Dumbbell Squat Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Dumbbell Squat

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Step 1. Place two dumbbells on the floor wide enough so that you can grip them with your arms at your side.

Step 2. Bend at the knees and pick up the weights. Keep your back and neck straight as you bend down.

Step 3. Take hold of the weights and stand up. Keep your toes straight forward and make sure your knees do not move. All of your weight should be on your heels not on your toes. As you press with your legs, push your pelvis forward to help drive up the weight.


The dumbbell squat is the primary exercise for building size and strength in the legs. With a proper and full range of motion, it works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The dumbbell squat is a variation on the squat that may be preferred by those with back problems or those who do not have access to a squatting rack. Unlike a regular squat where the weight is supported across the upper back and shoulders, the weights used on the dumbbell squat are limited by the dumbbell the user can hold. It is not recommended to use straps to do heavier weight; if heavier weight is desired, a regular squat should be performed. Because of the weight discrepancy, this exercise should be performed at a slightly higher rep range, though not much more, since it is still a strength exercise. The typical stance for the dumbbell squat is slightly wider than shoulder-width. The user may angle their toes outward and use a wider stance if working the inner part of the leg is desired.

Dumbbell Squat 4
Dumbbell Squat 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015