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December 12, 2021 6 min read
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 might think of squats first when you think of training your quads, but they're not the only exercise that can target this muscle group. Using dumbbells instead of a barbell can also add unique benefits to your strength and performance.
The quads aren't just there to help your legs look strong and sculpted. Their main responsibility is to flex the knee and extend the hip. These muscles help to stabilize the knee cap during anytime of movement. Whenever you run, walk, jump, or kick, you're using your quadriceps. Let's take a deeper look.
Look down at the front of your thigh. The muscle that you can see is your quadriceps femoris.
This is a four-headed muscle that is in turn made up of four unique parts:
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:
To train your quads, you can use dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells. Dumbbells and kettlebells work in a more similar way than a barbell does as they can provide more unilateral work. They can also require more stability than a barbell because the weight isn't equally distributed.
With dumbbells, each side pulls its own weight so you can improve your weaker side quickly.
Below are some of the best dumbbell quad exercises for building strength. Many of these exercises are ideal for beginners as well as advanced bodybuilders. Integrating them into your routine can have you building bigger, stronger legs in no time.
How to do the Dumbbell Leg Extension:
How to do the Dumbbell Squat:
How to do Lunge Pulses:
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.
How to do Single-Leg Squats:
How to do Close Stance Dumbbell Front Squats:
How to do Step Ups:
How to do Lateral Lunges:
How to do the Bulgarian Split Squat:
How to do the Goblet Squat:
How to do the Hack Squat:
Dumbbells can provide unilateral benefits that you just can't get from a barbell. With a barbell, if one side is weaker than the other, the stronger side can compensate for that weakness, creating more muscle imbalances.
If you don't correct these imbalances, they can turn into a bigger issue for performance and can put you at a higher risk for injury.
Dumbbells can also help improve grip strength. The better your grip, the more weight you can hold, meaning you can lift heavier with stronger hands, wrists, and forearms.
Remember that even though the quads are a big and strong muscle, they need their rest as well. ADABOLIC can help accelerate muscle recovery and get you back in the gym building bigger and better legs in no time.
Although you might normally rush to the squat rack on leg day, it can be beneficial to change it up every now and then. Give the barbell a rest for the day and grab some dumbbells to help grow those quads.