How to Front Squat With Dumbbells | Movement Breakdown!

Here's how to properly do front squats with dumbbells! Despite what some say, there are a couple different ways to hold the dumbbells and not one specific way.


How to do Dumbbell Front Squats?

Starting Position

  1. Stand Up Straight: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Hold the Dumbbells: Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, with your palms facing each other and your elbows pointing forward. The dumbbells should rest on the front of your shoulders.
  3. Engage Your Core: Keep your chest up and engage your core muscles to maintain a straight back.


  1. Initiate the Squat: Begin the movement by bending your knees and hips simultaneously. Imagine sitting back into a chair.
  2. Keep the Weight on Your Heels: As you lower your body, ensure that your weight is distributed on your heels and not the balls of your feet.
  3. Lower Your Body: Continue descending until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as you can go while maintaining proper form. Your knees should track over your toes, not collapsing inward.
  4. Maintain Upright Torso: Keep your chest lifted and your torso as upright as possible. Your elbows should stay up and pointing forward to prevent the dumbbells from pulling you forward.

Returning to Start

  1. Push Through the Heels: Drive through your heels to extend your knees and hips, returning to the starting position.
  2. Engage Your Glutes and Quads: Squeeze your glutes and quadriceps as you rise to ensure a strong and controlled ascent.
  3. Repeat: Perform the desired number of repetitions.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Keep Your Core Tight: Engage your core throughout the movement to protect your lower back and maintain balance.
  • Elbow Position: Keep your elbows high to ensure the dumbbells stay in place and your torso remains upright.
  • Depth: Squat to a depth that is comfortable for you while maintaining good form. If you feel any pain in your knees or lower back, stop and reassess your form.
  • Breathing: Inhale as you lower into the squat, and exhale as you push back up to the starting position.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Leaning Forward: Ensure your chest stays up and your back remains straight to avoid leaning forward.
  • Knees Collapsing Inward: Keep your knees in line with your toes to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your knees.
  • Lifting Heels Off the Ground: Maintain contact with the ground through your heels for better stability and power.

Answering some FAQ's

Q. Are dumbbell front squats effective?

A. Yes, dumbbell front squats are highly effective. They target multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core, and help improve lower body strength, stability, and balance. The front-loaded position also emphasizes core engagement and proper posture.

Q. Is it OK to squat with dumbbells?

A. Yes, it is perfectly fine to squat with dumbbells. Dumbbells can be a versatile and accessible option for adding resistance to your squats, offering a good alternative to barbell squats, especially if you do not have access to a barbell or prefer a different type of resistance.

Q. Are front squats good for you?

A. Yes, front squats are very good for you. They improve lower body strength, enhance core stability, and promote better posture. The front-loaded position also reduces the stress on the lower back compared to back squats, making it a safer option for many people.

Q. What muscles do dumbbell front squats work?

A. Dumbbell front squats primarily target the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. They also engage the core muscles to a significant extent for stabilization, as well as the shoulders and upper back to support the weight of the dumbbells.

Q. Will front squats build abs?

A. Yes, front squats can help build abs. The need to stabilize the torso under the load of the dumbbells significantly engages the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis and obliques, contributing to the development of abdominal strength and definition.

Q. Do dumbbell squats burn belly fat?

A. Dumbbell squats, like other strength training exercises, can contribute to burning belly fat as part of a comprehensive fitness and nutrition plan. While they do not specifically target belly fat, they increase overall calorie expenditure, build muscle mass, and boost metabolism, all of which can help reduce body fat over time.

Q. Do front squats hit glutes?

A. Yes, front squats do hit the glutes. While they primarily target the quadriceps, the glutes are also significantly engaged, especially during the ascent phase of the squat when you push through your heels to return to the starting position.

By following these steps and focusing on proper form, you can effectively perform dumbbell front squats and reap the benefits of this compound exercise.

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