No gym? No problem. Build stronger legs at home with this six-move dumbbell workout
Grow your leg muscles, develop core strength, and burn energy with just two dumbbells
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There's a reason why good leg workouts are so sought after. Your hamstrings, quads, and glutes are among the largest muscles in your body, so putting them to work can bring about plenty of health benefits.
Strengthening your legs improves your balance and can make everyday tasks like lifting groceries much easier. Plus, targeting these larger muscles helps your body burn more energy and recruits your core muscles (opens in new tab) for stabilization.
If you're looking for an accessible lower body routine that you can do without the gym, this short session from trainer the London Fitness Guy (opens in new tab) (real name James Stirling) will work your legs with just a pair of dumbbells.
We recommend using a pair of adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) when training at home so you can increase the weight as your power improves (an example of the strength-boosting progressive overload (opens in new tab) principle in action), but a fixed weight set will also work for this session.
To pack in an effective muscle-building workout into a short amount time, you'll do each move for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start on the next exercise. Do three rounds in total for an effective lower body workout in less than 20 minutes.
Watch the London Fitness Guy's six-move leg workout
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While high-intensity sessions like a HIIT workout for fat loss (opens in new tab) encourage you to do as many repetitions as you can in the time, the goal with this workout is to build strength and muscle by slowing things down and lifting with control.
If you use Stirling's demonstrations to perfect your technique, you'll be able to maximize the targeted muscles' time under tension. This will provide the stimulus needed for muscle growth, while still raising your heart rate and burning energy.
It's an effective workout you can do when you're short on time thanks to the use of several compound exercises (opens in new tab). These work several muscles simultaneously, and are even favored by Chris Hemsworth's personal trainer (opens in new tab) Luke Zocchi.
However, because they make use of muscles all over your body, you'll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day. Taking time to warm up (opens in new tab) and cool down before and after your workout can help.
But this post-workout soreness is the result of small tears in your muscle fibers your body needs to repair. You can help things along by keeping your protein levels topped up with some of the best protein powders for weight loss (opens in new tab).
Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.
When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.
Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.
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