All You Need Are Two Dumbbells And This Smart Workout To Build Leg Muscle

Close-up of man's legs in lunge position holding dumbbells
(Image credit: Kazuma Seki / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Do you feel as if the gains from your strength training have stalled? First of all you should make sure you’re following a progressive workout for muscle gain, but if you’ve ticked that box and still find yourself stuck on a plateau it’s worth looking for a new way to challenge your body.

Drop sets are a great way to do this. This method means performing an exercise until you can’t complete another rep, reducing the weight, then going to failure again. And then doing that one more time with a weight that's lighter still. As you may have guessed, it’s a technique not to be trifled with, but you can try this cut-back version from certified personal trainer Mary Yankovich

Yankovich takes a weighted exercise, then follows it with the same or similar bodyweight move. The pairing of exercises is designed to target a specific muscle or muscle group in the lower body.

Watch Mary Yankovich’s Drop-Set Workout

There are four supersets to perform. The session starts with front-rack dumbbell squats, followed by unweighted squats, and moves on to Bulgarian split squats, with and then without a pair of dumbbells.

Next are reverse lunges, while holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, and then single-leg raised glute bridges. The workout finishes with goblet squats and jump squats.

Use a pair of heavy dumbbells, so the final reps of every set are challenging. The unweighted set that follows then allows you to keep pushing the muscle.

You can do this workout as a leg day session, completing three sets of each pairing, or add it to the end of a gym workout as a finisher

If you’re completing this workout at home using a pair of dumbbells, you may like to include these dumbbell leg exercises and this dumbbell leg workout in your training as well. 

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.