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Best Leg Exercises with Dumbbells to Improve Your Gains

Best Leg Exercises with Dumbbells to Improve Your Gains

While chasing gains most people overlook the legs. This is because they are kept hidden under your pants and out of the reach when it comes to squad selfies and they are not considered a wow factor of a six-pack person. That is why people do not go for developing leg muscles with the same eagerness as for the other body muscles and give legs just lunges and old squats that they might be doing for years. 

However, you will be surprised to know how vital it is to strengthen your legs for full-body fitness. And this could require more than just keeping up with your leg days. Using dumbbells for leg workouts can help you in plenty of ways to strengthen your legs and improve full-body fitness. 

In this post, we are discussing the best leg exercises that you can do with dumbbells for improving your gains.

Which One Is Better, Dumbbells or Resistance Bands?

Both dumbbells and resistance bands serve different purposes. Dumbbells are weights that put real tension on your muscles while resistance bands just add resistance to your body movements.  

Therefore, if you want to build muscles the best way is to use dumbbells, but if you just want to stretch your body with a little pump in muscles, resistance band exercises for legs can do the job. You can use both while performing your leg exercises at home and at gyms to maximize your gains.

How To Build My Leg Size by Using a Dumbbell and a Barbell Only?

The usage of deadlifts, machines exercises, and curls is a staple in the mass building routine of many people. That might make you think that it is essential to have those gears to build your leg size. But it is not the only way. Barbell and dumbbell squats can also do the perfect job in this regard. Performing different leg exercises including squats and lunges with dumbbells and barbells can help you build your leg size along with strengthening muscles and joints. 

Are Dumbbells Enough for Leg Workouts?

Though usually, dumbbells are linked to the upper body exercises like triceps extensions, bicep curls, and bench presses, they are also exceptional for lower body workouts and especially for legs. Despite the fact that there are plenty of tools and training gears that are involved in leg workouts, using only dumbbells for that purpose can also be sufficient. 

There are multiple exercises that you can perform with the help of dumbbells to put tension on your leg muscles and increase their strength. However, the result time may vary as per the intensity level of each dumbbell leg workout.

How To Do a Good Leg Workout Only with Mid-Weight Dumbbells?

There might be hundreds of ways to do a good leg workout at home and gym with mid-weight dumbbells. However, according to experts, carrying dumbbells up and down stairs 100 to 200 times in a week or doing till you become somewhat breathless on a daily basis can be a perfect way to strengthen your legs and quad muscles. You can increase the number of staircase excursions every week considering the improvement in your stamina and targeted muscles.

Top Leg Exercises with Dumbbells

Here are some of the best leg exercises with dumbbells that can help you maximize your gains. Performing these exercises exactly is the key to your success in gaining remarkable muscles and a fully toned body.

Goblet Squat

Goblet squats involve your entire body and punish your quads, glutes, calves, and core. They also help in improving grip and arm strength. Goblet squats are beneficial when it comes to building leg muscles and increasing mobility. You can perform these squats with both dumbbells and kettlebells.

Here is how you can perform goblet squats for leg strength perfectly;

  • Get in a standing position while keeping your feet more than a shoulder-width apart with toes pointing out slightly.
  • Hold the dumbbell in both hands at your chest level.
  • Brace your core by pushing your hips backward while bending your knees to go into a squat. Go as low as you can while doing squats. While doing so, keep your back flatter.
  • Stay in the low squat position for 5 to 10 seconds then push through your heels to get into the starting position.

Read More: Kill Your Leg Workout with These 15 Best Leg Exercises

Weighted Glute Bridge

The weighted glute bridge exercise is exclusive for engaging glute, hamstring, and lower back muscles. They are also effective for strengthening the legs. The perfect execution of this exercise is essential to get the best results.

Here is how you can perform this leg workout to maximize your gains.

  • First of all, grab a medium-weighted dumbbell. A 20-pound dumbbell will be good at the start. However, if you like, you can use your bodyweight for performing glute bridges too.
  • Get on the mat, lie on your back and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Your feet must be underneath your knees. Now place your dumbbell between your belly button and hip bones. Hold the dumbbell with your hands, so they should not move.
  • By squeezing your butts and tensing your abs, raise your hips upwards while making a diagonal line with your body from shoulders to knees. 
  • Hold in this position for three seconds while ensuring that your spine does not round and your hips are not sagging while keeping your butt and ab muscles engaged. 
  • After that, lower to the ground to complete a rep. 

Completing 3 sets of 12 reps of this leg exercise twice or thrice a week can do a great job for your legs.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split squats with dumbbells are also great when it comes to strengthening legs, balancing growth, building muscles, and improving coordination.

Here is how you can perform Bulgarian split squats in the right way;

  • Start by standing about 2 feet away from a bench or step that you are using for this exercise with dumbbells in your hands while facing away from the bench or step.
  • Get your left foot back on the bench.
  • Now bend your knees to lower your body to your maximum capacity or until your right thigh becomes parallel to the ground while your left knee gets above the ground. In this course, when you move down, you should keep your shoulders back and chest up.
  • Pause for a moment and then press yourself back to get in the starting position and complete the rep.
  • After doing a set of one leg, go for the other to have an equal effect.

Calf Raise

Calf raise might seem a simple exercise but have plentiful benefits when it comes to building strength and mobility in your legs and calf muscles. You can do this exercise at home as well.

The following steps can help you perform this exercise exactly.

  • Start with an exercise step, a weight plate, or any raised surface in front of you. Place toes and balls of your feet on that step while keeping your heels on the ground. Make sure your arches are not on the step. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands by your sides.
  • Now push your balls of feet while contracting your calves in order to raise your heel off the ground as high as you can.
  • Remain in that position for a count of one and then get back to the starting position by lowering back slowly. Feeling a stretch in your calves is the key here.

Read More: Best Leg Workout Exercises for Building Mass


Dumbbell Thrusters

If you want to go for a whole-body workout with a single exercise, go for dumbbell thrusters. They are not only helpful for strengthening the core, upper back, and shoulders, but they are also great for building leg muscles.

Steps to perform dumbbell thrusters are as:

  • Start this exercise with a standing position while keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and holding dumbbells in your hands by your shoulders with palms facing inwards.
  • Lower into a squat position until your thighs become parallel to the floor. 
  • Now push your body back into the standing position and extend your arms above your head.
  • Then, bend your arms to bring dumbbells back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Swing

Dumbbell swing is another amazing leg exercise that helps you build your whole body and attacks glutes, hamstrings, and quads along with shoulders. It seems simple but is one of the deadly exercises that need strength, power, speed, and endurance. 

The following steps can help you perform this exercise.

  • Like Dumbbell thrusters you start in a standing position while keeping your feet apart for a hip-width and keeping your toes outwards. Hold the end of a dumbbell with both of your hands.
  • Hinge from your hips and bend knees to go into a squat. In the meantime, move the dumbbell back and between your legs.
  • Get up while moving your hips forward and swing the dumbbell to your chest height.
  • Then return to the squat position.

Read More: The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Hamstrings


For improving your gains and strengthening your legs, these exercises with dumbbells are found incredible. The perfect execution is the key not only to maximizing your gains but also to avoiding injuries. Having assistance from a trainer while performing these leg exercises can help you in both, particularly when you are a beginner.

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