One dumbbell and six moves are all you need to strengthen your core and build leg muscle

Build stronger legs, develop lower body muscle, and boost your metabolism with this six-move routine

A woman performing a squat with a dumbbell as part of a leg workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Have you ever experienced gymtimidation? It's the feeling you get when you first step into the gym and don't know where to start. Thankfully, we can help you overcome this with a six-move lower body workout to build stronger legs. 

The routine comes from Lianna Swan, a personal trainer for female fitness app Shreddy (opens in new tab). You only need a single dumbbell and small resistance band (opens in new tab) to start, so you don't need to worry about squat racks or how to use cardio machines (opens in new tab)

“For many of us, going to the gym can be extremely daunting," Swan told Fit&Well.
"Not knowing where to go and how to use some of the equipment is a reason some women don't enjoy going to the gym, but it doesn't always need to be like that. 

"Finding yourself a small area in the gym and grabbing a pair of dumbbells is a great way of getting used to being in the gym environment, and getting a good workout in!"  

Watch Swan demonstrate the movements below, and practice each one to perfect your technique before starting. Then, when you're ready, do three sets of each exercise for up to 12 repetitions, and take a 90-second rest between sets. 

Watch Lianna Swan's dumbbell leg workout

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If you spend any time on YouTube or other social media sites, you'll have seen people working out with complex machines or intense equipment like tyres, ropes or Reformer Pilates machines. But that's not the only way to keep your body active.

"A good workout doesn't need to involve multiple pieces of equipment and machines," Swan says. "This lower-body workout targets your glutes, quads and hamstrings, and it only requires one dumbbell. 

"You can literally do it anywhere in the gym (or at home) and leave feeling strong and empowered!” If you don't have equipment at home, you could switch a weight for a full water bottle or pick up a couple of cans of beans. 

That said, we recommend picking up a set of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab), as they have multiple weight options, meaning they do the job of a full rack of dumbbells in one compact package.

Keeping some dumbbells around the house also means you can keep your workouts varied. So, after giving this lower body session a go, you can let your legs take a break the next day and give this 10-minute dumbbell chest workout (opens in new tab) a go. 

Harry Bullmore

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.