The 10 Best Dumbbell Leg Exercises You’re Not Doing

You don’t get the ass you need by sitting on it. That’s why this subsequent leg day goes to be totally different as a result of we’re going to share with you the 10 greatest dumbbell leg workout routines you’re not doing to sculpt your legs. Whether you’re quick on tools, trying to get that aggressive edge in your athletic efficiency, or creating your legs one muscle at a time, it’s time to coach such as you imply it.

The decrease physique is a smoke stack of muscular tissues that assist your posture, stability, and skill to run, leap, and be agile. When developed effectively, they’ll do much more than that. Believe it or not, every of your decrease extremities are comprised of greater than 40 muscular tissues with the 4 main ones being the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Successful coaching requires an understanding of the mind-muscle connection, how the muscular tissues work, and learn how to forestall accidents with correct kind. Let’s dig into these just a little bit extra to totally perceive the advantages of dumbbell leg workout routines.

Improve Imbalances and Muscular Symmetry:

Often occasions we will over- or under-compensate actions within the health club due to our muscular imbalances and poor growth on one facet or the opposite. Unlike utilizing a lure bar or barbell that distributes weight evenly throughout the physique, dumbbell leg workout routines will help a person work on one facet or one other, or one muscle as in comparison with one other, to enhance power, imbalance, and general stability.

Convenience and Availability:

Dumbbells are the commonest sort of weight tools present in condo gyms, globo gyms, and even CrossMatch/useful health gyms. So for those who don’t have a squat rack or barbell to get these legs working, and even machines, don’t fret. With the 10 greatest dumbbell leg workout routines on this article you’ll make sure you get a killer exercise that can depart you strolling like a child giraffe for days *wink*.

Increase Training Volume:

By efficiently and safely performing dumbbell leg workout routines you possibly can enhance quantity with out placing additional strain or pointless stress on different areas of the physique, just like the again or joints. This is right for people who practice at a excessive quantity pushing plenty of weight, people who’re new to coaching, older people, and folks trying to develop the decrease physique for form and dimension for the gram (lookin’ at you Gymsharks).

Reduce Injury Risk:

Nobody needs to get injured, particularly individuals who use their physique typically within the health club. By incorporating dumbbell leg workout routines into your coaching commonly you cannot solely tackle these imbalances that we talked about beforehand however you too can strengthen the smaller muscular tissues, joints, tendons and ligaments that assist these main muscle teams of the decrease physique. In doing so, you possibly can successfully scale back your threat of damage, enhance mobility, and have the ability to practice longer and more durable with out placing your physique into a spot of ache (the dangerous form).

Improve Mind-Muscle Connection:

Ever do an enormous free weight motion or machine and assume to your self “I’m not sure I know where I’m supposed to feel this”? Dumbbell leg workout routines will help with that. Since you might have the flexibility to carry one or two dumbbells, you possibly can actually goal particular areas of the decrease physique and get that mind-muscle connection going. Why is mind-muscle connection necessary? Because it permits you to focus particularly on a muscle or muscle group with out the recruitment of secondary muscular tissues to assist the motion. You won’t have the ability to raise as a lot, however you’ll have the ability to create a stronger, extra developed muscle physique in flip.

PRO TIP: when working with one dumbbell, use your hand to the touch or maintain the muscle that you simply’re specializing in working for a acutely aware and deliberate muscle contraction.

Types Of Weight To Use For Leg Exercises

While the main focus of this text is about dumbbell leg workout routines, it might be price noting that almost all all these actions may be carried out with dumbbells, kettlebells, bumper plates, sand baggage, and drugs balls. The level of them although isn’t to go as heavy as attainable. Most occasions you don’t want tremendous heavy weight to really feel the motion int he proper spot, and by isolating the muscle teams, you wish to really feel challenged, however to not the purpose the place you’re overworking or overstraining the muscle group. Lastly, bear in mind, kind comes earlier than weight.

1. Dumbbell Side Lunge

This is a good motion to focus on the quads, abductors, glutes, adductors, and hammies. The dumbbell facet lunge can also be known as the Cossack Squat. Your stabilizers are going to be on fireplace and in contrast to different leg actions, you possibly can actually goal the glutes extra so than simply the entrance or again of the legs. You can do that motion with the dumbbells off to every facet of your physique or maintain one in a goblet/entrance rack place.

How To Do It:

  1. Start by holding a dumbbell in the course of your chest or with two dumbbells positioned at your sides
  2. Start along with your ft shoulder width aside. Your first step, switch the burden to at least one facet, plant your foot on the ground, bend your knee, and push your booty behind you as you retain your torso upright (your prolonged leg must be straight
  3. Pause within the facet lunge place and check out to not use your momentum to get again to your beginning place
  4. Step inwards and repeat on the alternative facet

2. Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

You might have executed rear foot elevated break up squats as a dumbbell leg train however by elevating the entrance foot you possibly can enhance the vary of movement of the train considerably. As in comparison with rear foot, you too can goal extra of the hamstring as in comparison with the quad.

How To Do It:

  1. Start by holding your dumbbell in a suitcase place at your sides
  2. Place the entrance foot on a platform (often 4-6” incline) and the again foot on the bottom
  3. Keep your ft planted, decrease the physique in the direction of the bottom retaining the burden in your mid foot
  4. Pause within the backside of the break up squat place then elevate the torso again up vertically to the beginning place

3. Front Rack Dumbbell Squat

If you’re in search of a dumbbell leg train that not solely lights up the decrease physique however strengthens your core, then look no additional than the entrance rack dumbbell squat. In addition to recruiting the muscular tissues of your posterior chain, glutes, and hams, you’re additionally going to have the ability to stabilize and recruit the smaller stabilizer/supporting muscular tissues across the knees and ankles. 

How To Do It:

  1. Grab two dumbbells and clear them up into the entrance rack place
  2. Get into your squat stance, with the toes barely pointed outwards (assume 10-2) and with the ft barely outdoors the shoulders
  3. Stand tall, brace the core, maintain the elbows up and decrease into the squat place
  4. Pause for a second on the backside, inhale, and lift the physique again to the standing place


4. B Stance Dumbbell Deadlift

The B stance dumbbell deadlift, also called the break up stance dumbbell Romanian deadlift, is a variation of straight leg deadlifts. By incorporating a staggered stance place, the entrance leg is the working leg and the again leg is the assist for the motion. Stability goes to be drastically improved and the physique can construct power in an identical motion sample to the squat. So for those who’re in search of an even bigger, higher squat, then the b stance dumbbell deadlift is a should accent motion to include into your coaching.

How To Do It:


  1. Start by holding your dumbbells at your facet in a shoulder width stance
  2. Move one leg again right into a kickstand/supporting place in your entrance foot
  3. Root your weight into the mid foot of the entrance leg and from right here, start to hinge ahead, retaining the shoulders degree and the core braced, pushing the booty again behind you
  4. Go till your depth permits feeling the motion in your hamstrings and glutes
  5. Pause for a second, then hinge again in the direction of the beginning place

5. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

If you’re in search of a really efficient dumbbell leg train look no additional than the dumbbell sumo squat. Similar to the barbell sumo squat, this can be a motion designed to significantly strengthen the decrease physique and goal muscular tissues which can be more durable to work, just like the interior thighs and glutes, with a view to promote stability, forestall damage, and enhance efficiency in different lifts like deadlifts, again squats, and cleans.

How To Do It:

  1. Place a dumbbell between your ft
  2. Widen the ft previous the shoulders into a large sumo stance. The toes must be pointed barely out
  3. With an upright torso and braced core, squat right down to seize the dumbbell head in order that the burden is positioned on the backside of your hips
  4. Stand up with the burden, roll the shoulders again, and slowly squat down till you attain depth
  5. Hold for a pause, then elevate the torso vertically to the beginning place, squeezing the glutes

6. Dumbbell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts are similar to the barbell model, however as a substitute of utilizing each legs and a barbell, you’re going to make use of one or two dumbbells and isolate one leg at a time. You may have to scale back the burden that you simply use right here so that you simply don’t overcompensate with the higher physique and so to maintain your stability. The muscular tissues labored are the hamstrings and the glutes.

How To Do It:

  1. Stand upright along with your ft hip width aside. Grab a dumbbell(s) and maintain it in entrance of you on the leg you’ll isolate
  2. Bend your knee barely, chest up, core tight, shoulders down, hinge ahead, with the dumbbell monitoring the leg and the elevated leg coming behind you
  3. Once you attain the depth the place you’re feeling like for those who go additional you’ll compromise kind, pause for a second, after which hinge again to a standing place
  4. Make certain the hip doesn’t come out to the facet

7. Banded Cross Body Dumbbell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

This subsequent motion, the banded cross physique dumbbell single leg Romanian deadlift is a tougher motion which locations the emphasis of the motion on the resistance from the band. This actually requires you to drive the hips on the hinge motion and brace the core considerably.

How To Do It:

  1. Place a resistance band on a rig on the ft utilizing the j-hooks with a dumbbell below the band within the center
  2. Approach the band and dumbbell along with your hips at shoulder width aside
  3. Bend your knee barely, chest up, core tight, shoulders down, hinge ahead, grabbing the dumbbell, with the dumbbell monitoring the leg and the elevated leg coming behind you
  4. Once you attain the depth the place you’re feeling like for those who go additional you’ll compromise kind, pause for a second, after which hinge again to a standing place

8. Dumbbell Box Step Ups

Dumbbell field step ups are an train most everybody ought to do however typically they don’t. Not solely does it practice the decrease physique nevertheless it helps remove these muscular imbalances we talked about earlier that we regularly see within the coaching world. Not solely that, however you possibly can work on explosiveness, isolating the entrance leg, and driving into the glutes for a juicer peach, if you realize what we imply.

 How To Do It:

  1. Grab a field, bench, or one thing that’s steady and capable of assist your weight once you step on it. If you might have restricted mobility or power, begin with one thing smaller and work your manner up
  2. Grab dumbbells, roll the shoulders again, brace the core, and maintain them at your facet or in a entrance rack place
  3. From right here, the first step foot on the field, management your motion, shift your weight ahead, and step up, driving the hip and knee again behind you, retaining the hip consistent with the knee
  4. Bring the again foot to step collectively, squeeze the glutes with out over arching, and repeat them motion again to the beginning place on the bottom


9. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

The rear foot elevated break up squat is an intense leg burner of a motion that’s going to mild up the glutes, hamstrings, core, and quads. Toss some weight in there and this dumbbell leg train ought to completely be a staple in your regular coaching day. Since your core is compelled to work in overdrive to maintain your physique balanced and in line, this single leg train offers a ton of profit. The nearer your entrance leg is the extra the quad might be labored. The additional your entrance leg is the extra the hamstring and glutes are labored. This motion is also known as the Bulgarian Split-Squat.

How To Do It:

  1. Grab a bench, security bar, or field so to elevate the rear foot for the motion. Then seize a pair of dumbbells that you may maintain in a facet or entrance rack place
  2. Stand in a lunge place for the beginning of the motion along with your weight
  3. Bend the entrance knee, reducing the physique again in the direction of the bench behind you, retaining the torso upright, pelvis tucked, and the core braced
  4. Hold for a 1 second pause on the backside and drive by way of the entrance foot again to the beginning place

10. Dumbbell Death March With Row

Traditionally the dumbbell demise march is a pre-hab and again train however we’re utilizing it as a compound, full physique motion so as to add to your library of dumbbell leg workout routines. Similar to the b stance dumbbell deadlift, the dumbbell demise march with a row goes to focus on the decrease and higher physique equally.

How To Do It:

  1. Start along with your ft at shoulder width aside and along with your dumbbells at your facet
  2. Take a step ahead, get right into a b stance, hinge ahead with the hips till you attain depth
  3. Once depth is reached, pause, and row the dumbbells to the torso, squeezing the shoulder blades collectively and bracing the core
  4. From right here, launch the dumbbells again to the ground, brace the core, and hinge again to your beginning place

While it’s possible you’ll assume that the machines and the barbell are going to be the actions that provide the most bang in your buck when coaching legs, it is necessary to not undervalue the significance and effectiveness dumbbell leg workout routines. With these 10 actions you are not solely going to sculpt your decrease physique and get stronger, however you will additionally develop stability, mobility, and stop damage for these greater lifts, compound actions, and in your athletic efficiency.

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