps on the left leg.
3. Goblet Squat Jumps
Targets: The power generating muscles in the lower body — glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads and calves.
Goblet squat jumps are a powerful HIIT exercise to build lower body strength, specifically for the glutes, while also raising your heart rate to burn fat.
How to do a Goblet Squat Jump:
Start standing feet shoulder width distance apart knees slightly bent, holding a single dumbbell at your chest.
Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel with your knees. Driving knees out toward your pinky toes.
Explode up, pushing off the ground as you drive your hips forward.
Land softly and repeat for 16 reps.
To Modify: Make this a low impact exercise by taking out the jump and simply perform a goblet squat (without the jump at the top). Another option is to replace the jump with a calf raise.
4. Straight Leg Deadlifts
Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes and hips.
How to do Straight Leg Deadlifts:
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).
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.
Squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Repeat for 16 reps.
Note, range of motion for this exercise will look different on each individual.
5. Dumbbell Swing + Lateral Hop
Targets: The legs, glutes, hamstrings, and hips.
Trainer Tip: Your arms are simply a vehicle for moving the dumbbell throughout this dumbbell swing exercise. Your legs do the majority of the heavy lifting, generating power to move the dumbbell.
How to do a Dumbbell Swing + Lateral Hop:
Hold the dumbbell in one hand between your legs.
Hinge at your hips, pushing your hips back, letting the dumbbell swing between your legs.
Squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips forward to ‘swing’ the dumbbell up to chest level as you hop laterally. At the peak of the swing, or at chest level, switch the dumbbell to your other hand.
Repeat this movement for 15 reps.
To Modify: Make this a low impact exercise by taking out the jump or lateral hop. Rather perform a standing dumbbell swing (without the lateral hop); keeping your feet stationary.
6. Dumbbell Split Lunges or Split Squats (8 reps per leg)
Targets: The legs, glutes, quadriceps and core.
How to do a Dumbbell Split Lunge or Split Squat:
Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body.
Step your right leg forward, lowering 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.
Press into your front right heel to lift and return to standing position.
Perform 8 reps on the right foot, then 8 reps on the left foot.