Build stronger legs and improve your posture with this five-move lower body dumbbell workout

This short routine uses variations on popular exercises to build muscle, strengthen your core, and keep your workouts fun

Woman doing a forwards lunge while holding two dumbbells at her shoulders
(Image credit: Getty)

You might think that the only way to build lower body strength is a long session with weights machines at the gym. Fortunately, you can switch the gym for home workouts and still get results with this five-move routine. 

Doing the same exercises on a regular basis but progressively increasing the weight is one of the most common ways to build strength, and you can do this with just a pair of dumbbells.

We’d recommend a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells, which make it easy to increase your weight as you get stronger. But starting small with the weight is fine, especially if you’re new to resistance training.

This workout created by Certified Personal Trainer Vera Armishaw proves just how effective straightforward routines can be. It’s made up of five movements, all of which use one or two dumbbells to target the lower-body. 

There's not a mandatory number of repetitions, so it's best to choose a count that'll challenge your muscles. Aim for 8-10 repetitions with a weight that you can lift for a whole set without affecting your form. 

Watch Vera Armishaw’s lower-body workout

If you're trying to decide between heavy or light weights for your sessions, then aiming for a rep range is a good place to start. That way, you can gradually increase the reps until you find 10 reps too easy, then you can increase the load. 

This is technique is known as progressive overload, and it a great way to track your progress over time without injuring yourself. It's also crucial that you focus on your form if your want to get the most from your training. 

So, make sure to mirror Armishaw’s technique while doing these exercises, particularly with exercises like Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) and the hip thrust variations, where slight changes in posture have a significant impact. 

For example, the final exercise is the Kas glute bridge (named after fitness coach Kassem Hanson) is a hip thrust variation where you bring your hips halfway to the ground, instead of sitting on the sitting, before returning to the start position. 

This is small adjustment adds to muscle-building potential of the standard hip thrust. It doesn't take long to see results either, as just two weeks of hip thrusts every day can strengthen your core and build lower body strength. 

While this routine is a great way to build lower body strength with minimal equipment, If you prefer gym-style workouts, you can also take a look at our guide to the best machines for building leg muscle to upgrade your training. 

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.