Work the glutes, quads and calves with this 5-move leg day workout – you'll only need 2 dumbbell

Work your whole lower body, from glutes to calves, with the smallest home weight

Man exercising in the gym with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you often skip leg days? Can't be bothered to deal with DOMS, can you? I'm the same; I'd rather do pecs and arm workouts day after day than follow a proper push-pull-leg workout routine. However, I might make an exception with this leg workout as it's fun to do and doesn't require me to bust out all my home gym equipment. As a matter of fact, you only need a single dumbbell.

There are many reasons you should train your legs and your lower body in general. First and foremost, that's half of your body, and you have some of your biggest muscles concentrated in this area, including the glutes (a.k.a. butt muscles) and the quads/hamstrings (front and back of the thighs, respectively).

Training these muscles will help you in various ways in your everyday life – for instance, strong glutes can help keep a better posture – and burn loads of calories as they are just so big. Working big muscles frequently using compound exercises will also help you torch fat and boost metabolism.

Finally, this workout also has a dedicated exercise to train one of the most forgotten muscles, the calves. Muscular calves can help you walk and walk more efficiently, not to mention stronger calves complement the way you look tremendously.

Have you got your dumbbells and workout shoes ready? Let's go!

Ibospirit's leg day extravaganza: Exercises

Idospirit's 5-move leg day workout has standard hypertrophy range sets and reps. You'll be doing four sets of ten reps of each exercise. This workout shouldn't take longer than 45 minutes, tops regardless of how long you rest between sets and reps.

Feel free to shorten rest times and plough through the workout if you use lighter weights. If you're using heavier weights, I recommend resting for 60-90 seconds between sets and 90-120 seconds between the different exercises.

You can use one or a couple of heavy dumbbells for this leg workout; however, all exercises can be performed with resistance bands, too, if that's all you have at home. 

Remember, set and rest times are suggestions, and if you need longer rests between sets, don't rush the workout. Listen to your body and adjust things accordingly.

Here is how to split up the workout:

  • Goblet squats (4 sets x 10 reps)
  • Dumbbell side lunges (4 sets x 10 reps each side)
  • Dumbbell sumo deadlifts (4 sets x 10 reps)
  • Single leg deadlifts (4 sets x 10 reps each)
  • Single dumbbell calf raises (4 sets x 10 reps each)

Be like Herny Cavill and train your legs often. I recommend thrusters (here's how to master thrusters), this leg workout or this other resistance band leg workout as a source of inspiration. Also, here is a list of the best glute exercises, for good measure.

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Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym reviews.