You know, the most effective exercise for the leg muscles and is a barbell squat. This exercise is also the best for weight gain. However, the barbell is usually available in fitness centers only. People who don’t attend a gym, haven’t a possibility to perform this exercise. But they can train their legs with dumbbell and kettlebell. Below we will provide information on the best exercises for a dumbbell leg workout and kettlebell leg workout.
Dumbbell Leg Workout – Top 3 Exercises
We reiterate that the best exercise for the leg muscles is definitely the barbell squat, and this has been repeatedly tested. However, there are situations when people do not have possibility to attend a gym. Someone does not have enough time, others don’t have enough money, etc. Fortunately, to train the leg muscles, it is not necessary to exercise with barbells. After all, except squats with the bar, there are other effective leg exercises, such as squats with dumbbells and lunges with dumbbells. In addition, these exercises are much less traumatic, both for the back and for the knee joints, especially since there are no spare elements for the human body. So you have to rely on your own resources and use them without wasting.
- Dumbbell Squats. Stand straight, holding dumbbells in the lowered hands so that the palms are facing inwards. The legs should be located on the width of the shoulders, the back should be straight or slightly bent. It is desirable to immediately spot a certain point in space, just above the eye level and look at it during the exercise. By the way, this simple trick helps you to keep your back in better position. Then you can start squatting. On the inhalation slowly bend your knees and, continuing to hold your back, take the pelvis back, as if you sit down on an imaginary chair. On exhalation, rise up straightening our legs and returning to the starting position. Squatting can be done quickly, but it also can be performed slowly. The main thing is not to overdo it and do not jerk to minimize the risk of injury. Squats with dumbbells is a powerful exercise, but it should be done correctly. The main load should go on the heels, not on the toes, that is, the body weight should be projected on the heels. You do not want to have severe knee problems and sport arthritis instead of powerful leg muscles, don’t you?
- Lunges with Dumbbells. Your initial position is as follows: the legs are slightly apart, the dumbbells are in the lowered hands, palms are facing inwards. Inhale and make a long step forward with the torso held straight, the back should be straight or slightly bent. When the hip is set forward, it takes a horizontal position. With a powerful vigorous movement and exhalation, return it to its starting position. Doing lunges with dumbbells, you may not step every time, instead of this you may perform the exercise at one place holding one leg in front of the other, lowering and raising the body. Then change the leg. The negative phase, as in the case of squats, should be performed slowly. The legs should not be on the same line to maintain the balance better. The front leg should rest on the entire foot; the back leg should be on the toes. Your position should be stable, both in the negative and in the positive phase of the exercise. By this way, most of the weight should be projected onto the front working leg.
- Standing Calf Raises. This no-machine exercise load calf muscles, biceps femoris, and quadriceps. Stand straight, keeping two dumbbells in lowered arms. Toes and the front part of the feet should be located on a raised platform, for example, a wooden bar 5 centimeters high (or a simple box). The heels should be on the floor or in the air. Slowly rise on the toes using the strength of the muscles of the shins. At the maximum top position, stay for three seconds and slowly lower down.
You might be interested in top shoulder workouts for mass.
Kettlebell Leg Workout Exercises
1. Kettlebell Deadlift. Starting position: make sure your feet are almost together. The knees should be slightly bent, while the back is perfectly straight. Take the weight and keep it in the lowered arms. Your eyes should look straight. Begin to fall, taking your hips back. The kettlebell must not touch the floor. Return to the starting position and then repeat the exercise. Please note that during the whole exercise, the back should be straight. Do not round it. Do 3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions. The rest between sets should be about one minute.
2. Kettlebell One Leg Deadlift. Stand straight, with legs slightly narrower than the shoulders width. Bend the left leg in the knee and take it a little back. Back bend slightly, but keep straight. The right hand should be on the side, and the left hand should be with the kettlebell. Begin to lower your back with your left arm (straight arm) and pull the pelvis back. Do not round your back and do not bend it in the lower back, keep it flat. The weight should not touch the floor. The distance between the floor and the weight at the end point is to be 8-10 inches. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise. Do 3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions. The rest should be one minute.
3. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift. Starting position is as follows: the feet are wider than the shoulders, the back is straight. Hold the weight by the lowered hands in front of you. Begin to lower, pulling the pelvis back until the hips are parallel to the floor. Make sure that there is a deflection in the lower back, and the knees move smoothly in the direction of the toe. Focus on the heels. Once you have reached the end point, slowly go back. Do 3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions. The rest should be one minute.
4. Kettlebell Lunges. Stand up straight. The feet should be parallel to each other and slightly wider than the shoulders width. Make a step forward so that the knee in front of the standing leg is above the foot (preferably above the heel). Both legs should form a 90-degree angle at the bend. The knee of the backward leg should not touch the floor. Return to the starting position. Pay attention that when lifting to the starting position, it is necessary to shift the load to the front standing heel. Then do the same movement with the other leg. Do 3-4 sets of 16-20 repetitions. The rest should be no more than one minute.
You can perform these exercises regardless of whether you are a male or a female.
Example of Good Leg Workout Routine
You can try the following leg workout routine for weight gain:
- Dumbbell Squats. 4 sets, 4-6 reps.
- Kettlebell Deadlift. 4 sets, 4-6 reps.
- Dumbbell Rear Lunge. 4 sets, 15 reps.
- Standing Calf Raises. 4 sets, 20 reps.
Principles of Workouts for Weight Gain
Proper training is very important for muscle gain. But one cannot gain weight without proper nutrition with a calorie surplus. What you need to eat to gain weight? You’ve probably heard that a diet high in protein is best for muscle building. This is true, so in bodybuilding a lot of attention is paid to the protein. The protein provides your body with the raw materials needed to build muscle (amino acids). If you do not eat enough protein products, it will be difficult for you to gain muscle mass. Studies show that eating 2.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day is ideal. In any case, the protein norm should be 30-40% of the total daily calories consumed.
Many people use sports supplements for mass gain in addition to weight gain workout routines. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular supps among skinny guys and girls (the so-called hardgainers) is a gainer. However, most of gainers are low-quality carbohydrate-protein mixtures with a lot of simple sugars and unhealthy fats. And they taste disgusting. That’s why we don’t recommend gainers. We believe that people who emphasize the usual food when getting the necessary caloric intake are doing right. However, there is one supplement that we advise to anyone who is trying to increase strength and gain muscle mass. It’s creatine. Hundreds of studies have confirmed that this substance helps to build muscles faster, increases power indicators, improves anaerobic endurance, and accelerates muscular recovery. In addition, creatine is natural and safe supplement. Another supplement you should try is BCAA. BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. They are effective for muscle gains due to their anticatabolic effect. BCAAs are especially effective when taking before fasted cardio.