2 dumbbells, 4 exercises and this lower body workout to build muscle in your legs

Ready to put your legs to the test?

Dumbbell legs training, Young strong fit muscular sweaty man with big muscles strength cross workout training with dumbbells weights in the gym dark image with shadows real people black and white
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dumbbells are a great way of building muscle mass and strength, avoiding muscular asymmetries as each side is worked in tandem during the workout. They are also beginner-friendly, enabling users to build up their tolerance for heavier weights gradually. Completing leg exercises can be highly beneficial for building a strong core, preventing osteoporosis and shifting fat.

Performing squats and lunges help to promote better stability in the knee which will go some way to preventing serious injuries such as an anterior cruciate ligament tear. Leg exercises involve working larger muscle areas; therefore, higher metabolism levels are required, and your cardio fitness is raised, leading to a higher calorie burn. Strengthening your legs will help you perform better everyday, mundane tasks such as house chores and grocery carrying.

Today we’re sharing a workout by British national treasure and fitness icon Joe Wicks, who sets us a fierce leg-focused strength-building workout. We are tasked with four exercises that involve using a heavy pair or single dumbbell or bodyweight suspension in the glute bridge exercise. It is recommended that a 45-60 seconds rest is taken in between each exercise. The exercises:

  • Front squats (12 repetitions x 3 sets)
  • 45-60 seconds rest 
  • Bulgarian split lunges (12 repetitions for each leg x 2 sets) 
  • 45-60 seconds rest 
  • Single-leg glute bridge (20 repetitions for each side x 2 sets) 
  • 45-60 seconds rest
  • Wide-stance sumo squat (15 repetitions x 2 sets)  

If you prefer a more low-impact leg workout than the above, then we suggest trying this 10-minute, no-equipment routine that will help you develop rockhard calves. If you love resistance bands, then you should check out this 10-minute, glute-focused resistance band workout. For those who are determined to stick to dumbbell exercises, we have a comprehensive list provided by Sports Performance Lab department head Erik Kloosterman of the best dumbbell exercises for every body part.  

Love using dumbbells but don’t wish to have stacks of them lying around? We recommend investing in one of the best adjustable dumbbell sets for a space-convenient solution. Finding your hands becoming blistered and calloused from heavy dumbbell use? Then it’s high time you protect them from such destabilising injuries by getting one of the best gym gloves we’ve tried and reviewed this year.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.