Building a strong lower-body lays the foundations for a functional physique, so neglect leg-days at your peril.
If you want to get strong, it’s important to focus on effective exercises that target the muscles you want to develop. With this approach, you can skip the queue for fancy gym machines and build strength with nothing more than a pair of dumbbells. You can also save commuting time by training at home—just pick up a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) or some fixed weights.
To help you put this plan into action, fitness influencer and online coach Rhiannon Bailey (opens in new tab) has created a leg-day session using just six simple dumbbell moves.
Watch her video below to see how to complete the exercises with correct form, have a quick practice of each one to nail down your technique, then give this workout a go for yourself.
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Watch Rhiannon Bailey's lower-body leg workout
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The six selected exercises target different muscles in the lower-body including the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. They are split into three supersets, which means you perform two exercises back to back followed by a short rest (we recommend leaving 90 seconds for your muscles to recover between supersets). For the final superset—a glute-focused couplet of Bulgarian split squats and hip thrusts—you’ll need a chair or raised surface to lean against.
You’ll be completing three rounds of each superset, with 8-12 reps of each movement, so pick a weight that feels manageable but will also challenge you for that amount of reps.
- Related: What dumbbell weights should I use?
This is a workout you can come back to week-on-week, gradually increasing the weight of the dumbbells you use in order to progressively overload your legs, which is one of the best ways to grow muscle.
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.
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