EstimatedEst. Read Time: 4 minutes
The BEST Dumbbell Exercises – LEGS EDITION!

Dumbbell exercises do not have to be less effective when it comes to building your legs – as long as you choose the right dumbbell leg exercises.  In this video, I will show you the best dumbbell exercises for legs that will hit your quads, hips, glutes and hamstrings.  As always in this series, I’m showing you which moves are best for the different training goals you might be shooting for.


I will cover the best exercises for building strength, muscle hypertrophy, power, metabolic overload, a total body option, corrective movements and a specialized exercise for the outer hips and lower back.


First up, we cover strength.  Here, is is always most challenging to find exercises for the legs since the most effective and utilized leg movements for building strength are done with a barbell; namely the squat and deadlift.  That doesn’t mean however that you cannot build strength with dumbbells if you choose the right exercise.  The dumbbell reverse lunge is great at doing this while at the same time protecting the knees.


Make sure that you keep your torso upright while stepping back and out to keep a wide base of support and not let poor balance undermine your ability to use this to progressively overload.  For the posterior chain you would perform a Romanian Deadlift.  The key here is to mimic the movement path of the bar as you would on a traditional RDL and keep the tension and driver of the exercise as the glutes and hamstrings.


For hypertrophy there is no better dumbbell exercise for legs than the Bulgarian Split Squat.  The fact that you can either front load the exercise to better hit the quads by standing upright or back load the exercise to better hit the glutes by leaning forward, gives you a great option and flexibility here as well.  The best part about this leg exercise is that it also allows for intensification techniques to be added, like one and a half reps, that can further induce overload and muscle growth.


For power, I love the dumbbell jump squat.  The exercise trains triple extension through the ankles, knees and hips and is a great precursor to performing the power clean, hang clean and even the squat clean shown later in this video as the total body option.  Make sure to land soft and eccentrically load through your quads, reset and perform the next rep with precision and quality.  When training for power it isn’t about training to failure or fatigue but producing a limited amount of highly precise reps.


Speaking of the total body movement, my pick here is the dumbbell squat clean.  This is great because it requires you to lift the dumbbells from the floor and clean them.  You can add an additional press overhead if desired to involve even more upper body and make this an even better total body movement.


The metabolic dumbbell exercise of choice is a killer.  This is called Walk the Box.  This is something that I did when the USO’s and Sheamus from the WWE came in for a lower body workout and it brought them to their knees, literally.  The idea here is that you want to train to metabolic fatigue and find a way to resist the burn for as long as you can.  The buildup of metabolites creates a chemical stimulus for muscle growth that is dependent on exploring this type of brutal but effective training.


For the correctives and specialized dumbbell exercise categories we want to target the hip complexes.  One from the outside in and the other from the inside out.  The adductor muscles are hit incredibly well with the Goblet Adductor Lunge shown.  Make sure that all of the work to get back to the standing position is being done by the muscles on the inside of your leg.  On the offset lunge, make sure you keep your pelvis level and stable to make the glute medius do all the work.


As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build bigger better legs without having to throw in the towel if all you have is dumbbells.  This is one of the benefits of training like an athlete.  When you know why you’re training the way you are, then you can expand your exercise repertoire to include dumbbell exercises for legs that will still get the job done.  If you’re looking for a complete training program that puts every workout in your hands step by step, head to the link below.


For more dumbbell leg workouts and leg exercises for building bigger quads and hamstrings, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube by clicking the link below and turning on notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.


Build Muscle in 90 Days –

Subscribe to this channel here –

Watch the YouTube version of this article
Popular & Trending
stop doing face pulls like this facepull mistake
How To Do Face Pulls
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
September 9th, 2019
Face pulls are one of the best corrective exercises to help offset poor posture and shoulder dysfunction.  They help strengthen the chronically weak...
how to identify your body fat percentage with images for men
Body Fat Percentage
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
May 1st, 2013
There are many ways to measure body fat percentage; some wildly expensive and most inaccurate. It's time to give you an alternative method that...
2 reasons your biceps aren't growing and 3 ways to fix it
Why Your Biceps Aren’t Growing
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
August 22nd, 2019
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you trained your biceps you’re left saying… “My Biceps STILL Aren’t Growing?” I believe I know...
The PERFECT Abs Workout
The PERFECT Abs Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 31st, 2019
We’ll be following my ‘Six Pack Progression’ sequence as we choose each of the beginner and advanced ab exercises for each abdominal movement...
incline bench press avoid mistakes for upper chest
How To Incline Bench Press Correctly
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
June 21st, 2019
The Incline Bench Press is one of the best upper chest exercises there is, but there's one major problem preventing us from getting the maximum...
best dumbbell exercises for chest
The BEST Dumbbell Exercises for CHEST
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 9th, 2019
Today I’m going to share my favorite chest exercises… but there’s a catch. We can only use dumbbells! I’ll show you what to do whether you...
how to construct a complete chest workout
The PERFECT Chest Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 25th, 2019
The classic theory of "Upper, Middle, and Lower" chest exercises is a good start, but, it's not enough!! The solution to this problem is to not...
best dumbbell exercises for shoulders
BEST Dumbbell Exercises for SHOULDERS
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 5th, 2019
You want to build big shoulders and you only have access to a few pairs of dumbbells. What do you do? I’m going to show you what to do whether...
how to construct a complete biceps workout
The PERFECT Biceps Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 15th, 2019
The classic theories of “just do curls” or “it’s not necessary to train your biceps directly” are both flat out wrong! Why? Because it’s...
Home Chest Exercises UPPER, MID, LOWER CHEST!!
Home Chest Exercises
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
March 25th, 2020
Being able to effectively hit your upper, mid and lower chest from home with NO equipment may seem impossible. But, I’m here to show you it’s...