Oh, the dreaded leg day. It’s the day that many lifters do not look forward to – or even worse, skip altogether. This is because it can truly be the most grueling day of lifting. Performing leg exercises correctly takes a ton of energy and focus, but the results can be astounding. There is nothing like a big set of wheels to set you apart from the next person. That is where the importance of a good dumbbell leg workout comes in.
There are so many benefits from having a strong set of legs. Most of your body’s power is generated from your legs so it is essential to have a solid set of quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves if you’re looking to maximize your strength gains.
Along with having more overall power, another big-time benefit of strong legs are better running performance, since you will be using all of your lower body’s stabilizer muscles, you should benefit when it comes to running faster, along with jumping higher.
Keeping your legs strong can also help reduce risk of back injury or back pain, along with having a strong set of core muscles, like abs and obliques. Just an FYI.
Now that you understand the importance of targeting your legs with proper training, this article is meant to show you four of the best dumbbell leg exercises you can perform either at the gym or your own home (assuming you have your own set of dumbbells, if not check out my review of my Bowflex Selecttech 552 Dumbbells). These can be used as opposed to the barbell and machine exercises you are probably used to doing at the gym as a way to change up your routine and shock your muscles in a new way. This should also eliminate that excuse you have been using to skip leg day because you cannot make it to the gym. Get yourself a pair of dumbbells and get it done at home!!!
- Stand straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in. (or you can hold one dumbbell with both hands in front of you.
- Lower your body by bending your knees until they form a 90 degree angle, sort of like your sitting back in an invisible chair. Explode back up through your heals and squeeze your quads at the top position.
- Keep your back straight (not rounded) and head facing straight and forward during the entire set.
- Perform 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets
Walking Dumbbell Lunge
- Stand straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in and arms fully extended.
- Take a large step forward with your right leg.
- Drop into a lunge bending both knees to 90 degrees while keeping your torso upright, your chest up and shoulders back. Try your best to keep your balance.
- Step forward with your back leg to bring your feet together, then repeat the motion with your opposite leg, moving forward.
- Perform 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets
This exercise can also be done standing in place if you are limited for space. Instead of moving forward with every lunge, just come back to your starting position once you have completed each rep. Do this by exploding back using the heal of the foot of your front leg.
Stiff Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent and hold the dumbbells by your sides at arms length.
- Keeping the knees stationary, lower the dumbbells until they are over the top of your feet. Do this by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Lower slowly, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Perform 10-12 reps for 4 sets
Standing Calf Raise
- Stand up straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in.
- Lift your heels from the floor by pushing up on your toes, and then lower yourself back down slowly.
- Perform 15-20 reps for 4 sets
This can also be done on a small step or box to add an extra stretch at the bottom of each repetition.
Once you have completed this routine, I highly recommend stretching those freshly worked muscles for 10 minutes. This will help minimize the soreness you will soon feel, while also helping the blood circulate and beginning the recovery process.
Feel The Burn Baby
You feel that? That’s what it feels like to accomplish something new and different. You did it. Wasn’t so bad, was it? Keep this routine as part of your workout regimen and start building that body from the ground up. It’s just like a house – you need a strong foundation in order to have a strong overall building. You need strong legs if you want to be a BEAST.
Don’t be that person in the gym that looks massive up top, but below the waist they look like they’re walking on twigs. It’s not a good look. Body building is all about symmetry and balance. You want to have those big, tree trunk like legs to complete the ultimate physique.
Try out this routine for yourself and let me know what you think. Also, let me know what some of your favorite dumbbell leg exercises are in the comments below. There are so many variations of exercises you can do with a good set of dumbbells. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little and create your own dumbbell leg workout. Just be sure to always use proper form!