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December 12, 2021 10 min read

EDITS and NOTES BELOW IN RED

This entire article needs editing for clarity.

The title is 'The 10 Best Dumbbell Quad Exercises (Form & Benefits)' and the first exercise listed is leg lifts?

EDITS: CTA/Product placement at the bottom of the article needs a lot of work.

 

 

 

Leg day can prove more demanding than any other day of the week because exercises like squats use larger muscle groups. The quads are some of the largest muscles in the body and can require more weight and volume to grow and strengthen. 

You’ll need to do a thorough session of warming up before you get started with the exercises.

First, take a look at some ways to really get your legs ready to work.

What Is a Warm Up? 

A warm up is a period of activity that you do before your workout that helps prepare your body for the demands of exercise. When you are sedentary, many of your muscles shorten or contract. When you start moving, those muscles have to elongate to get used to new positions. 

If this change happens too quickly, you can get injured. Completing an exercise correctly rather than quickly produces greater stimulation of your muscle fibers by maximizing the shortening and lengthening of those fibers. Beginners sometimes skip the warm up phase before exercising. But this might not be the safest practice.

An easy warm up raises your core temperature to make the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints more flexible and mobile. It also increases blood flow, which supports the body during exercise by better facilitating the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.

What a Warm Up Is Not

A warm up is not the same thing as the type of static stretching you might have been forced to do in gym class at school. Static stretching describes things like stretching your arm across your body to stretch your shoulder, or reaching down to touch your toes.

However, if you only do static stretches before any activity, they don’t really replicate the motions and activity that you will be doing, so they don’t get your muscles working. This means that you will not be preventing injuries at all.

Instead, your warm up stretch session should involve a dynamic warm-up. This involves performing gentle repetitive motions in a way that gradually increases motion, circulation, and muscle length. For example, arm swings that start small and gradually increase to become bigger, but always remain within the normal range of motion.

Key Benefits of a Warm Up

One of the key benefits of a warm up is that it will improve your overall workout performance. It allows for a greater range of motion, improved oxygen delivery to the muscles for better power and endurance, and enhanced neuromuscular function.

The key to a safe, effective leg day is to dedicate a little bit of time to exercises that specifically work your glutes and hip flexors. These are the main things that allow you to work out safely.

Along with hamstring stretches, building strong legs can depend on how well all of these components are working together.

Moving to the Workouts

A good leg workout breaks down the lower body into quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and calves. A good leg workout will help you train the muscles that have the greatest potential for caloric expenditure, muscle growth, and strength. Below are some of the best quad exercises around. We’ll start with a closer look at the quadriceps muscle and how it works.

quadriceps muscle anatomy 3d medical vector illustration

Looking at The Quads 

Look down at the front of your thigh. The muscle that you can see is your quadriceps femoris (known informally as the quads).

This is a four-headed muscle that is in turn made up of four unique parts: 

  • Vastus Lateralis 
  • Rectus Femoris 
  • Vastus Medialis 
  • Vastus Intermedius 

Each of the four heads of the muscle starts at the femur and connects to your kneecap. The main function of the quads is to extend your leg from your knee. It also stabilizes the patella, which is the small bone in front of the knee.

Starting from the outside of the leg to the inside, here is a short description of each of the four muscles:

  • Vastus Lateralis: This is the biggest part of the quads. You can find the vastus lateralis on the outer side of the upper thigh. Apart from supporting leg extension and patella stabilization, it also plays a part in helping you rise from the bottom of a squat. 
  • Rectus Femoris: This muscle is found in the center of the front of the thigh. It is the only quad muscle that can flex the hip and thigh. You can see this for yourself if you extend your leg straight out and up and then contract the quad at the top and slowly lower your leg.
  • Vastus Medialis: Also known as the teardrop muscle, the vastus medialis can be found on the inside of your thigh. This muscle is very popular in the world of bodybuilding because of its unique shape. Building this muscle can really thicken the appearance of your thighs.
  • Vastus Intermedius: This muscle lies beneath the rectus femoris so it can sometimes be hard to target, which is why it’s essential that you follow a well-rounded quadriceps workout. Squats are excellent exercises but there is a lot more to training your quads than just that one foundational movement, as we shall see below.

Best Dumbbell Quad Exercises

Some of the best pieces of weightlifting equipment you can use to target your quads is a pair of dumbbells. Barbells or kettlebells can also work but it is too easy to overcompensate with barbells.

With dumbbells, each side pulls its own weight so you can improve your weaker side quickly. Each dumbbell quad workout listed below has been designed to accommodate different experience levels. You might notice that the foundational exercises are listed first and the more complicated exercises are listed later.

These are some of the best dumbbell quad exercises for building strength. Many of these dumbbell exercises are ideal for beginners as well as advanced bodybuilders. Be sure to complete all of the repetitions for each of the exercises before moving on the next one. Take no more than a 90-second break in between your sets.

Exercise #1: Single-Leg Raises

 

Use your bodyweight and follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions. 

1: Lay down with your legs and back flat against the floor. 

2: Keep your arms on your sides. 

3: Keep your legs straight and raise your left leg with your feet pointing straight up in the air.

4: Slowly lower back down to the floor. 

5: Repeat with the other leg.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell Squats

 

Select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest with your palms facing your body. 
  3. Keep your head up and shoulders locked down.
  4. Sit your hips down while pushing your knees outward so they stay inline with your toes. 
  5. Squat down until your hips are below the plane of your knees. 
  6. Push through your heels back up to the starting position.

Exercise #3: Lunge Pulses

 

Select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

1: From a standing start, step forward like a regular dumbbell lunge. 

2: Lunge down partially into the starting position, about a quarter of the way down as you would for a normal lunge. 

3: Begin pulsing up and down, performing the lunge by going up and down about 3 inches. Stay in the lunge position and never stand up during the exercise. 

4: Complete for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise #4: Bodyweight Single-Leg Squat

 

Single-leg squats can be done in a variety of ways as shown in the video above.

Choose an exercise that looks appealing to you and then do 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

  1. Stand on one leg with your foot pointing straight ahead and the knee of the other leg slightly bent. You can extend your arms for balance or keep them at your sides. 
  2. Roll your shoulder blades back and keep your back straight. 
  3. Keep your weight centered over the ball of your foot, your torso upright, and your head facing forward. 
  4. Raise your back knee from the floor slightly. 
  5. Lower to a squat position, with the knee of the supporting leg still over the ball of the foot. 
  6. Start with shallow squats and work your way closer to the ground. 
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise #5: Close-Stance Dumbbell Front Squat

 

Select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your palms facing you. 
  2. Stand with your feet  just a couple of inches apart narrower than hip-width. Point your toes forward. Keep your torso as upright as you can. 
  3. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. 
  4. As you lower, press your ankles, lower legs, and thighs outward. 
  5. Push yourself back to the starting position, and repeat as many times as you can.

Exercise #6: Reverse Lunge

 

Do this exercise by using your own bodyweight or select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands at your side or on your hips. 
  2. With your right foot, step back about one and a half times your normal stride length, landing with the ball of that foot on the ground and your heel up. 
  3. Lower the back leg straight down until it gently grazes the ground and creates a 90-degree angle in the front leg. 
  4. Push through the heel and midfoot of the front leg to return to standing, bringing your right foot back in line with your left. 
  5. Repeat on the left side.

Exercise #7: Lateral Lunge 

 

Do this exercise by using your own bodyweight or select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Take a big step to the side with your left leg, then bend your left knee, push hips back and lower until your left knee is bent 90 degrees for about two seconds. 
  3. Push back to the starting position. 
  4. You can alternate, or complete all reps on your left before moving on to your right.

Exercise #8:  Side Lunge

 

Do this exercise by using your own bodyweight or select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed straight forward. 
  2. Step out with your right foot as wide as possible. 
  3. Engage through the right heel as you drop your hips down and back.
  4. Keep the left leg straight, stretching the groin on the left leg and keeping both soles of the feet on the ground and your toes pointed forward. 
  5. Make sure your right knee is over your right foot the whole time. Push your right heel into the floor to return to the full standing starting position.

Exercise #9: Goblet Squat

 

Do this exercise by using your own bodyweight or select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Hold a dumbbell and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointed slightly out. 
  2. Pin your elbows to your rib cage and hold the weight right under your chin.
  3. Keep your arms close to your chest and your elbows pointing down.
  4. Bend your hips and knees to lower your body as far as you can slowly.
  5. When you are in your deepest squat, pause and then push through your glutes, legs, and heels to return to the starting position.

Exercise #10: Dumbbell Hack Squats

 

Do this exercise by using your own bodyweight or select the size of dumbbells you are comfortable with and then follow the movement as shown in the video above.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  1. Place the back of your torso against a back pad. 
  2. Place your legs on the platform at about shoulder width. Keep your toes slightly pointed out. 
  3. Hold the side handles of the machine. 
  4. Straighten your knees without locking them. This is the starting position for the exercise. 
  5. Slowly lower by bending your knees as you maintain a straight posture. Keep moving down until the angle between your upper leg and your calves is a little less than 90 degrees. 
  6. Push on the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten your legs and return to the starting position. 
  7. Repeat for the number of reps in your set.

More About Doing Squats 

Squats are a classic leg exercise for the quadriceps. The extra time and effort that they take will be worth it when you see how much stronger and defined your thighs look.

Also, by including resistance training like squats during your workout, you will improve your overall hip mobility, squat mechanics, and your deadlift technique. 

Working Your Quads with Your Hamstrings and Calves

So those are some of the best dumbbell leg workouts but if you want to train the rest of your leg muscles in one day, you should also incorporate dumbbell hamstring and calf strength training exercises to build muscle.

Hamstrings are important muscle groups in a typical lower body workout. Calves are also important muscles to work but they are secondary because they are already being worked in many leg exercises. 

Getting the Results You Want

Combining your leg workouts with some proper rest and recovery periods can also be important to your bodybuilding regimen. A powerful supplement for you to include when you are planning your leg workout routine is the  Hyperbolic Stack Advanced Pump for Endurance & Recovery

You might even add the Whey ISO Shredded Stack Fat Loss with Whey Isolate Protein and Aminos to your workout routine to get some faster and more impressive results if you are concerned about weight loss. If you have a personal trainer, he or she will be able to help you get started with an effective workout regimen. [All of this needs to be re-written. Trying to sell two different stacks in back to back sentences? Pick ONE and write and powerful CTA that will drive traffic to that ONE page. When people have to make a decision they are more likely to do nothing. Give them one option to click. ]