Muscles Targeted: The dumbbell squat is a highly effective exercise which helps develop the major muscles of the lower body. These muscles include the quadriceps (4 large muscles on the front of the thighs), the hamstrings (back of thighs), the gluteus maximum (butt muscles) and the calves (lower part of the leg). This is one of the best exercises you can use if you want to build muscle and strength in your legs.
Exercise Instructions: Stand up straight and place your feet at about shoulder width apart. Grab a dumbbell in both hands and let them naturally hang at your sides. Begin by squatting as though you are going to sit down in a chair while keeping your back flat and your chest out while looking straight ahead. At the bottom of the squat, your legs should be about parallel to the ground. If you don’t have the range of motion or flexibility to go to parallel then don’t. Return to the starting position by pushing off the feet and back up. Be sure to keep your back upright and straight throughout this exercise and keep your overall balance to ensure you maintain a safe and athletic stance.
Why This Exercise is Important: The dumbbell squat is an excellent exercise because it hits several large muscles of the lower body which help to build muscle mass and strength. It can also be used virtually anywhere since all you need is a couple of dumbbells and a small amount of space. You can easily do this exercise in the convenience of your own home or even in a hotel room when traveling.
Things To Avoid: The key things to avoid pertain to technique and form. You need to make sure to avoid losing balance so keep a stable foundation with your feet while being in an athletic stance. Losing balance could result in injury so be careful and always mindful of your technique. Back and knee issues are also a major concern so keep your back flat with your chest out and keep your knees from going over your toes at the bottom squat position. You want your knees to be below your toes to keep the pressure and tension off the delicate knee ligaments.
Reps and Sets: Repetitions will be on the higher side so keep them around 8-15 for the best results. Even though you can go up with weight when using the dumbbells, if your main concern is adding mass with a lot of weight then your best bet is to perform barbell squats. Total sets should be around 3-6.
Other Exercises To Use: Some other effective exercises to include with dumbbell squats include walking lunges, leg press, reverse lunges and barbell step-ups.