Some people think the only way to build muscular legs is to squat. There can be various reasons an individual might not be able to use a barbell. It could be because of a back injury or simply due to the love and hate relationship with the barbell squats.
Don’t believe the broscientists at your gym when they tell you that you need to be spending some time in the squat rack. On the other hand, isolation exercises like the leg extensions and leg curls are single joint movements which can make you leave a lot on the table.
A dumbbell routine workout can come as a shock to your body. Your body might become used to the barbell and machine exercises if you do the same exercises way too often. Using the dumbbells can be incredibly effective in helping you build muscle mass in your legs.
Build Solid Legs With These Simple Dumbbell Exercises
1. Dumbbell Lunges – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Dumbbell lunges are a great exercise for targeting your quads, hams, and glutes. It is one of the very few exercises which help in building and defining the teardrop in your legs. Most people do this exercise incorrectly by using more weights than they can handle.
During this exercise, don’t spread your legs too wide. If you place your feet too far away, your range of motion in this exercise will be limited. Your need to have a big range of motion to target and develop your legs.
2. Dumbbell Squats – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Dumbbell squats can be a welcome change if you have back injuries. This exercise helps take off the entire pressure from your back by helping you maintain an upright posture. This exercise might look relatively easy but it will completely annihilate your legs.
You have three different options of holding the dumbbells while performing this exercise. You can either hold the dumbbells at your sides, over your shoulders or you can even perform goblet squats by holding a dumbbell in front of your chest.
3. Step-Ups – 3 Sets 12 Reps
This exercise will help you build log like legs. Step-ups focus on your quads and hams and will help you build overall strength. Find a bench or an aerobic stepper which is at your knee level. Anything shorter than this won’t have the same impact on your legs.
Hold the dumbbells at your sides and complete alternate step-ups. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout this exercise. Jumping or using momentum to get on the bench can cause joint pains or a back injury.
4. Sumo Squats – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Many people do the mistake of overlooking their adductors. Your adductors are at the inside of your thighs and are trained only by a few other exercises. Sumo squats target this muscle and your quads.
Take a sumo squat stance while holding the dumbbell between your legs. You can use aerobic steppers to help you increase your range of motion. Not using the added height might result in the dumbbells hitting the floor and breaking your mind-muscle concentration.
5. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts – 3 Sets 10 Reps
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts are great at targeting your hams. Using dumbbells in this exercise will help you increase your range of motion and maintain the optimal back posture to target your hams. Using a barbell in this exercise often limits your ROM and might put too much stress on your back.
You might want to use lifting wraps in this exercise so your entire focus is on your hams and not on holding the dumbbells. Keep your feet at shoulder width and maintain a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.
6. Single Leg Calf Raises – 3 Sets 15 Reps
Calves can be one of the most stubborn muscle groups. If you have genetically weak calves, you will have to work harder on developing them. Single leg calf raises is an incredibly effective unilateral exercise to target your calves.
Unilateral exercises help you to focus on a single side of your body at a time. This helps with the development of that muscle group by improving the mind-muscle connection. Place your left foot on an aerobic stepper and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Complete the exercise and then switch to the right foot.