Dumbbell leg workout for toned legs

This dumbbell leg workout is going to hit every muscle in your legs.

Yep, you heard me. I apologize in advance for your soreness tomorrow.

First, let’s go over each exercise so you can perform them safely and properly. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a pin of the workout that you can save for future reference!


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Dumbbell Leg Workout – The 8 Toning Exercises

1) Dumbbell Squat

This is a leg building classic. Make sure you read my notes below for best form.

To perform: Start in a standing position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and pointing straight forward. Lower down into a seated position, keeping your chest up, knees behind your toes, and weight in your heels. The dumbbells should hang straight down on either sides of your legs. Stand back up and squeeze your glutes at the top. That’s 1 rep.

2) Goblet Squat

We’re going to keep the squat burning going, but now target your inner thighs.

To perform: Hold a heavy dumbbell or two lighter dumbbells between your hands in front of your chest. Widen your stance and point your toes slightly outward. Lower into a squat, once again keeping your chest up, knees behind your toes, and weight in your heels. Stand back up and squeeze your glutes at the top. That’s 1 rep.

3) Calf Raises

The next move in this dumbbell leg workout will get your calves on fire!

To perform: Start in a standing position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Raise yourself onto your toes as high as you’re able and pause. Slowly lower back down to your starting position. That’s 1 rep.

4) Good Mornings

This dumbbell leg exercise target your glutes and hamstrings – the back of your legs. Trust me, you’ll feel this one instantly.

To perform: Start in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell back across your upper back. Keeping your back naturally arched (don’t round it) and your knees soft, hinge forward at your waist until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Using your hips, bring your torso back up to your original standing position. That’s 1 rep.

5) Weighted Lunges

Weighted lunges will target your quads and glutes. If it’s too challenging with weights, using bodyweight alone is also an effective exercise.

To perform: Start in a standing position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step back with one foot and sink down, lowering your knee to just above the floor. Placing your weight into your front heel, rise back up while stepping forward back to your starting position. That’s 1 rep. Complete all assigned reps on this first side, then switch legs.

6) Hip Raises

Hip raises are a foundational core movement. They not only work your back stabilizers, but also your glutes and hamstrings.

To perform: Lay down on a mat with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet planted on the ground. Hold a free weight across your hips. Raise your hips off the ground until your legs and torso form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and hold for 3 seconds. Slowly lower back down, resisting the weight. That’s 1 rep.

7) Donkey Kicks into Extended Up-and-Over Leg Raises

This leg exercise combines two moves before switching sides for maximum glute burning.

To perform: Start down on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, raise up one leg behind you and lift it high into the air until you feel your glute engage. Lower your leg about a foot, then pulse it up again, repeating this motion for the assigned number of repetitions – each pulse is 1 rep.

Once you finish the donkey kicks, immediately extend that same leg out behind you and to the side, touching your toes to the floor. In one smooth movement, raise your leg up and over, touching your toes to the floor on the outside of your other foot. Raise up and over again to bring your leg back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Complete all reps for the leg raises, then complete this entire exercise with the other leg.

8) Clamshells

I call this last move in our dumbbell leg workout the “afterburn” because it ensures we’ve really beaten up your glutes today. If this move doesn’t cause your butt to burn, I don’t know what will.

To perform: Lie on your side, propped on on your elbow and with your knees bent. You can place your top arm on the ground for support. Keeping your feet together, lift the knee of your top leg until it points up at the sky. Lower it slowly back down into your starting position. That’s 1 rep. Complete all assigned reps on this first leg, then switch sides.

Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise, going straight from one exercise to the next. When you finish the round, take a 2 minute break, then complete it 1 more time!

Don’t have the free weights you need for this leg workout? While I took these pictures in a gym, at home I use neoprene dumbbells like these.

Here’s the workout (save it for later)!

Leg workout with free weights
Toned legs workout
30 minute leg workout

Photo in pin created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com

Want to work your upper body too? Read this post next:

Weak No More! The Best Dumbbell Arm Workout to Get Strong Arms