Dumbbell squat exercise
Exercise Database | Legs and Glutes

Dumbbell squat

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps
  • Synergists: Adductor Magnus, Soleus
  • Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
  • Stabilizers (not highlighted): Erector Spinae, Levator Scapulae, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Rectus Abdominis, Obliques
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Stand holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and pointing slightly outward.


  1. Keeping your torso upright and your shoulders back, inhale as you squat down by pushing your butt backward and bending your knees forward. Descend at least until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  2. Exhale as you push yourself back up to a standing position, driving from your heels.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your torso upright, shoulders back, head up, and feet flat.
  • Keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction.
  • Use the dumbbell squat as an auxiliary exercise to improve your barbell squat.
  • One benefit the dumbbell squat has over the barbell squat is that you can perform it anywhere, and there’s no need for a spotter.
  • The dumbbell squat can also replace the barbell squat as your primary quad-dominant (squatting) exercise during deload weeks or if the barbell squat is too hard on your lower back.

Dumbbell squat video


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