Build lean legs and a strong back with this dumbbell workout you can do at home or the gym. This workout will sculpt your legs and back with weights plus a few plyometric cardio bursts to torch calories!
This workout focuses mostly on building strength, so use the heaviest weights you can (I recommend 12-30 lb dumbbells) to challenge yourself while still maintaining good form. The last 2 or 3 reps should be very difficult!
Focus on progressive overload, or continuously increasing stress on the muscles in order to build muscular size, strength, and endurance. In other words, keep challenging yourself with heavier weights! If you can complete all 15 reps, increase your weights!
Muscle is what gives your body sleek curves and tone when you’re lean. Muscle also increases your basal metabolic rate so your body burns more calories each day, even at rest! So don’t be afraid of muscle! I promise you won’t wake up and look like a bodybuilder! That kind of bulkiness takes YEARS of training, and oftentimes, drugs.
I love my Bowflex SelectTech Weights because I can quickly and easily increase the weight and they combine 15 sets of dumbbells into just one set to decrease clutter.
In the first 2 sets, do 15 reps of the 2 strength moves (15 on EACH leg for the split squat) with little to no rest in between. Then do the cardio burst for 30 seconds, then rest. Repeat the set 2 times before moving onto the next set.
For the 3rd set, do 25 glute bridges (or 25 single leg glute bridges on EACH side) then 1 minute of squat/lunge combo, then rest. Repeat 1 more time.
And remember, don’t do this workout 2 days in a row! Your legs and back are huge muscle groups and need a break to rest and recover.
Need some more super efficient home workout you can do tomorrow? Try these:
The Workout: Lean Legs and Strong Back
15 Romanian deadlifts
30 seconds squat jumps
15 Bulgarian split squats (each leg)
15 Bent over rows
25 Glute bridges (or single leg glute bridges for more of a challenge)
1 minute squat/lunge combo
- Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells down at sides with palms should be facing in.
- Squat as far as your flexibility allows, keeping your chest up.
- Pause for a moment before returning to a standing position.
15 Romanian Deadlifts
- Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of hips.
- Lower the weights by moving your butt back as far as you can until the weights are just below the knees.
- Return the starting position by driving the hips forward to stand up tall.
Cardio: Jump Squats x 30 seconds
15 Bulgarian Split Squats
- Stand in a staggered stance (elevate the rear foot on a step for a challenge) and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Flex your knee and hip to lower your body, keeping the front knee in line with the foot.
- At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.
15 Bent Over Rows
- Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your body and elbows in.
- Hinge forward then begin the movement by pulling the dumbbells towards your body until the elbows are at (or just past) the midline.
- Then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Cardio: Alternating Lunge Jumps x 30 seconds
25 Glute Bridges
or 25 Single Leg Glute Bridges on EACH side for more of a challenge
- Lie on your back with feet flat about hip-width apart and place weights on your hips.
- Drive through heels to raise hips off the floor.
- Pause at the top for 2 seconds then slowly lower back down.
Cardio: Squat/Lunge Combo x 1 Minute
- From the left lunging position, explosively jump and land in a squat.
- Then explosively jump again, this time landing in the right lunging position.
Are your legs on fire yet?! This workout burns in such a good way and gets your workout in quickly so you can get on with your day!
Do you like this kind of workout that incorporates a little cardio with your weights? Or do you like to keep your resistance training and cardio separated?
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