A squat rack isn’t the be all and end all for growing your legs. Grab a pair of dumbbells and see for yourself with this quick home workout.
The focus of this session is to learn how to flex and extend your hips to maximum effect.
Mastering this is key to improving your performance and increasing your chances of growing solid muscle.
Although the focus is on the lower body, pay close attention to keeping your shoulders back and your chest up throughout each exercise to ensure correct form.
1a. Dumbbell Deep Squat
Rest: Straight into 1b
- Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing.
- Your feet should be just wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing outwards slightly.
- Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. The deeper you can squat, the better.
- Drive back up through your heels.
1b. DB Split Squat
Rest: 60 secs, then return to 1a
- Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing.
- With your torso upright, your core braced and your hips straight, step forward with one foot to assume a split stance.
- Your leading foot should be at least 50cm in front of your back foot.
- Lower until your front thigh is horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don’t let your front knee travel beyond your toes.
- Push through your front foot to return to the start.
2. DB Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Rest: 60 secs
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Lean forward from the hips, not the waist, raising one leg behind you, and lower the weights down the front of your shin until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.
- Reverse the move and push your hips forward before repeating on the other leg.
3. DB Single-Leg Calf Raise
Rest: 60 secs
- Stand with one foot on the edge of a step holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing.
- Go up on to your tiptoes, keeping your body stable.
- Pause briefly before returning back to the start, then lower your heel so that it dips below the platform to achieve the full range of motion.