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Dumbbell leg workouts are one of the most effective exercises to perform at home. If you want to increase your strength and muscle mass, powerful lifting is essential. Dumbbells can be a fantastic instrument with much flexibility. 

In this article, we will look at the benefits dumbbells bring to your lower body workouts and the best 12 exercises with dumbbells that should be incorporated into your workout routine.


There are several ways to use one or two dumbbells to make leg exercises more difficult or more manageable to meet your goals and demands.

At Your Sides:

Two dumbbells at your side while you perform squats, deadlifts, and lunges. This way of handling dumbbells allows you to work with more weight, as it is easier to use your upper body and grip.

In-Between Your Legs:

It is possible to hold the dumbbell near your center and lower it below your hips to perform specific exercises. This makes grasping easier and allows you to perform a more intense single-leg workout with just one dumbbell.

Goblet Position:

The goblet posture (at the center of your body in the front to your chest) can make things difficult. Your core has to exert more effort to maintain your body’s posture and your arms should be strong enough to keep the kettlebell securely. 

However, it will give you more flexibility to move your body regarding the range of motion (ROM), the choice of exercises and leg positions.

Racked Position:

The racked posture means upwards to your anterior shoulder. Aside from the overhead grip, it is the most challenging position that can be considered a specific grip. The racked grip also gives the freedom to move in ROM, exercise, and selection. Using two dumbbells (or one if you wish to test your core) is possible. This means that you will be using more weight.


You can also work your legs using a unilateral grip. You can place one dumbbell by either side or in a forward row to work on coordination, balance, and core strength as you strengthen your legs.

All of the above ways of handling dumbbells for leg exercises have their advantages. It all depends on your training routine and what you hope to gain from your workout at this particular moment. For instance, if you want to work hard and heavy, then two dumbbells placed at your side or in a forward rack are the best option. 

Alternatively, using only one dumbbell, you can use an incline hold for those who want to focus on your glutes and quads.



Goblet squats are a fantastic option to master form and hip mobility and enhance the strength of your anterior core. Since the weight is a loaded front, IT will cause your torso to remain upright, allowing you to go further and longer.

The hip mobility advantages of the goblet-style dumbbell squat will aid in your barbell squats and deadlifts. Additionally, it is an excellent quad-focused exercise, so experts prefer it for more volume during day-to-day legs exercises with dumbbells.

Muscles emphasized: Quads

How to do:

  1. Place your feet in your preferred posture (likely with your feet pointed slightly to the side) and grip dumbbells in a goblet style.
  2. While keeping your chest elevated and your shoulders down, squat between the knees till your elbows reach the inside of your knees.
  3. Take a break and then drive your feet across the floor. Then, stand straight up and complete by grabbing your glutes.
  4. Reset and repeat for repetitions.

Tip: Keep your chest straight and shoulders back while keeping your upper back firmly engaged to keep your spine in a neutral position.

The best rep range is 8 to 20.


Side lunges can increase the strength of your glutes in an entirely different direction. This leg exercise with dumbbells will also engage the smaller hip muscles and the gluteus medius and minimus. The side lunge helps strengthen and activates the adductors (groin) muscles simultaneously. 

The workout routine can improve hip mobility and decrease your risk of straining your groin. Side lunges are also beneficial as they increase the ability of your body to move from side to side in the face of resistance, which improves your agility.

Muscles to be focused on: Glutes, adductors and quads.

How to:

  1. Keep your feet straight and your legs together, and hold one or two dumbbells at the preferred position. A goblet or between legs is usually the most effective.
  2. Take a massive step towards the side using the left foot.
  3. Hold your left leg back while keeping your left leg straight, with your toes pointing toward the front. You should feel a stretch on the muscle of your right adductor as you lower the left side of your knee.
  4. Your left foot should be pushed into the ground before returning to the position you started from.
  5. Reset and repeat for repetitions.
  6. Then repeat the exercise on the opposite side. It is also possible to alternate sides with every repetition.

Tip: only hinge your hips as far as your adductor will allow. There is no need to strain your glute muscle here.

The best rep range is 8-16 reps.


A Romanian dumbbell deadlift is like the barbell deadlift, but it is lighter and has more excellent options for holding the dumbbells. Changing the direction where you place the dumbbells allows you to hit the muscles you want to target in a different way. 

A deadlift using dumbbells is a fantastic option when you do not have a barbell or seek greater variety. It is also a great cardio exercise.

Muscles that are emphasized: Hamstrings and glutes

How to do:

  1. Sit upright, standing with feet about hip distance apart. With your toes pointing forward. Grasp one or two dumbbells on your quads.
  2. With your knees bent slightly, your chest slightly raised and your shoulders back, pivot until the dumbbells sit above your knees.
  3. Pause and stretch your glutes and hamstrings to bring them back to a standing posture.
  4. Reset and repeat the reps.

Tip: Remember to keep the dumbbells straight and just ahead of your legs. The hamstrings will stretch as you repeat on your eccentric (downward) section.

Best rep range: 12-16


Split squats with dumbbells are a unilateral exercise. They can help improve imbalances between legs that can improve your overall performance, particularly your squats. As a quad-dominant exercise, split squats can enhance leg drive, which is crucial when squatting upwards from the “hole.” You must perform this dumbbell leg workout if you are serious about deadlifting or squatting more weight or want to improve your leg and glute strength.

The muscles emphasized are quads and glutes, adductors, and glutes.

How to do:

  1. Hold two dumbbells in the position you prefer while keeping your chest elevated and shoulders lower.
  2. In a half-kneeling posture, keep your ankle in line with the knee. Keep the knee aligned along the hip.
  3. The front foot must be pulled into the floor, then come back and stand straight.
  4. Slowly lower your knees to the half-kneeling posture again, and repeat.

Tip: Placing an under-knee pad will be a reference for your split squat.

The best rep range is 8-16


The single-leg dumbbell RDL is among the most challenging dumbbell leg workouts. Start with your weights and gradually increase the number of dumbbells. If you do these exercises correctly, you will be rewarded with numerous benefits. The benefits include decreasing tension in the hamstrings, reducing muscle imbalances, and glute hypertrophy.

Muscles that are emphasized: Hamstrings, glutes, and calves

How to do:

  1. Place two or more dumbbells the front of or next to your quads.
  2. Get your toes on the floor, place your feet on one foot, then relax your knee.
  3. With your chest raised and shoulders back, pivot back, but do not rotate your hip upwards.
  4. Hold the position until your belly button sits in line with the floor. Feel the stretch in your hamstring.

Return to the initial position and then reset, repeat.

Tip: Grip the floor using your feet to stabilize your body. You can put your foot down every rep. If you are using only one dumbbell at a time, you may also grasp something with your hands to help balance and to work on the hamstrings. However, it is best to try not to do this as it will strengthen the stabilizer muscles and increase your balance.

Best rep range: 6-12 reps per side


If you were to perform one leg exercise to increase your performance using deadlifts and barbell squats, and you are a fan of pain, the dumbbell-elevated split squat would be the one to choose. Due to the increased flexibility of the elevated back foot, the glute and working quads get additional time under tension to increase the mobility of the hip, leg drive and muscle-building potential. IT is an essential part of your home workouts for legs with dumbbells.

Muscles that are emphasized: quads, abductors/adductors, and glutes

How to do:

  1. Clean two dumbbells, place them in the front rack, and then stand up.
  2. Set your rear foot on a bench and place a plate of weight directly in front of your feet to limit the time you spend changing sides.
  3. Lower your back knee toward the floor, keeping an incline in your body.
  4. The front foot must be pulled through the floor to return to your starting position.
  5. Reset, repeat and switch sides.

Tip: Begin with lighter dumbbells and more reps to get in the rhythm of this workout.

Best Rep range 6-12


The dumbbell step-up is among the most straightforward home workouts you can perform, but it is not as simple as it appears. The balance test and the vast range of motion can be challenging for the quads and glutes. So do not be deceived. To advance or reverse this leg exercise with weights, raise the box lower or higher, which lets you leap higher and run faster.

Muscles to be emphasized: Glutes and quads

How to do:

  1. Place your body in front of a box at or above knee level, holding at least two dumbbells on your arm.
  2. Set your foot on an elevated surface, step forward, and ensure that you are on solid ground.
  3. Use your front foot to push through to extend your knee until it is completely extended and both legs are joined.
  4. Slowly walk down to the floor, using the leg that is not working.
  5. Then, reset and do it again. 
  6. Complete all repetitions on one side before switching to the opposite side.

Tips: Press your heel upwards to engage your glutes.

The best rep range is 6-15


The dumbbell front squat requires the dumbbells to be held in front rack positions with your shoulders. Because the dumbbells will be held in an anterior position, there is an increased strain on your back quadriceps, quadriceps, and core. One of the quad muscles, the vast medialis (teardrop muscle), is activated more when you do the front squat with a dumbbell.

The quads, upper back, anterior core, and glutes are the muscles to focus on.

How to do:

  1. Lift the dumbbells until they are in the front rack position. Keep your chest upright and your shoulders back.
  2. Take your preferred squatting position.
  3. Squat down to keep the spine straight and minimize the front lean of the body.
  4. Keep your elbows up.
  5. Once you have obtained your squat’s depth, you can squat again to the starting position.
  6. Reset and then repeat.

Tip: Make sure to keep your elbows up during the entire workout

Best Rep range 6-12


Forward lunges are when the knee takes most of the forward movement, making it a quad-dominant activity. It is an excellent glute and quad home workout. It will also push your heart rate higher. If it hurts your knees, you should avoid this step as it puts more stress on your knee.

Muscles that are emphasized: Quads glutes and the hamstrings

How to:

  1. Take two dumbbells, hold them in your preferred positions, and then take an upright stance.
  2. Step forward, and allow your back knee to slide toward the flooring until the thigh is nearly in line with the floor.
  3. You can push your front foot through and then bring your feet together.
  4. Do all repetitions in one direction or alternate sides.

Tip: It is permissible to lean forward. However, maintain a neutral spine throughout the day.

The best rep range is 10-12 per side.


Most movements here are in the sagittal (left/right) and frontal (side from the side) planes. However, a different plane of motion is often overlooked: the transverse plane that rotates. When you walk behind, as if you are curling up to the queen, you strengthen your glutes, hips, and quad muscles of the plane of rotation. 

Working these muscles at different angles can result in more evenly sized development of muscles. The exercise is one of the most effective home workouts for legs with dumbbells.

Muscles emphasized: Quads, hip abductors, glutes, and hamstrings.

How to do:

  1. Place the feet spread shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in the preferred posture.
  2. Place your right foot in a diagonal direction behind you, and then bring your knee down until your knee almost gets to the ground.
  3. The working leg should be nearly in line with the ground.
  4. Press your left foot to stand up and then return to the beginning position.
  5. Do all the reps you can on one side before repeating on the opposite side.

Tip: Keeping your working leg toes forward makes this exercise more efficient

The best rep range is 8-15


Squats using dumbbells is an excellent exercise that builds lower strength and power, but only if you load it correctly. Utilize approximately 20 percent of your body weight to get the best results. 

The objective of jumping squats is not strength, but power and speed. It is usually safer than the barbell squat since your spine does not get directly hit.

Muscles that are emphasized: Calves, glutes, quads, and the hamstrings

  1. Keep your hands around 20% of your body weight (10 percent per hand). Do not forget to keep dumbbells on your sides.
  2. Squat, keeping your shoulders up and your chest to the side.
  3. Make a flurry of jumps with your feet bouncing off the ground, then gently from heel to toe, sitting straight.
  4. Squat down again and repeat for repetitions.

Tip: Remember to land softly and do not create much noise on the return back towards the earth.


Reverse lunges are an asymmetrical exercise that makes it less of a burden to kneel than other lunge variations and single-leg workouts. They are excellent dumbbell leg workouts at home for those who are experiencing knee pain. Being hip dominant can help increase hip mobility, directly affecting your bilateral deadlifts and squats.

Muscles that are emphasized: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, and glutes

How to do:

  1. Keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Holding two or three dumbbells in the desired posture.
  2. Take an easy (quads) or a giant (glutes); take a step back using your left foot.
  3. Lower your hips until the right leg is in line with the floor. Your back knee and your front knee should be in line with each other and pointed directly forward.
  4. Be sure to keep your chest and shoulders down. Make sure to keep your shoulders retracted throughout the exercise too.
  5. Then, push your right foot into the floor before returning to the position you started from.
  6. Alternate sides or perform every rep on one side, then change sides.

Tip: Taking a longer step back can increase the tension in your glutes. Taking a small step back will give your quads more affection.

The best rep range is 8-16


Dumbbells are an excellent exercise tool for training legs as they are versatile, safe, and easy to use. If you want to build imbalances or boost the volume to encourage muscle growth, consider adding those exercises to your leg exercise routines.

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