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Leg Toning Workout at Home with Dumbbells: 7 Exercises

March 24, 2020

Leg workout with dumbbells at home

Did you know that you can tone and shape your legs without going to the gym? All you need is a pair of dumbbells and the workout routine below.

This workout is great for women because the exercises you’ll be doing target specific areas, like your thighs, toning those muscles. And you’ll be adding that nice firm shape to your glutes.

And the best part is you can do this workout at home. You don’t need any special gym equipment; just two dumbbells and a dedicated 15 minutes.

You find ‘how to’ images below for each exercise. And after the workout, I’ve also included a video for these exercises and workout.

Tips for Your Workout Space At Home

dumbbell front squat2 - woman

First, I’m going to give you some tips on how to set up your workout space at home. Even if you already have a workout room or space at home, keep reading this section because I’m also going to cover some tips for motivation at home.

  • Dedicate a specific area for your workouts. This doesn’t have to be an entire room but you do need a specific area and I’ll tell you why…
  • Give yourself more motivation by making your workout space resemble a gym, as much as possible. For example, you can set up a mirror and place some workout posters on the wall.
  • When you’re working out at home it can be easy for others to distract you. Make sure than everyone else in the household realizes that you are not to be disturbed when you are training. They need to treat that time as if you were not there (unless they’re working out with you!).
  • Have a stereo or speaker in your workout area to play music during your workouts.
    If you like heavy instrumental music, listen to ‘Heavy Metal Workout

In addition, make sure you’re warmed up and in the proper mindset before you start training. Here are two simple things you can do…

Take 5-10 minutes to do some dynamic stretching for your quads and hamstrings, and deep breathing exercises. Both will help you warm-up and clear your mind so that you’re focused when you start your training session.

If you’d like to learn more about dynamic stretching, check out this program: Unlock Your Hip Flexors
(this will open a new browser so that you don’t lose this page)

7 Dumbbell Leg Exercises for Toning

Now let’s go over your leg exercises in detail. You’ll also get some tips on how to make each exercise more effective.

Each exercise is performed with dumbbells. You can use the same weight for all of them if you only have one pair of dumbbells.
Kettlebells would work for this too.


  • Start with holding the dumbbells up as if you were going to do a shoulder press
  • Keep your foot position at a comfortable stance (about shoulder-width apart; this is different for some)
  • With pressure on your heels, squats down to about parallel
  • Use your quads and glutes to push your body back up
  • As you’re pushing yourself back up to the standing position, force your thighs to move out some as you push up

Stiff-leg Deadlifts

  • Start by standing up holding the dumbbells by your side
  • As you lean forward, poke your rear out
  • Do not round your back; make sure you have a slight arch in your lower back
  • Concentrate on forcing your hamstrings to pull the weight and your body back to the standing position

**This is a mental exercise meaning you really have to hone in on the mind-to-muscle connection. Your goal is to use your hamstrings, to focus on that muscle throughout the exercise.

Sumo Squats

  • Start with a wide stance pointing your feet slightly outward
  • Hold the dumbbell with both hands in front of you
  • Squat down until the dumbbell is about an inch or two from touching the floor
  • Keep your torso straight with a slight arch in your lower back, and poke your rear out, but without leaning forward
  • Focus on your inner legs and thighs throughout this exercise

Walking Lunges

  • Stand with your feet about two inches apart, holding the dumbbells by your side
  • Step forward with one leg
  • Make sure your knee doesn’t go over your feet; if this happens, you need to take a greater step
  • Bring your other leg forward to where you’re standing and repeat with the opposite leg

**Make sure you have a clear path to do your lunges. If this is not feasible, you could do your lunges in one place by stepping forward, then back, and then repeating with the other leg.

Front Squats

  • This is the same as regular squats but instead, you’re holding the dumbbells in front of you with your palms facing you
  • As you perform the front squat you will feel your quads working harder; focus on those muscles throughout each rep

Toe Raises

  • Stand with your feet close together and holding the dumbbells by your side
  • Raise your body up by standing on your tip-toes
  • Try to hold this position for 2-3 seconds before going back down
  • You can also do these on a platform so that you get a deep stretch at the bottom

2-minute Step-ups

In the image above, I’m showing you how to be creative. Ideally, you’d want a higher platform such as a workout bench. But this workout was intended for those with minimal equipment at home.

The goal here is to step up one leg at a time and then reverse that pattern. You can start by doing these for 1 minute but your goal will be 2. You can increase that time as you progress and this can serve as a cardio workout.

Leg Workout Routine

dumbbell walking lunges2 - woman

The below workout routine is set up to allow you to focus on each specific exercise. Each exercise is working different parts of your legs muscles. And your goal is to really feel your muscles working throughout each rep.

Here are some important notes to read before you do this routine:

  • Rest 30 seconds between each set
  • Also, rest 30 seconds between exercises
  • Don’t rush through the exercises; do your reps in a controlled manner; this forces your muscles to work harder
  • Eat a light meal with some protein and complex carbs an hour before this workout (ex: organic oatmeal with almond halves)
  • Do not eat a heavy meal or any sugary foods before your workout
  • It’s okay to take something boost energy before your workout like a cup of coffee or an energy drink like 4 Gauge pre-workout
  • You’ll also want to stretch after your leg workout (I’ll give you some stretches below)
ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats2 x 10
Stiff-leg deadlifts2 x 10
Sumo squats2 x 10
Walking lunges2 x 10
Front squats2 x 10
Toe raises2 x 10
Step-ups2 minutes x 2*

*For step-ups, you’ll do these for 2 minutes followed by 30 seconds of rest and then repeat.

VIDEO: Training Legs A Home

If you’d like an entire dumbbell routine you can do at home, be sure to read my post: Muscle Building Workout at Home with Dumbbells

3 Leg Stretches To Do After Your Workout

After you finish your dumbbell leg routine you need to stretch. Don’t skip this part!

This will prevent you from being as sore, help you recover faster from your workouts, and will also help with balance and stability.

There are 3 stretches I want you to do. Each of these focuses on different parts of your legs.

  1. Quad stretch
  2. Hip flexor stretch
  3. Forward bend

Quad Stretch

quad stretch - woman

This is a basic leg stretch that you’ll use to stretch your quads. You really need this after all of the types of squats you just did.

Stand on one leg and hold the opposite leg behind your body. Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds for each leg, and repeat this 2-3 more times.

Hip Flexor Stretch

hip flexor stretch - woman

Many do not consider their hip flexors but this is actually one of the most important muscles you can stretch. You’ll start on one knee and raise that same-side arm up.

You can then bend your body as you see above. Hold that for 10-20 seconds and repeat with the other side of your body. Do this stretch at 2-3 times.

You can learn more exercises to do for this primal muscle here: Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Forward Bend

forward bend stretch - woman

This is a simple forward bend to stretch your hamstrings. You can have a slight bend in your knees as long as you feel those muscles stretching.

Try holding this longer, for 30 seconds up to a minute. And repeat at least a second time.

**If you’re looking to make your body burn extra calories during your workout, try taking Hourglass. You can learn more about Hourglass by clicking the image below:

Training Legs At Home

Doing your leg workouts at home can be liberating. You don’t have to fight traffic to get to the gym, and there’s no waiting on equipment.

You also save time by not having to commute. So you can spend that extra time working out or doing something else productive.

Just make sure you motivate yourself to workout hard. Just remember the tips I gave you at the beginning of this post. Stay focused and don’t let anything distract you during your routine.

I hope you enjoy this leg workout at home. Please feel free to share this post on your social media.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,


About the author

Jason Stallworth

Hi, I'm Jason Stallworth and I created The Muscle Program in 2010 for the purpose of helping you build muscle. I know first-hand how weight training and being in the gym has shaped my life in more way than one. And here is where I share that experience with you so that you can continue pushing yourself and becoming the best version of yourself each day!