Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

1 Dumbbell Step Up Overview

The 1 dumbbell step up is a variation of the dumbbell step up and an exercise used to target the muscles of the leg.

The 1 dumbbell step up challenges the muscles of the quads unilaterally to build balanced strength.

1 Dumbbell Step Up Instructions

  1. Set up in front of a riser which is 8-12” off the ground.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and initiate the exercise by stepping on to the riser with one leg.
  3. Drive through the front foot and extend the knee as you stand up fully.
  4. Slowly lower back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

1 Dumbbell Step Up Tips

  1. If you’re having trouble with only driving off the front leg, then consider pulling up the toes on the back foot. This will shift the weight onto your heel and prevent you from driving off the ball of your foot.
  2. If you want to emphasize more a pump through one leg versus another, complete all of the repetitions on one side before switching to the other.
  3. Do not rock forward to initiate the movement. Lean forward over the front leg, drive off the forefoot, control the eccentric, step off, and repeat.