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.
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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.
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.
How To Do 1.5 Squats
Start in a standing position. Feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell vertically at your chest between both hands (goblet-hold).
Sit back into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees and driving your knees out toward your pinky toes.
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.
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.
How To Do Hand-Switch Squat Pulses
Start standing, feet shoulder-width distance apart or slightly wider than shoulder-width, holding a dumbbell in your right hand between your legs.
Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel to your knees. Drive your knees out toward your pinky toes.
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.
How To Do Eccentric Split Lunges
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.
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.
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.
How To Do A Split Lunge Hold and Front Calf Raise
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Option to hold a dumbbell in your right hand.
Take a step backward with your right foot, both knees bent at 90 degrees, aiming to get your left thigh parallel to the ground.
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.
Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes and hips.
The additional half rep increases time under tension.
How To Do One and a Half Rep 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 facing 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). 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.
Squeeze your glutes to lift halfway, then return the dumbbells to the bottom of the deadlift, performing a half rep.
Then, drive your hips forward to stand tall and return to the starting position.
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.
How To Do Dumbbell Swings
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a single dumbbell vertically between your hands.
With a slight bend in your knees and weight in your heels, ‘hike’ the dumbbell back between your legs to start the swing movement.
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).
As the dumbbell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with a hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.
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