Expert Trainer Says You Need These Six Dumbbell Moves To Build A Stronger Lower-Body At Home

Man performing squat at home, holding dumbbell by his chest
(Image credit: Antonio Diaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

When you hit the gym, typical leg workouts revolve around barbell exercises and weights machines, but you can still train your legs if you’re at home with a couple of dumbbells

Try these six dumbbell leg exercises, recommended by fitness trainer James Stirling, better known as the London Fitness Guy, which hit your hamstrings, quads, glutes and more. 

Combine these exercises for a workout sure to help you build strength and muscle in your lower body. 

To do the workout, perform 10-15-reps of each move for three to four sets, resting for 60-90 seconds between sets. This should take about 40 minutes, including a quick warm-up.

Every one of Stirling’s choices is a compound exercise—moves that put multiple muscle groups and joints to work at the same time. This typically means you can use heavier weights compared with isolation moves which target one muscle at a time. 

Most of the exercises recruit your quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs, as well as your glutes, the muscles in your backside, but several like the Romanian deadlift and the squat variations also activate your core.

Another feature of Stirling’s workout is the use of unilateral exercises; namely, the static lunge (which we know as the split squat), Bulgarian split squat and lateral squat (or lateral lunge). 

This means targeting one side of your body at a time. By doing this you can develop your co-ordination, improve your balance, and even out muscular imbalances, reducing your risk of injury.

I also like the inclusion of the lateral lunge because very few strength exercises require you to move side to side. 

If you don’t have any dumbbells, you can still train your lower body with this home leg workout, or try this full-body circuit workout at home session Stirling shared exclusively with Coach

See our picks of the best dumbbells for home.

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.