This lower body dumbbell workout builds stronger legs in just five moves

Develop lower body strength and a more stable base with this short routine

Woman performing a dumbbell lunge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's easy to overlook a dedicated leg workout in your weekly exercise schedule, especially if you prefer training your upper body. But this five-move lower body workout is a great way to build leg strength for a more substantial, stable base.

The routine uses a barbell, but if you're working out at home, you can switch this for a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells. These customizable weights are a great way to build muscle, as you can quickly change the load mid-workout.

The program, developed by fitness YouTubers Tiff x Dan (opens in new tab), includes workout staples like lunges and squats, alongside moves including box step-ups, Romanian deadlifts, and walking staggered squats. The aim is to do 12 reps of each exercise or six per leg for the walking lunges and squats.

If you don't have a box at home, don't worry, as you can substitute it for a step or other elevated surface. When I tried this 10-minute dumbbell chest workout at home, I didn't have access to a weights bench, so I used a kitchen bench instead.

It's okay to make these adjustments—so long as you focus on your form during the exercise, like learning how to deadlift with dumbbells—as swaps like these mean you can train at home without a dedicated home gym set up.

Watch Tiff x Dan's five-move leg workout

If you want to make Tiff x Dan's routine a core part of your workout program, the key is to focus on progressive overload, gradually increasing the weight you lift over time to challenge your muscles for muscle-building results.

Although designed as a lower body workout, there are other benefits too. As Dan wrote on Instagram, "I completed these with minimal rest to keep my heart rate up, and it was a complete sweat [session]." 

This high-intensity training style works your muscles hard in a short time but also helps burn energy during your exercise and improve your metabolism for all-day fat-burning results.

Exercising in this way with weights is often called high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), which is similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) but focuses on muscle-building activities rather than cardio-based exercises.

But both encourage you to train intensely for 30-40 seconds, take a quick 20-second rest, then progress to the next exercise. This keeps your heart rate high to boost your metabolism. This is why many people also use a HIIT workout for fat loss.

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.