Dumbbell Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Beginner
  • Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
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Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the dumbbell squat by choosing a pair of dumbbells and holding them down by your sides.
  2. Stand with a slight bend in your knees and your feet around shoulder width apart. Keep your head up and your back straight. This is the starting position.
  3. Keeping your eyes facing forward slowly lower your body down. Don't lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
  4. Squat down as far as possible or at least until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.
  5. Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.

Exercise Tips:

  1. It's crucially important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping your eyes facing forward, chest out, shoulder blades back, and back arched. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  2. Always push up through your heels. Curling up your toes can help you get the technique right.
  3. Never lean forward. This happens when your hips move up faster than your shoulders. To prevent this keep the rep timing slow and controlled and stick your buttocks out as you go down.
  4. When you squat down, your hips should be dropping straight down, not coming forward. Using a light weight, perfect your form standing side on to a mirror. Your knees should never track out and over your toes.
  5. Using squats to their full potential requires squatting down at least until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
  6. Don't point your knees in or out when you're lowering or pushing the weight. This puts unnecessary strain on the knee joints.
  7. Never look down. As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.

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26 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 11/12/2016 - 21:17

Hello everyone,

I squat all the way down and find my dumbbells touch the floor before I get a full range of motion. Could I do this exercise on a small block or a couple of plates to lift me off the floor some what- as I've read elsewhere?

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Posted Sun, 05/21/2017 - 09:54

I hold the dumbells over my shoulders, kind of resting them there, while I do the squat. Feels a lot better to me.

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Posted Mon, 06/30/2014 - 16:10

Are you supposed to squeeze your cheeks while you do this?

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Posted Sun, 04/06/2014 - 08:19

My knees crack horribly when doing this, even after a warm-up. Is this okay?

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Posted Mon, 04/07/2014 - 10:12

As long there in no pain, you should be fine.

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Posted Tue, 07/30/2013 - 00:54

please tell me if somebody know how should I breath when doing this exercise

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Posted Tue, 08/25/2015 - 13:04

Breathe in going down, breathe out during the push back to standing.

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2013 - 22:57

i have dumbell and a rood with total 52k waights can u give me a gud workout plan for every day....:):)

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Posted Fri, 02/01/2013 - 15:37

What's the difference between these Dumbbell Squats and the Dumbbell Deadlift? https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/dumbbell-deadlift.html

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Posted Sat, 06/15/2013 - 02:51

DB Deadlift works out the lower back as primary,
DB Squat works the quads as the primary.

DB Deadlift is a 'pull' type exercise,
DB Squat is a 'push'

DB Deadlift works more middle back / traps / and forearms.
DB Squat focuses more on legs, glutes, and hamstrings.

Hope that helps!


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Posted Wed, 12/12/2012 - 14:39

this is a squat. bc when going down in squats your hips and knee should form a straight line before you come back up. and he does that in this video

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Posted Mon, 11/05/2012 - 14:19
Lalo Dominguez

will using only one dumbell be ok? i figure it would be better because i'm using more stabilization muscles to stay balanced

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Posted Wed, 09/05/2012 - 23:28

This is most definitely a squat.

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Posted Wed, 08/15/2012 - 11:30

This is not a dumbbell squat, this is a dumbbell crouch! A squat is when you lower yourself down as if you were lowering yourself onto a chair behind you. By ending up almost with your bottom on the floor, you are crouching. Not a good move.

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2012 - 16:37

What would you suggest?
I find this tough too..

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Posted Mon, 01/14/2013 - 14:04

And the most idiotic comment of the day award goes to...

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Posted Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:18


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Posted Mon, 07/30/2012 - 10:50

What is a good way to determine how much weight to use? I am Female, 105lbs, in good cardio shape - used to doing body weight exercises as in Yoga. I am planning to do this as a part of the Whole Body Conditioning workout listed on this site at https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/conditioning-workout-for-wome.... My goal is to condition and tone, not necessarily "build" muscle.

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Posted Tue, 07/17/2012 - 23:36

I'm confused by the 1st Tip, it says, "...keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping your ... back arched." What??

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Posted Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:15

Have your back itself arched but as a whole from hips to to shoulders be straight up.

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Posted Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:46

One question: The heels should stay fixed to the ground?
I think I lack flexibility here...

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2012 - 15:21

Is it not more natural to do this with the feet pointing outward instead of straight forward (feet in a "V" shape, but shoulder width apart)?

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Posted Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:15

"ChrisMcG", it's not technically "more natural to do this with the feet pointing outward instead of straight forward", but the exercise should be executed in this manor. For anyone whom takes scientific experiments and discoveries seriously, and or cares for the health of their knees - they should either;

- 1. take up this advice,
- 2. do further research into the safest method of squatting.

Which ever option you chose, you'll find yourself squatting with your knees apart.

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2012 - 12:00
ian wilson


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Posted Fri, 04/27/2012 - 23:18

This exercise is great and I check the vid from time to time to execute a good form. :D

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2012 - 23:48

Oops, I have been cheating. Glad I checked this great video, thank you so much for posting!