30-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout

Build strong legs at home with this 30-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout! From goblets squats to lunges and deadlifts, these six dumbbell leg exercises hit every muscle in your lower body.

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Jump to 6 Dumbbell Leg Exercises

When it comes to LEG DAY you don’t need a squat rack or fancy gym leg machines to see strength gains.

You can gain leg muscle using dumbbells at home.

How can I train my legs with dumbbells? 

Try these six dumbbell leg exercises you can do at home to build muscle in the legs:

  1. Dumbbell Squats
  2. Dumbbell Lunges
  3. Goblet Squat Jumps
  4. Straight Leg Deadlifts
  5. Dumbbell Swings
  6. Dumbbell Split Lunges

You’ll find variations of all six of these leg exercises in this 30-minute lower body dumbbell workout at home.

How heavy should dumbbells be for squats?

This varies based on your fitness level and fitness goals.

In this lower body workout you’ll be performing 16 repetitions of each leg exercise so I’d suggest a medium weight.

Beginners — I’d suggest 8-10 lb dumbbells.

More Advanced Fitness Levels — I’d suggest 15-20 lb dumbbells.

30 Minute Dumbbell Leg Workout At Home

This is a repetition-based lower body dumbbell workout, featuring six exercises for strong, lean legs.

From goblet squats to lunges and deadlifts, this dumbbell leg workout hits every muscle in the lower body. Including the:

  • Glutes (butt)
  • Hamstrings (back of the legs)
  • Quads (top of the thighs)
  • Hips (hip flexors)
  • Adductors (inner thighs)
  • Abductors (outer glutes)

30-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout

This leg day workout pairs dumbbell strength exercises with weighted plyometrics — hello metabolic training.

Working the largest muscle groups in your body, the legs and glutes, builds strength while also raising your heart rate for maximum calorie burn. 

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

Equipment:

Medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells.

I recommend 8-25 lbs. I’m using 12 lb dumbbells in this workout video, but if I were working out at home I would aim for 15-20 lbs.

The goal is to work the lower body muscles to failure. You should struggle to complete the final 2-3 repetitions of each exercise — that’s a sign you’ve chosen appropriate weights.

Instructions:

Follow along with the guided, Lower Body Dumbbell Workout video at the top of this post.

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.

30-Minute Lower Body Dumbbell Workout for lean legs

6 Dumbbell Leg Exercises

  1. 1.5 Dumbbell Squat
  2. 3 Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass (8 reps per leg) 
  3. Goblet Squat Jumps
  4. Straight Leg Deadlifts
  5. Dumbbell Swing + Lateral Hop
  6. 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.

dumbbell squat with a pulse at the bottom

How to do a 1.5 Dumbbell Squat:

  1. 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.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees. Driving your knees out toward your pinky toes.
  3. Drive through your heels to stand 3/4 of the way back up, then lower back down to the bottom of your squat.
  4. From here drive through your heels to stand tall and then return to standing position.
  5. Repeat for 16 reps.

2. 3-Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass (8 reps per leg)

Targets: The quads, glutes and hips.

3 pulse lunge | dumbbell lower body workout

How to do a 3-Pulse Dumbbell Lunge + Pass:

  1. Start standing feet shoulder width distance apart, arms at your sides holding one dumbbell in your left hand.
  2. 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.
  3. Pulse up and down through your front right heel 3 times while passing the dumbbell around your front right leg with each pulse.
  4. Then push off your front right heel to return back to the starting position.
  5. 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.

Goblet squat jumps

How to do a Goblet Squat Jump:

  1. Start standing feet shoulder width distance apart knees slightly bent, holding a single dumbbell at your chest.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel with your knees. Driving knees out toward your pinky toes.
  3. Explode up, pushing off the ground as you drive your hips forward.
  4. 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.

straight leg deadlift with dumbbells

How to do Straight Leg 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 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. 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.

dumbbell swing

How to do a Dumbbell Swing + Lateral Hop:

  1. Hold the dumbbell in one hand between your legs.
  2. Hinge at your hips, pushing your hips back, letting the dumbbell swing between your legs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

split lunges with dumbbells, split squats

How to do a Dumbbell Split Lunge or Split Squat:

  1. Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body.
  2. 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.
  3. Press into your front right heel to lift and return to standing position.
  4. Perform 8 reps on the right foot, then 8 reps on the left foot.

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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