It’s a common misconception that you need a barbell, a squat rack and several weight plates to get a decent leg workout in. Instead, the reality is this — you can smoke your quads, glutes, hamstrings calves and almost every other muscle in your legs with a pair of dumbbells and your bodyweight. That your core gets a big hit is just a welcome bonus.
This is common denominator in our latest YouTube series with PT and cover model Bradley Simmonds, who’s created several follow-along workouts that you can sweat through at the gym, at home or wherever you are. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, a space to burpee in, and a bottle of water.
The second and latest video, above, is designed to smoke your legs and your core using just six exercises. You’ll be working in a 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off format for five total rounds lasting 30 minutes overall. Here’s how it works:
In 30 Minutes, 40/20 work/rest:
- Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Hold the dumbbells in front of you, with your palms facing your body.
- Hinge forward, bending your knees and lower the dumbbells without your back rounding
- Keep your core braced and lift back to the starting position. That’s one rep
- Dumbbell Sumo squats
- With your feet wider than shoulder width apart, squat down and grasp two dumbbells with your hands almost touching.
- Keep your chest up, pull your shoulders back and look straight ahead as you lift the dumbbells.
- Focus on taking the weight back onto your heels and keep the bar as close as possible to your body at all times. Lift to thigh level, pause, then return under control to the start position.
- Reverse lunges
- Start standing, just as you would with a regular lunge, and tighten your core.
- Step back with your right leg and plant your left forefoot in the ground.
- Slowly bend your left knee, doing everything possible to keep your left shin perpendicular with the ground.
- Lower down until your left thigh is parallel with the ground, pause, then, drive up through your right heel and return to standing.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Side lunges
- Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
- Step your right leg out to the side and lower your body as you bend your knee, keeping your left leg straight.
- Drive yourself back up to starting position and repeat on the other side.
- Plank dumbbell pull-throughs
- Assume a high plank position with a dumbbell set to the left of your body behind your wrists.
- Reach your right hand underneath your torso, grab the weight, and drag it to the right.
- Return your right hand to the floor and repeat with your left hand.
- Russian twists
- Sit holding a dumbbell with your arms extended and feet off the floor.
- Quickly twist at the torso, turning from side to side.
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Gallery: Hit Michael B. Jordan’s 40-Minute, ‘Creed II’ Dumbbell Workout for a Huge Upper-Body Pump (Men’s Health UK)
1A: Dumbbell Push Press, 15 Reps
1B: Incline Dumbbell Press, 20 Reps
2A: Dumbbell Biceps Curl (10 Reps)
2B: Dumbbell Renegade Row,15 Reps Per Side
2C: Dumbbell Pull-Over, 20 Reps
1 Mile Run, For Time