Never miss a leg workout! And with weights! Our bodies can offer great resistance for a workout, but adding weight can make things even more challenging. And challenging means the body is changing. And the body changing is exactly what we want (either losing fat or gaining strength, or both)!
This workout is 2 big circuits designed to target all muscle groups as well as increase the heart rate! Repetitions for each exercise will increase and the final exercise is to “burn out” the muscles. This burn out is what puts enough tension/stress on the muscle group that it cannot perform any more repetitions. Doing a burn out every once in a while is going to not only increase your heart rate, but also increase the size of the muscle fibers. Lower body dumbbell workout is a great workout to do at home or on the road!
3 sets of each circuit dumbbell workout
• 12 RDL (romanian deadlifts)
• 10e lunge pulse
• 12 goblet squats
• 20 in and out squat jump
• 10e TUT (time under tension) step ups
• 10e lateral steps
• 12 glute bridge
• 20 jump lunges
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FORM: Dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder width apart, back flat and core tight; weight in your heels slowly drop your dumbbells towards your feet (keeping them close to your body), while keeping your knees straight and back flat. As you drop down, your hips should push back as if you are trying to touch a wall with your butt, and then stand all the way back up and squeeze your glutes!
MODIFICATION: Lighter weights to make it easier and heavier weights to make it harder.
It is important that you actually get deep into this one and really push yourself! That burn you feel is your muscle fibers filling with blood and breaking down, which allows them to rebuild bigger and stronger. And more muscle means less fat!
FORM: start in a lunge position, drop back knee down to the floor and come only halfway up out of your rep. You should be in a lunge position the entire time and that leg should be BURNING!
MODIFICATION: If lunge pulses are too painful on the knees or joints, start of with squat pulses. Otherwise if you NEED to take a break and go back into it, that is okay.
FORM: Squat position with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing forward; hold the dumbbell up in front of you by the bottom of it (like a goblet) and squat. Make sure you keep the weight in your heels and you are sitting back into the “chair”.
MODIFICATION: Use no weight if you are just starting out, and increase your weight when you can.
FORM: Starting in a squatted position, jump your feet out and in staying nice and low. Keep your core tight and back flat. Again, stay low and jump feet out and squat down and then feet together and squat down. This is going to BURN, but push through it!
MODIFICATION: If jumping hurts, just step your feet out and in. Again, make sure you are squatting both when your feet are apart and together. If you need it to be more difficult, increase your reps and make sure your range of motion is there!
Time under tension meals SLOW MOTION! You want to go as slow as possible and really think/feel the muscle contraction.
FORM: Foot up on a step/stool/box and perform a step up. Step up onto the box and then slowly come back down to the floor. You want the step up and the return down to be nice and slow. Leave your foot on the step the entire time, and when you get up into your step up don’t fully straighten your leg so that the muscle (not joint) is fully under tension the entire time.
MODIFICATION: If slow movements is too difficult, just do regular step ups until you feel stronger! To make things harder you can add weights.
Most people only do daily movements in the forward/backward motions. That makes the other planes of motion (like side to side) weaker and cause injury. So, we must strengthen them all!
FORM: Using a box/step/stool again, stand next to it. Step up to the side (driving into your heel) and then back down. Replace your foot on the floor each rep instead of leaving your foot on the box. This movement is going to help strengthen the stabilizers of the knee and hip!
MODIFICATION: Lateral lunges are the precursor to lateral step ups, so get those down first. Adding weight to your step up is going to increase the intensity.
Your glutes (butt) are the biggest muscle in your body, that means we need to WORK it. We also want to work on those muscles because a lot of us sit all day. Which causes our hip flexors to tighten up and our glutes to overstretch, which can cause all sorts of problems.
FORM: Knees bent and feet just slightly wider than hips. Either one dumbbell across your hips, or both dumbbells for more resistance. You want to drive ALL weight through the heels as you raise your butt up (keeping that core tight) and squeeze the glutes at the top before returning back down to the floor. You want to try and get your hips high enough that you are a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
MODIFICATION: Don’t use weights.
Again, just as it sounds. Lunges, but you are jumping and switching feet! Another great plyometric for strength and power building.
FORM: Start out in a split stance (or lunge). Then you want to jump up and switch feet and land in a lunge with the other foot in front. Always keep your core tight, weight in the heel of the front foot and your knees behind your toes!
MODIFICATION: An easier version is just switching feet with a little switch kick rather than a jump, or you can take the jump out completely and just do alternating lunges. To make it more difficult you can hold weights, add ankle weights, or you can increase the reps/tempo!
Check out my dynamic warmup YouTube video and my cool down video for inspiration. And remember, NEVER skip those two parts of the workout, they are extremely important in making progress and recovering.