Looking to strengthen your legs? You have come to the right place! The following leg workout with dumbbells will get you started in the journey of building powerful legs.
A lot of gym-goers do not pay much attention to the legs, because some leg exercises can get extremely tiring. But if you are looking for an overall fit physique, legs have to be trained well, and the fat around them needs to be cut.
Double-Leg Calf Raise
This is one of the classic exercises to strengthen your calf-muscles. You put your body weight on these calf muscles, and that helps in toning the soleus and the gastrocnemius.
To begin with, stand near a wall to obtain balance. Place your feet at a distance from each other, ideally the width of your hips. Ensure that the knees, ankles and the hips are aligned to each other. This helps protect your joints from being damaged during the exercise action.
While performing the exercise, press down on both your feet to raise your body upward. Your abdominal muscles must be pulled in and kept stiff so that your body moves upward straight. Through this action, you must neither lean forward or backward.
There are certain variations you can try with Double-leg Calf Raise:
- Stand on a step on a staircase, or any similar platform. The heels must drop lower than your toes. While keeping your feet stiff on the stair, bend down your feet as far as you can towards the floor. Then press the heels as high as possible.
- To increase intensity of the exercise, you can add weights in the form of a dumbbell or any other material for that matter. You can keep your hand on the wall, for increased balance.
Bulgarian (Rear Foot-Elevated) Split Squat
Contrary to what the name suggests, this exercise has nothing to do with the country, Bulgaria. But this exercise is harder than other two-legged exercises. Nevertheless, you need to perform the right to get maximum benefit.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand ahead of a bench. Place one foot back, on the bench. Depending on how mobile you want your ankle to be, you might want to have the toe touch the bench. Take a position that works best for you.
- Lean ahead at 45 degrees, and exert your body weight on the front foot.
- Bend the knee of your front leg and lower yourself onto the ground. This front leg will also be used to provide more control against body weight and gravity.
- Push back through the heel and come back to the starting position.
In this exercise, make sure that all the work is being done by the front leg. The back leg should stay stiff and still throughout. To begin with, you can do 3 sets with 10-12 reps in each set.
Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise
To perform this exercise, you will need a weight plate as well as a dumbbell. Do the following steps:
- Ground the weight plate
- Sit at the edge of a bench and rest the toes on the surface of the weight plate
- Place the dumbbell on your knee, hold the handle with your right hand and the top with your left hand
- Raise your toes upwards as much as possible without taking your feet off the plate.
- Stay in the position for a few moments, then lower your toes and repeat the exercise.
To begin with, you can perform anywhere between 3 to 5 sets, with each set having 15-20 reps. Take a break of 45-60 seconds between each set.
Goblet squats use a dumbbell as external resistance, making them great leg exercises. Goblet squats train squat pattern movements. Squatting should be carried out with good form and as low as possible, because according to research, full depth squats will develop muscle more effectively than partial depth squats.
To perform a dumbbell goblet squat:
- By cupping one side of a dumbbell while holding the other side beneath you, you will be able to hold the weight vertically.
- Stand on your heels with your feet turned out 5 to 12 degrees so that your feet are slightly wider than hip width apart.
- By starting with your hips at the back of your body and lower them down as your knees bend, you will begin the movement.
The Goblet Squat utilizes the dumbbell to increase the intensity, and overall, this is a great way to strengthen your legs. This specifically trains your squat pattern.
With this exercise, you should aim to squat as low as possible. Full-depth squats are more effective at developing leg muscles than partial-depth squats according to popular research.
After training with the above exercises, you can start exercising with the forward lunges. While performing these, ensure that your knees are safe while you lower them to the ground. To perform the forward lunge, follow the steps below:
- Stand by holding a dumbbell in each hand, and stretch your feet a hip-width wide
- Take a long step forward and keep your foot stiff on the ground.
- Move your back knee towards the ground, and rotate your back foot inwards. Lower your knee through this.
- When the knee is just a little distance above the ground, drive through the front foot and return to the initial position. You can take the original stance, and keep the lunge position as you rise.
- Perform all the reps on either a single side or alternate sides until you complete a targeted number of reps.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a Goblet squat?
Goblet squats use a dumbbell as external resistance, making them great leg exercises. Goblet squats train squat pattern movements.
What Are The Primary Calf Muscles?
The two main calf muscles are Soleus and Gastrocnemius. While gastrocnemius is the larger one, Soleus is smaller.
How to Increase Intensity in Double-Leg Calf Raise?
To increase intensity of the exercise, you can add weights in the form of a dumbbell or any other material for that matter. You can keep your hand on the wall, for increased balance.