The Best Leg Workout With Dumbbells (At Home or Gym)

Leg workout with dumbbells

Do you want to do a leg workout with dumbbells on your leg day? You want to get the most out of your leg workout, but you're not sure what exercises to do or how to sequence them. 

A lot of people struggle with creating an effective leg workout routine. They might do a few basic exercises at the gym, but they don't see the results they're looking for.

We've put together an excellent dumbbell leg workout routine that will help you achieve the toned legs you desire. This routine includes five exercises that target every muscle in your legs.

Table of Contents

Dumbbell leg workout with dumbbells

I'm going to share with you the top 5 dumbbell leg exercises you may do:

1-Dumbbell Squat

The dumbbell or goblet squat may be an excellent substitute for the barbell back squat for novices who have yet to master good squat form.

The weight in front of you is challenging. However, it also works your abs to a great extent. As a result, your lower body will get stronger.

How to perform it

  • Hold the dumbbell with your palms facing up in a squat position to do this exercise.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, your toes pointed slightly outward, and your chest should also be forward. Make sure your shoulders are back.
  • To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out. Bend your knees and hips and lower your body as far as you can while keeping your back straight. Make sure to keep your weight on your heels, and try to get your buttocks close to the floor.
  • Keep your chest out.
  • Tighten your abs and push back up to the starting position.

Sets: 3 - Repetitions: 8

Tip: Keep your chest open by sliding your shoulder blades down your back and pushing them forward. Squeeze your glutes and push down with your heels to thrust the weight ahead as you straighten your legs strongly.

2-Dumbbell Deadlifts

There are many different deadlifts, but they all have one thing in common: they work more than just your legs. Instead, they work your lower body and your lower back.

Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for your hamstrings, glutes, and core. They also work your upper back muscles. Everyone knows this!

How to perform it

  • Place a heavyweight on the floor. Stand next to the weight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • When you squat, bend your knees and push your glutes back. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Keep your back straight, chest forward, shoulders pushed back, and arms straight as you hold the dumbbell in front of your body.
  • Stand up straight with the dumbbell in your hands, tensing your abdomen and bringing your hips forward. Next, squeeze your glutes to lift yourself on the balls of your feet.
  • You have to have your knees slightly bent and draw in your glutes as you lower the dumbbell toward the floor, keeping your back straight.

Sets: 3 - Repetitions: 8

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

Don't get distracted wondering if this exercise has anything to do with Bulgaria. Believe me. You'll be too busy performing the routine well and feeling your legs burn.

A single-leg exercise is more complicated than a two-legged exercise if done correctly. Balance may be an issue at first, but you'll master it with enough practice.

Your leg muscles will also get more robust. As a result, you'll be less likely to fall since your legs will become more solid and hold you up better.

How to perform it

  • Stand with your back to a flat bench while holding two dumbbells.
  • Depending on your flexibility, you can place one foot backward on the bench with your toe touching the bench or with your ankle touching the bench. You should find a position that is comfortable for you.
  • You may also keep a heavier dumbbell in your opposing hand. For example, if your left foot is forward, grasp the bigger weight with your right hand rather than your left.
  • Instead of bending your knees and extending forward at a 90° angle (which would make the gluteal work less intense), lean back at a 45° angle and apply your entire body weight to the heel of the forward foot.
  • Exhale and bend your forward leg. Then, in a controlled manner, bring your front knee to the ground with your forward leg against gravity.
  • Push back up to the starting position.

Ensure the forward leg's work is concluded and not assist yourself with the rear leg. Your upper body should not move up and down.

Balance is critical here. So, make sure to hold the dumbbell close to your body throughout the movement.

Sets: 3 - Reps: 10-12 with each leg.

4. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

This deadlift variation is very similar to what we just saw, but it will increase and strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles.

That will be more difficult because you will only have one leg to support all the weight.

How to perform it

  • Start by standing on your left leg. Next, hold a heavy dumbbell with a hand not on the same side as your standing leg.
  • You can also hold one dumbbell in your other free hand.
  • Maintain a natural stance and lean forward, slightly bending the weight-bearing leg's left knee and lowering yourself (you'll feel your hamstring stretch). Lean forward until your body is parallel to the floor, then arch the other free leg backward.
  • Push off with the same leg you stepped with, and use your heel to support the weight. Bring your hips forward as you push.

Series: 3 - Repetitions: 10-15 with each leg.

5. Lunges

This part of the workout is going to be tough. You will feel like your legs are tired. To make it worse, we will perform some lunges at high reps to get a deep burn and engorgement in your quads and glutes.

We're going to work different muscle fibers today. So the ones you worked on at the beginning of the workout with heavier exercises and low reps will be performed again.

How to perform it

  • Take a step forward with one foot while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knee so that all your weight is on the heel of the front leg. Keep your back leg straight.
  • If you don't go far enough forward, your toe will support your weight. If you go too far forward, you'll have to help yourself with the back leg. Find the middle-ground for you.
  • Lean forward about 45 degrees as in the Bulgarian squat and bring your back foot forward to the height of your front foot. Now do the same with the other leg.

Advanced: Push up with the forward leg and step forward with the back leg, moving on to the next lunge. These are walking lunges.

Sets: 3 - Repetitions: 15-20 with each leg.

Dumbbell leg workout routine

ExerciseSets and reps.
Dumbbell Squat3x8
Dumbell Deadlifts3x8
Bulgarian Split Squats3x10-12
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift3x10-15

Why should you use dumbbells for leg workouts?

Using dumbbells for your leg exercises is a great way to increase the intensity and variety of workouts.

Not only that, but they allow you do these at home without having to invest in expensive equipment like weight machines or cross trainers!

If you are on a budget or don't have the time for the gym, dumbbells are the way to go!

The bottom line

The information in this article will help you build strong, sexy legs that envy everyone.

You don't need to spend hours at the gym or break your wallet on expensive equipment. Instead, follow these simple tips and see for yourself how effective dumbbells can be!

We hope you found our article helpful. If so, please share it with someone else who might benefit from its knowledge. And read more articles like this one by visiting our fitness category.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.