dumbbell quad exercises

Top 10 Dumbbell Quad Exercises

There is nothing quite like a solid dumbbell leg workout. While hefty barbells are beneficial to your lower body, you should never undervalue the strength of two weights. There is a number of squats, deadlifts, and lunges possibilities to select from — and we wanted to provide you with a list of some of our favorites that will target your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The following is not a leg-day workout. Choose a handful of these dumbbell quad exercises and include them in your sweat session instead. Plus, here’s how to figure out which weight is appropriate for you. Let’s get this started!

The Best Dumbbell Quad Workouts

Goblet Squats

woman holding dumbbell

Goblet squats emphasize the quadriceps, glutes, upper back, and core muscles. If you’ve never done squats before, this variant is a nice thing to start. Because goblet squats put the strain on your core in front of your body rather than behind it, they’re quite comfortable for your back.

  1. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold the bottom of one plate with both palms facing up. To improve balance, keep your shoulders parallel to the floor and your toes slightly outward.
  2. Make the movement like a regular dumbbell squat exercise.
  3. After your hamstrings are in parallel position, take one to two seconds before returning to your starting position. Repeat as many times as you’d like, but three to four sets of ten reps each are optimal.

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat will put your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes to the test by severely taxing them. Single-leg training is beneficial for balance, coordination, and muscle growth.

  • Stand two feet from a bench or step, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Turn your back to the bench.
  • Place your left foot back on the bench and rest it there. 
  • Lower your body as far as you can, allowing your right thigh to be parallel to the ground and your left knee to be slightly above the floor. Maintain a straight posture with your shoulders back and chest up while lowering. 
  • Relax and then press yourself back up into the starting position, keeping your glutes engaged. 
  • Do both sides in a row, starting with one side and then the other. 

Dumbbell Hip Thrust

Raise your shoulders above a higher point (with your hips hanging off the front), place your feet firmly on the floor, and grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Begin the move by lowering your hips toward the floor, then push up through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. Activate your core to keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise.

Dumbbell Sumo Squats

Sumo squats with a dumbbell focus on your glutes, hamstrings, and inner quadriceps. They’re extremely efficient in terms of calorie expenditure and mobility, flexibility, balance, and stability improvement. This type of leg workout is an expert Jack of all trades when it comes to legs.

  1. With both hands, take a dumbbell. Keep it at waist height. At a 45-degree angle, flare your legs out. They should be three to four feet apart. Slightly extend your toes. Tip your torso forward at a 30-degree angle while keeping your back straight.
  2. Squat to a parallel position with your hamstrings. While bracing your core, pause for a second or two in the middle. Return to the beginning position.
  3. Repeat the number of repetitions desired (or three to four sets each of 10 reps).

Calf Raise

The calf raise is a wonderful exercise for strengthening your calf and lower-leg muscles. It’s easy to guess which muscles this activity targets. If you don’t have access to an exercise step or a suitable surface at home, calf raises may also be done with your feet on the ground.

  • Place your feet flat on the floor and step up onto an exercise step, weight plate, or similar elevated surface (2-3 inches off the ground). While your heels remain on the floor, place your toes and balls of your feet on the step. Your arches should not be over the step. 
  • Begin your set by standing with a pair of dumbbells at your hands. This is where you’ll start your routine.
  • Raise your heels off the floor and as high as feasible by pushing through the balls of your feet and contracting your calves. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds, then relax your legs to your starting position. Your calf muscles should feel stretched.

Single-Leg Deadlift

Stand with one foot on the floor, your knee slightly bent, and a dumbbell in the opposite hand. Square your hips to the mat while hinging at the waist (keeping your back flat) and lowering the weight to the ground while floating your other leg backward.

Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell lunges target the muscles of your glutes, hamstrings, hips, calves, and quads. They also activate your abdominal muscles and lower back since they aid in the body’s stability throughout the motion.

  1. Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Maintain a straight and relaxed posture.
  2. Lunge forward with your right leg. The ground should be parallel to the front of your right hamstring. The left knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Hold for a second or two in this posture.
  3. Return to the start position and perform the movement with your left leg again. Repeat as needed (three to four sets of ten reps per leg).

Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a great exercise for your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while placing less strain on your knee joints than a regular lunge. It also requires balance and coordination.

  • Begin in a standing position with your feet together, holding a pair of dumbbells at both sides. 
  • Back lunge with your right leg landing on the ball of your foot, then bend your legs to lower into a lunge. Your front and back knees should be at a 90 degrees, as well as your front thigh parallel to the floor. 
  • Raise your legs and hips up towards your chest. Return to the beginning position by extending your knees and hips.
  • Repeat with each leg.


Raise your arms over your head and bend your knees to descend into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your chest proud and looking forward. Extend your arms straight up overhead and push up through your heels. Repeat the process with your hands returning to their original position on your shoulders.

Dumbbell Step-Ups

  1. Take a pair of dumbbells and set them down by your sides. With your feet positioned shoulder-width apart and bent slightly, stand up straight.
  2. Step your right foot onto a raised surface, such as a flat bench, plyometric jump box, coffee table, or wooden box to allow for a 90-degree angle between your right hamstring and calf muscle. Step your left foot on the platform once you’ve set your right foot firmly on the elevated platform. You should be in an upright posture at this time. Hold this for a second or two.
  3. Begin by forming a square with your right foot and left, then quickly jump up. Continue the sequence of steps until you’ve completed the desired number of reps (ideally three to four sets of 10 repetitions for each leg).

To know more about hamstring dumbbell exercises you can do at home click here.