Best Quad Exercises With Dumbbells

Quads help us keep proper posture and come into play in almost every movement we make every day. Despite their importance, they often get neglected in most lower-body workouts. Use the best quad exercise with dumbbells can help you target this muscle group, counter the effects of sitting and make you look really good in a swimsuit.

The Top Quad Exercises with Dumbbells

Your quads will spring into action with almost every lower-body exercise you do. That’s why it’s important to focus on this particular muscle group. Use the following exercises to strengthen your quads and improve your overall performance on lower-body workouts.

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Man doing squats while holding dumbbells with each hand

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

The squat is one of the best exercises you can do to build lower body strength. While traditional dumbbell squats and dumbbell goblet squats target many of the same muscle groups, the movement is different. If you don’t have a barbell at hand and want to do something harder than a traditional bodyweight squat, this exercise is a good alternative.

How to Do a Dumbbell Goblet Squat

  1. Start by holding a dumbbell with both your hands. Make sure the dumbbell is under your chin and positioned against your chest. Keep in contact with the dumbbell through the entire exercise.
  2. Inhale and position your knees in a squat like position. Make sure your torso is upright and your core is engaged as you do so.
  3. As you lower your body, make sure your elbow touches your knees before standing back up.
  4. Get back up to the starting position and repeat

To get the most out of the dumbbell goblet squat exercise, start with at least 3 sets of between 8- 12 reps. Also, make sure that you perform this exercise with dumbbell weights that are within your range. This makes it easier to perform the dumbbell goblet squat.

Lateral Lunge with Dumbbells

The lunge is also another fantastic lower-body exercise that has been in existence for several years. However, the addition of dumbbells and the lateral lunge variation works on different muscles apart from your quadriceps. Other muscles this exercise works include your abs, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes.

How to Do a Lateral Lunge with Dumbbells

  1. Start by holding dumbbells in your hands in a standing position and make sure that they are at your sides.
  2. Place your feet in a shoulder-width distance.
  3. Take a big step with your right foot to the right and make sure that your arms are straight as you do so.
  4. When your right foot contacts the ground, lower your body by bending your knee and pushing your hip back. Make sure your left leg is straight as you do so.

Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat

Man sitting on the floor with his legs lifted in the air while holding a dumbbell on his side

The dumbbell Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg exercise that works on your quads as well as your glutes and hamstrings. This exercise using dumbbells is great to work on your stability.

How to Do a Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Start by holding the dumbbell in both your arms and proceed to extend your hands to your sides with your palms facing each other.
  2. Next, place your feet in a shoulder-width distance and place your rear foot on a bench.
  3. Using a bench for support, lower your hips towards the floor. Make sure that your rear knee gets close to the floor.
  4. Pause for a while and drive through your heel to get back to the beginning position.
  5. Make sure you keep your chest and torso up at all times when doing this exercise.

Dumbbell Thrusters

Dumbbell thrusters are a complex exercise that works the hamstrings, shoulders, and glutes. It also works your core, arms, and upper body. Dumbbell thrusters are great because they combine both the squat and shoulder press exercises.

How to Do a Dumbbell Thruster

  1. Start by standing with your feet in a shoulder-width distance. Make sure that your dumbbells are in both hands and in front of your shoulders.
  2. Proceed to squat and make sure your thighs remain parallel to the floor.
  3. Next, stand up with your arms extended over your head.
  4. Bend each arm and return to the start position.
  5. Repeat for at least three reps.

Dumbbell Front Squat

This exercise targets multiple joints and it works different muscles including your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It also helps improve your core’s stability and balance including other parts of your body.

Woman sitting down on the floor while holding dumbbells with each hand

How to Do a Dumbbell Front Squat

  1. Start by placing your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your toes are pointed at least ten to thirty degrees out.
  2. Slowly proceed to hoist the dumbbells you are holding in each hand. Make sure the end of your dumbbell heads rests on the top of your shoulders.
  3. Make sure your elbows are high enough when performing this exercise.

Dumbbell Burpee Press

The dumbbell burpee press is an exercise that not only engages your quads; it works on your legs and shoulders as well. It is also an excellent challenge if you are looking for a full-body movement that can help condition your muscles to work on your strength.

How to Do a Dumbbell Burpee Press

  1. Start by holding a set of dumbbells in each hand in an upright position.
  2. With your feet in a shoulder-width position, slowly start lowering your hands and the dumbbells to the ground.
  3. Once you get to the ground, place your feet backward. Make sure that your feet are both outside each dumbbell.
  4. Deadlift the dumbbells off the ground and try to keep your spine, as straight as possible. Also, ensure that you thrust forward slightly using your hips.
  5. Bend over and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the ground.
  6. Repeat.

Aim for at least three sets of eight to ten reps.


Your quads play a significant role in ensuring that your leg performs the basic movements like running, walking, jumping, and climbing. By exercising this muscle, it becomes easier to prevent any injuries. The above exercises can also help in strengthening your quads, especially after a hip and knee surgery.

However, for such exercises make sure you check in with your physical therapists before performing them. You also need your physical therapists to go ahead to ensure that the above exercises help in your recovery.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.