A Dumbbell Strategy for Well-developed Legs!!!

By: John M. Di Fazio II

Great leg development is a reflection of great leg training. Yes, some are blessed with genetics and are able to develop their legs beyond the average, but that does not mean that great leg development cannot be achieved with the proper training approach. Not everyone can build legs like Tom Platz, or Mike Gigante, or Paul De Mayo aka Quadzilla, but we can all strive to develop our legs to best of our genetic potential. The best exercise for overall leg development is the barbell squat. Other complimentary leg exercises include the leg press, the leg extension, the hamstring curl, and a variety of others. In this article, I would like to emphasize specific dumbbell exercises to develop deep line striations and shape for the leg muscles. Developing a sweeping quadriceps is the shape we all seek to achieve, but it is equally impressive to develop deep striations in the muscle through both contracting the muscles during the exercise and of course, clean eating while not on the gym floor. The hamstring development should be rounded as is its counterpart of the arm, (the biceps.) Deep striations should also be visible throughout the hamstring as well as the ilio-tibial tract, or I.T. band, which is the sheath of fascia upon the side of our legs. The glutes and calf muscles must also be developed to complete the balance of the legs for shape, strength, and stability. Building strong legs will help you for all of your life. I cannot stress enough how very important a strong foundation is for stability as one ages. If you keep your legs strong and flexible, you will never be restricted from doing the physical things that you wish to achieve. Analyze the anatomy chart below so that you can understand the muscles that you are training and how each one provides stability, strength, and flexibility to the legs:

The following is a dumbbell leg routine that you can execute both at home and at the gym:

Select a dumbbell weight that is manageable, yet challenging for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.


Goblet Squat : 3 sets x 15 repetitions


Step Ups: 3 sets x 15 repetitions, (on each leg)


Split Squat: 3 sets x 15 repetitions, (on each leg)


Sumo Squat: 3 sets x 15 repetitions


Lunges: 3 sets x 15 repetitions, (on each leg)


Stiff-leg (Romanian) Deadlift: 3 sets x 15 repetitions


Calf Raises: 3 sets x 15 repetitions


Below: Arnold displays balance in both aesthetic shape and striated muscle, as well as immense leg strength. Leg day was no joke at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach in those days. Arnold and Franco performed grueling leg workouts and deep, heavy squats, along with other power movements.


This article is also featured in MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT Online this month!!!