One pair of dumbbells is all you need to work your legs from every angle and build lower-body strength from home.

Gyms (remember them?) tend to be full of men who devote all their training time to their upper body and none to their legs.

Aside from giving themselves odd-looking physiques, they’re missing a training trick, because leg moves target the big muscles of your glutes, quads and hamstrings, and working these areas hits a huge number of muscle fibres, which floods your body with growth hormones. 

But leg work doesn’t need to be confined to the squat rack. While lockdown keeps us away from the gym, it’s perfectly possible to train your lower body from home using just one pair of dumbbells. (If you don’t have dumbbells, use your bodyweight and up the number of reps.)

To work your legs effectively you need to use a variety of exercises. The first move in this workout works the quads, while the second targets your hamstrings.

The reverse lunge is great for developing balance and co-ordination because we are generally not used to moving backwards while controlling a weight.

Finally, the side step-up gets you moving in a different plane of motion and is great at developing those frequently overlooked glute muscles. 

Try This Dumbbell-Only Leg Workout – Men's Fitness UK

1. Bulgarian Split Squat

Reps: 10 each side
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Rest the instep of your back foot on a chair and plant your front foot so it’s facing forwards.
  • Your hips should be facing forwards and your torso should be upright with your core braced.
  • Keeping your torso upright, lower until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your front knee in line with your foot but make sure it doesn’t travel beyond your toes.

Try This Dumbbell-Only Leg Workout – Men's Fitness UK

2. Side Lunge

Reps: 10 each side
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Stand with your feet close together and facing forward, your torso upright and dumbbells by your sides.
  • Take a big step to the side, lowering onto your leading leg.
  • As you bend your leading knee, lower the dumb-bells until they touch either side of your foot.

Try This Dumbbell-Only Leg Workout – Men's Fitness UK

3. Sumo Squat

Reps: 12-15
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Take a wide stance with your toes pointing out slightly.
  • Grip a dumbbell with both hands and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your knees in line with your toes and your back upright.

Try This Dumbbell-Only Leg Workout – Men's Fitness UK

4. Reverse Lunge

Reps: 10 each side
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart, your back upright and the dumbbells by your sides.
  • Step back into a lunge, bending your back leg so that your back knee nearly touches the floor.
  • Keep your torso upright throughout the move and make sure your front knee is over your front toe.
  • Push off the back foot to return to the start.

Try This Dumbbell-Only Leg Workout – Men's Fitness UK

5. Side Step-Up

Reps: 10 each side
Sets: 3
Rest: 60 secs

  • Try to find a chair or box that is no higher than knee height and place one foot flat on the top with your other foot to the side.
  • Keep your back upright and hold the dumbbells by your sides.
  • Push up with your leading leg while keeping your back upright.
  • Step back down to the side with your trailing leg and repeat as before for all your reps before swapping sides.