Four exercises, one dumbbell and 15 minutes to build muscle in your thighs and glutes

If you were thinking of skipping leg day, don't. Do this workout instead.

Training. Sports Woman In Black Fashion Sportswear Doing Squats With Dumbbell, Fitness Workout. High Resolution
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thinking of skipping lower body day? Don’t – with simple workouts like this one, there’s really no need. In just 15 minutes you’ll be one step closer to growing muscle in your legs and glutes, and all you’re going to need is a dumbbell. You've only got four, easy exercises, so it’s very straight-forward with no frills. 

As well as making sure that our body is proportionally balanced, and not too heavy up top, lower body exercises are important to build strength around weaker joints, improve our stability and mobility. After all, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body and we use our legs for everyday activities/tasks, so they shouldn't be neglected from your workout. Also, if you’re someone who also enjoys doing compound exercises, such as squatting or deadlift, then doing other lower body isolation exercises that also target the individual muscles used in these exercises, can also help you improve them. 

This lower body workout is short and snappy with only four exercises for you to get through. Although a kettlebell and two dumbbells were originally used in this workout, you can complete all the exercises with just one (if you don’t own any dumbbells, then an adjustable dumbbell will be ideal for this). As the aim is to build muscle, you’ll do 10 to 12 reps on each exercise and you want to do each one three times. Take a 30 second break in between each move. Here’s your workout: 

  • Cossack squats
  • Sumo squats (hold the dumbbell handle with both hands, not the plate, so you can lower it further to the ground)
  • Heel elevated squats (try placing your heels on two small books)
  • Alternating lunges (10 to 12 reps on each side)

We hope you enjoyed that simple, yet effective workout. Remember, if your goal is strength, rather than muscle growth, just opt for a heavy dumbbell and lower your rep range to four to six reps instead. Looking for more dumbbell workouts? Check out this four-move standing ab workout that only requires one dumbbell or this six-move dumbbell workout that targets your entire upper body.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.