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How To Do Dumbbell Squats

Proper Form For Squats With Dumbbells

Exercising is supposed to be simple and straightforward, right?

There are a lot of people out there who think that as long as you’re getting your body in motion through lifting weights or flexing muscles, that means you’re working out properly.

It’s true. Moving around and doing stuff is certainly better than just sitting on your couch all day, but if you’re going to invest time in exercising and getting in shape, you might as well do things properly.

By taking the time to learn how to do an exercise properly, you can achieve two things.

First off, you’re able to obtain more benefits from the exercise if you are able to consistently execute it as intended. Since you’re already expending energy exercising, you should do everything you can to get the most out of it.

The other reason why you should take the time to make sure that you’re performing an exercise properly is because doing so will help you minimize the risk of injury. Exhibit incorrect form often enough and that’s bound to catch up to you.

With all of those things in mind, I’m going to help you improve your workout by showing you how to properly complete dumbbell squats.

The dumbbell squat is one of the more convenient exercises to perform because all you need are weights, some space, and the right technique.

Here are some frequently asked questions I want to cover: 

Are squats with dumbbells effective?

Yes, they are effective because of the variety of muscles that are targeted during the exercise. But with any exercise, it's effective when performed properly and you're engaging the right muscles. 

What muscles do dumbbell squats work?

Squats target every muscle in your lower body. Your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves (indirectly), and core muscles. When you position your feet differently (wide or narrow stance), you can target and engage different muslces.

What weight should I use for squats?

You should start with a weight that you can properly perform the exercise for 12-15 repetitions. Once you're familiar with the exercise and feel as if you can increase your weight, start to increase the weight by 5-10lbs. Then, gradually progress your workouts so it fits your desired fitness goal.

How many squats do you have to do to see results?

Perform 12-15 squats per set in your workout. Depending on your goal, also add in some lunges to stimulate your muscles from different angles. Also, by including single-leg exercises like lunges, you'll see better results with your squats. 

In order to learn about the correct dumbbell squat technique, let’s discuss this exercise in greater detail.

The Common Mistakes 

Prior to breaking down how the dumbbell squat should be done, you will benefit from knowing which mistakes are often made by people so that you can avoid them.

The first common mistake is related to the stance. Some folks have a tendency to either be too wide or too narrow with their stance. In both cases, you won’t be able to harness as much power and you won’t engage as many muscles.

You can also make a mistake with regards to how you position the dumbbells. They should be positioned just above your shoulders with your palms facing toward your face.

If you’re struggling with holding two dumbbells up, that’s fine. Change to holding one dumbbell horizontally just below your chin with both hands and work out with that.

Lastly, make sure that you also avoid leaning forward as you dip your body. Shifting your weight forward disengages some of the muscles at the back of your legs and that will result in you getting a bad workout.

Proper Way to Execute Dumbbell Squats 

Now it’s time to start performing the dumbbell squats and you can begin by assuming the right stance. Position your feet so that they are hip-width apart. This should allow you to generate the power you need to complete the dumbbell squats with consistency.

Bring the dumbbells up over your shoulders next and follow that up by bending your hips. You want to push your behind out to effectively bend your hips.

Go down low enough to the point where your thighs become almost parallel to the ground. Your knees should also remain in line with your toes.

This next part is crucial because it can have a huge impact on how effective the dumbbell squats are. As you’re moving up from the squatting position, remember to drive your hips forward.

Driving your hips forward is important because this allows you to involve more muscles in the exercise. If you don’t extend fully, you could effectively cut off your hamstrings and prevent them from getting into the workout.

Another thing you can do to prevent leaning forward is to push through your heels instead of the balls of your feet.

On the way up, squeeze your glutes too. Squats are supposed to help you get that beautiful behind and squeezing is key to that happening. Breathe out when you go back upright.

Take your time when performing these dumbbell squats. It’s better to spend a few more minutes ensuring that you follow the steps properly instead of rushing through the process and missing out on some crucial gains.

It’s not enough to just follow the vague framework of exercise and do that repeatedly. If you’re serious about getting in better shape, correctly performing every exercise is something you need to practice.


The tips above should help with the dumbbell squat, so feel free to incorporate that exercise into your routine. Talk soon!

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