Burn fat and build muscle in your lower body with this six-move dumbbell workout

This lower body workout includes six moves to build strength and muscle mass when you're short on time

Woman performs a dumbbell deadlift at the gym
(Image credit: Getty)

Strength training is a really useful training method for those looking to lose fat while building and maintaining muscle. The lower body is a great place to start and with a pair of dumbbells, you can target large muscle groups such as the glutes and hamstrings to achieve noticeable gains.

Lots of people enjoy working out with a set of the best adjustable dumbbells because you can base a full workout around them without requiring other equipment. The same for people who use the free weights section at a gym, you can station yourself in one place and avoid waiting around to get on popular resistance machines.

Fitness instructor, Diana Conforti, had exactly that in mind when she designed this glute and hamstring session. Her dumbbell routine only includes six exercises but they are broken up into rounds and the first one is a triset so you are going to feel a lower body burn early on.

A triset consists of three different exercises completed one after the other, without any rest time in between. Once you get through this more intense round you can then take a break before moving on to the next round of exercises. Trisets are good time savers for people working out on a busy schedule and they help raise your metabolism as your muscles are forced to work harder.

If you already use moves to target your glutes in your usual lower body sessions, then these dumbbell moves will make a great addition and keep things fresh.


While cardio gets a good rep for burning the most calories in a session, weight training builds muscle and is a really efficient way to burn calories. Resistance training will boost your resting metabolism (this refers to how many calories you burn while resting). 

This study published in the journal for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise measured a group of men's and women's metabolisms over a 24-week weight training program and found that both genders experienced an increase in their resting metabolism. The cardio vs weights debate is an ongoing one when it comes to weight loss but there is no harm in combining the two and reaping benefits from both.

The exercises from this dumbbell routine are listed below so you can use them for your next strength session. If you are cardio training on the same day it's a good idea to get the weights part done first or else an activity like running on one of the best treadmills will exhaust your muscles for lifting.


  • DB kas glute bridge (4x12)
  • DB hip thrusts (4x10)
  • DB hip thrust hold (4x10sec)

Normal round

  • Low platform split squats (4x12/leg)
  • RDLs (4x12)
  • Single leg RDLs (4x12/leg)

When building muscle and improving strength your body responds best when it is being fed good amounts of nutrients, especially protein. The amino acids that form protein, also known as the building blocks, aid with muscle repair and growth. If you manage to pack plenty of protein into your meals then you're onto something but if not, it's worthwhile adding one of the best protein powders for weight loss to your diet. They can be blended into things like shakes, smoothies, or oats.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.