- Target muscles: Quadriceps (Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius [deep], Rectus Femoris)
- Synergists: Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus
- Dynamic stabilizers: Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
- Important stabilizers (not highlighted): Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Anterior Deltoid, Lateral Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Triceps Brachii
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
- With your feet hip-width apart, stand holding a dumbbell in each hand overhead, directly above each shoulder. Your palms should be facing forward and your elbows almost fully extended.
- Keeping your torso neutral and your arms almost fully extended, inhale as you squat down by flexing at the hips and knees.
- Exhale as you return to the starting position by extending your hips and knees.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Comments and tips
- Keep your head facing forward, your torso neutral and your arms almost fully extended throughout the exercise.
- For the safety of your ankles and knees, make sure that your toes and knees are pointing in the same direction.
- The dumbbell overhead squat is great for overloading your lower body (especially your quadriceps and glutes), strengthening your core, and improving your balance.
- Start with light weights until you master proper form and balance. You can gradually increase the weight you’re lifting as you get more familiar with performing the dumbbell overhead squat.
- You can also look into the following squat exercises that use dumbbells: dumbbell squat, dumbbell box squat, dumbbell sumo squat.
Dumbbell overhead squat video