Build leg muscle with just five moves and a set of dumbbells

Strengthen your lower half and develop your core with this short dumbbell workout

Man holding a lunge with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's not unusual to hear people worry about Leg Day, a specific day of the week where their training focuses on their lower half. But strengthening your legs doesn't have to be a chore; just use this five-move dumbbell workout instead.

If you're training at home, grab a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. You can quickly increase the load as you get stronger as part of the progressive overload technique, and they're easy to store away as they combine several dumbbells into one.

When at the gym, use these beginner strength training tips to find a weight that'll challenge you but isn't so heavy it affects your form. Once you have your weights at hand, you can take on personal trainer Alice Liveing's (opens in new tab) five-move routine.

Liveing designed this workout as an effective way to work your lower half with minimal equipment, commenting, "I promise you this will get your glutes firing and get you feeling good at the start of the week."

You'll do 8-15 repetitions of each of the five moves before repeating the routine five times for a short muscle-building workout. To get the most from your training, it's essential to focus on your form, so practice your technique with Liveing's demonstrations before starting.

Watch Alice Liveing's lower body dumbbell workout

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Aside from perfecting your technique, Liveing's choice of moves plays a vital role in this muscle-building workout. Moves like goblet squats, deadlifts, and lunges are all examples of compound exercises that work multiple muscles simultaneously.

This makes them an efficient way to train, as you work several areas of your body at once, but they also help develop the connection between your upper and lower body through your core, a section of mid-body muscle.

Your core, which includes the rectus abdominis six-pack ab muscle, plays a crucial role in your stability, balance, and posture and can even promote circulation and improve your workout performance. 

Although we often think of core strengthening exercises like sit-ups and crunches, dumbbells leg workouts like Liveing's build leg muscle and strengthen your core simultaneously, which helps develop stability in your lower half.

If you're after a compound exercise that'll work your upper and lower body, pick up one of the best kettlebells and learn how to do kettlebell swings. This high-intensity move trains your whole body, including your core, and helps boost your metabolism.

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.


In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.