Skip The Wait For The Squat Rack And Train Your Legs Using Dumbbells Instead

Woman squats in a gym holding a dumbbell under her chin
(Image credit: South Agency / Getty Images)

We’ve all been there: Geared up for a great leg workout, pump playlist on shuffle and pre-workout downed, when you spot that the line for the squat racks is around the block.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have a couple of dumbbell leg workouts up your sleeve. This way, you can find a quiet corner of the gym and get going with your session without having to waste time waiting for equipment to free up. 

This six-move workout from Berenice Salazar (aka Ladyfit) fits the bill perfectly, working your leg muscles with just a couple of dumbbells, a weight bench and a weight plate.

There’s a focus on the glutes—the largest muscle group in the body—and training these muscles not only improves your balance, it can also help prevent back pain and knee injuries, so it’s well worth dedicating training time to these muscles. 

Watch Salazar’s video below for a demonstration of each of the six movements in the workout, then grab a pair of dumbbells and try them yourself.

Complete three sets of each exercise, working at a rep range of eight to 12 for all the movements apart from the calf raises, where you’ll complete 20 reps. Pick a weight that’s challenging, particularly for the final few reps of each set, but not so heavy that you need a break after a few reps or find your form is compromised.

Salazar moves slowly through each of the exercises to increase the time the muscles spend under tension. This will help to overload your muscles, providing the stimulus needed for hypertrophy, as well as allowing you to focus on perfect form rather than rushing through reps.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.