Are you in need of extra lower body dumbbell workout exercises to help build your legs?
If your Quads, Hamstrings and Calves have stopped responding to your current lower body workout session, there’s no time to down tools and reside yourself to the fact you may have to hide your legs for the rest of your days.
In this article, I’m going to share one dumbbell leg exercise for Quads, Hamstrings and Calves you can use to quickly jump start and stimulate muscle growth. These exercises are not the average every day movements you see in most trainee’s lower body dumbbell workout. These underground movements may take time to master; but once you’re there, you can employ these and some of the others we have listed in our other dumbbell leg exercise articles listed at the bottom of this read.
As I give you each movement, I think it only prudent to put you streets ahead of your competition by conveying some handy Mission Jacked Tips on how to properly train the muscle group in question. If you did nothing else but added these suggestions to your training, I can almost guarantee you will see major improvements downstairs.
Before introducing our first lower body exercise, here is an important Quad tip.
Mission Jacked Tip: Quads are Knee Extensors; therefore “Flexion” and “Extension” of the knee should be your primary concern, because when done properly, good flexion and extension will place greater loads on the Quads and not on the Spine and surrounding muscles. This can be done by not traveling outside your own active range of motion.
What is your active range of motion?
Here’s a quick test. Stand tall with chest high and butt back. Now pull your knee up to your chest or as high as you can go without rounding your spine and dipping down. However high you can do this with perfect form is where your active range of motion ends. Remember that everyone is built differently, so ranges of motion are going to be different from person to person.
Think about doing the above with a pair of heavy dumbbells in hand. Anytime you have to round your back to complete a repetition, you are working outside of your active range of motion and robbing your Quads of most of the work.
If you are looking for an exercise to add to your dumbbell quad workout, here’s an underground beauty. In fact, I would call this Dumbbell Quad Royalty not because of the name, but more to do with the results one can get with this exercise.
While this movement may seem a polite lower body exercise, this is anything but courteous and well-mannered. The pump in the Vastus Medialis is insane (the teardrop), while the most significant part of the quad, the vastus lateralis, located on the outer side of the upper thigh gets gorged with blood the higher the rep range.
Target Muscle Group: Quads
Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Cross your feet in a curtsy position, with the front foot set at a slight angle that feels comfortable.
Cue 2: You should be on the toes of your back foot throughout the movement.
Cue 3: Let your knees travel out to the sides as you slowly lower. Stop briefly when the knee on your rear leg is equal to the lower portion of the calf on your front leg before returning to the start of the exercise.
Cue 4: Keep your back flat and drive through the heel of your front foot.
Hamstrings flex the knee and extend the hip.
Mission Jacked Tip 1: It’s important when training Hamstrings to create as much force against the floor as possible. When you push into the ground you’ll feel everything contract from your Quads and Hamstrings to your Glutes and Calves.
Mission Jacked Tip 2: Always engage and challenge the Hamstrings to maintain tension on the muscle instead of racing through each repetition.
This exercise is both practical and easy to master, but not easy on the Hamstring muscles. If you are looking for a movement to replace your average dumbbell RDL, this is definitely worth adding to your lower body dumbbell workout.
Items Needed: You will need more than just a dumbbell; you will also require one of the following - a slider, a towel, or even a paper plate and a hard, smooth floor to get the exercise moving.
Target Muscle Groups: Hamstrings & Glutes
Cue 1: Keep the dumbbell in front of the leg on the slider and stay in a square on position.
Cue 2: Maintain a slight bend in the front leg and create as much force against the floor as you slide into the down position.
Cue 3: Contract the Glute in the sliding leg on the way back to the top of the movement.
Mission Jacked Tip: When training Calves, execution is essential. The Calf is an ankle extensor, and for this reason you should be aiming to get up on the tip of your big toe as opposed to rolling on the outside of your foot.
We’ve saved the best and most taxing movement to last. If you’re looking for a hard-hitting and time saving lower body dumbbell movement, the name, “Toe Squats” implies that you’re not only working Calves, but you’re also engaging the Quads, Abductors, and Glute muscles for good measure.
This is one of the most challenging exercises to master if you have less than good balance, but an exercise worth learning for all the good it can do for your lower body. Named the Toe Squat because the entire movement is carried out on your toes, this exercise will give the Calves a good going over.
Target Muscles: Calves, Quads, Abductors, and Glutes
Equipment Needed: A pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Start on your toes, shoulder-width apart, with feet pointed out at about a 45-degree angle.
Cue 2: Have the two nearest dumbbell heads at an angle as you pick them up with palms facing in with the dumbbells in between your legs as you slowly lift them off the floor. Make sure to maintain a flat back throughout the movement.
Cue 3: Drive up on your toes, and as you straighten your legs, rotate the dumbbells until they are outside of each thigh with palms almost facing away from you.
Cue 4: As you lower down for the start of the next rep and as your knees open out, slowly bring the dumbbells back so they are in between your legs with your palms facing in towards you.
Cue 5: Keep on your toes throughout the movement.
Bonus Mission Jacked Tip: Another helpful tip when performing any of these exercises in your lower body dumbbell workout is to use wrist straps to maintain a good grip on the dumbbells. There’s nothing worse than your grip giving out before you’ve had time to fully work the muscles.
Looking For More Dumbbell Calf Work? Check Out These 5 Calf Raise With Dumbbell Variations
Leave 2 repetitions in reserve on all working sets. This will ensure you are achieving maximum motor unit recruitment. Sets will depend on your training structure, recovery, and fatigue levels, but 3 – 4 sets per exercise should be a good starting point.
Of course you do. If after you’ve mastered each movement, you still have mean intensions on making your legs grow, here is a intensity technique you can deploy…But be warned – This is no joke!
For this muscle-building technique, you simply choose one of the above movements, set a rep target and obtain that repetition goal no matter how many sets it takes to achieve.
• Our target is 50 repetitions with a weight that may allow you 15 reps to failure. On set one, you achieved 15 reps.
• Rest up to 30 seconds
• You perform 10 more reps to failure
• Rest up to 30 seconds
• Achieve 8 reps to failure
• Rest up to 30 seconds
• Complete 7 reps to failure
• Rest up 30 seconds
• Perform 5 repetitions to failure
• Rest 30 seconds
• Perform 5 reps to failure
Or you could try - The Time Subtraction Rep Targeting.
A significant variation of the above rep targeting method is to do, "Time Subtraction Rep Targeting." Your rest time between sets is the number of reps you have left to reach your target.
Here’s an example using a target of 50 reps with a weight that allows you about 15 repetitions to failure.
• You complete 15 reps on set one to failure
• Rest 35 seconds
• Set 2 you complete 10 repetitions to failure
• Rest 25 seconds
• Set 3 you complete 8 reps to failure
• Rest 17 seconds
• Set 4 you perform 6 repetitions to failure
• Rest 11 seconds
• Set 5 you complete 5 reps to failure
• Rest 6 seconds
• Set 6 you perform 4 reps to failure
• Rest 2 seconds
• Set 7 you complete 2 reps
Train Hamstrings on their own? Check out the different Hamstring Dumbbell Exercises you can do!
If you are looking for more fire-power to add to your lower body dumbbell workout, look no further than the articles below.
2: The Best Muscle Building Program at Home – Everything You Need to Get Jacked:
4: These Killer Dumbbell Quad Exercises Will Have You Walking On The Best Legs In Town
Bodybuilding.Com Leg Workouts for Women: Build Strong, Sculpted Quads