Build your legs, boost your strength, and increase your energy with this quad workout with dumbbells! This 25-minute workout can be done at home with little space making it a great workout for busy moms.
As one of the largest muscles in your body, using dumbbell quad exercises in your training program gives you a great bang for your buck when you’re short on time.
And though traditional leg extensions are great, training the quadricpes is so much more than that and you'll reap better benefits from training a mixture of compound and isolation exercises.
That's exactly how I program the workouts for SMASH Fit For Life and the results have been great.
Strong quadriceps help you:
- Run faster
- Jump higher
- Play with kids easier
- Reduce knee pain
- Scale back injury risk
The quadriceps are actually made up of four muscles (vastus lateralis, vasterus medialis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris).
Though you can be a bit strategic in which area you choose, as a Certified Strength Coach, one of the biggest lessons I can impress is that leg muscles tend to work together, not individually.
Meaning, this dumbbell quad workout will also target other areas of the legs and lower body as well (just like these 10 best dumbbell quad exercises you can do at home).
|Bulgarian Split Squat||10 reps per leg|
|Kneeling Leg Extension||10 reps|
|Rest||45 seconds x 3 sets|
|Heels Elevated Squat||12 reps|
|Seated Leg Extension||10 reps|
|Duck Walk||25 seconds|
|Rest||30 seconds x 3 sets|
|Rest||10 seconds x 2 sets|
To perform the dumbbell quad workout:
Perform the Bulgarian split squat and the kneeling leg extensions back to back without rest for the repetitions listed. Take a 45 second rest and repeat the two-exercise sequence for a total of 3 rounds before moving on.
Next, perform the elevated squat, seated leg extension, and duck walks back to back without rest. After the duck walk, rest for 3o seconds before repeating for a total of three rounds.
Finally, finish with the wall sits by performing two sets of the hold for thirty seconds each with a ten-second rest between them.
What Size Dumbbells Should I Use?
You want dumbbells that challenge you but that you can do just about all the repetitions for.
I recommend all the clients in my SMASH workout programs to keep a set of 15-pound dumbbells at home.
It may seem ambitious at first but while you’re scaling up, you can always just use one dumbbell.
If you need gear, learn more about the best pieces of workout equipment for small spaces. Then, grab what you need from Prosourcefit and use code mamabearfit to save some money (weights have gotten pricey!).
Important Workout Tips
For many people, the seated leg extension is hard, even with only one dumbbell between the feet. If needed, get creative! Use a large, filled-up water bottle or ankle weights if you have them,
To elevate your heels for the squat, you don’t need anything fancy, a couple of books you have around will work.
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat
One thing to note with a dumbbell Bulgarian split squat is that the way you position your body can target more quadriceps or glutes.
To target the quads, make sure you keep your torso upright in your split squat.
- Set up in a lunge position with the left leg elevated on the bench and the right knee over the heel fairly close to the bend. Hold the dumbbells in your hands.
- Keep the torso mostly upright as you push backward and drop the left knee towards the floor while keeping the right knee facing forwards.
- Push through the heel to reverse the movement and extend the hips to the starting position.
- Perform all repetitions on the right leg before moving on to the next.
Kneeling Dumbbell Leg Extension
- Come into a kneeling position holding one dumbbell at chest height.
- Squeeze your glutes as you start to lean backward keeping a flat back.
- Go as low as comfortable and then use your quadriceps to help reverse the movement and pull the body back up to the starting position.
Heels Elevated Dumbbell Squats
Dumbbell front squats are great as they keep your torso upright. However, elevating the heels stimulates the quad muscles even more.
- Grab two books or small weight plates. Place them on the floor and place your heels on the books with the toes on the floor wide enough to perform a squat.
- Hold the dumbbells at your side or on your shoulders. Sinking the hips straight down, bend the knees and lower into the squat.
- Pause briefly and push through the feet to the top position.
Seated Leg Extension
Sit on a table or chair with your feet under your bent knees. Place a dumbbell between your feet and squeeze them together.
- Bracing your body use your quadriceps to raise the dumbbell off the floor by unbending the knees with straight legs.
- Pause briefly and return to the starting position.
- Hold a dumbbell horizontally at chest height.
- Sink into the bottom position of a squat with your feet shoulder width apart. Feel your hip stretch out.
- Hold the parallel squat and begin shuffling forward by moving one foot at a time while you stay in the low position.
- Come to a wall and walk your feet about a foot away, keeping your back on the wall.
- Lower down into a squat with feet hip distance apart.
- Drop the hips until your quads are parallel to the ground.
- If using a dumbbell hold it on your lap.
- Hold the position keeping feet flat on the floor.
Make it harder: want to add some fire to your core? Hold the dumbells in your hands pressed out from your chest.
Stop FALLING OFF The Fitness Wagon
Do you start a new workout plan only to fall off of it weeks later?
Imagine the compliments you’ll get from family and friends when you finally lose those few extra pounds and skyrocket your confidence.
Discover the ultimate solution for busy moms seeking a quick and effective workout routine at home. As an exhausted mom of three, I designed these 25-minute sessions to fit seamlessly into your busy schedule to help you increase strength, stamina, and confidence.
Other programs have you doing cardio HIIT workouts complete with burpees and jump squats on the daily. But let’s be honest, just showing up for that is draining as a mom.
With SMASH Fit For Life you can say goodbye to that frustrated thought that you’re failing because you can’t seem to stick with it. Instead, these workouts focus on getting STRONGER with just one set of dumbbells and a mini band so that showing up for your workouts isn’t the worst part of your day.
Plus, you have direct access to a Certified Strength Coach anytime you have questions (or need some motivation!).
No more feeling guilty about missed gym sessions or overwhelmed about WHAT to do. The SMASH program was made for busy moms. Choose from a variety of packages and start prioritizing yourself today so that you can better help your family tomorrow.
Other Fitness Tips To Help You On Your Journey
- 5 Minute workouts
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- 25+ home workouts for weight loss
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- How to make at home workouts harder
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- How to master push ups as a beginner
- The best tricep exercises for women
- Wicked exercises for back strength
- 3 muscles to always stretch post-workout
- Why you should use pause reps
- Best bodyweight exercises for moms
- Follow-along at-home workouts
- Fitness tips
Frequently Asked Questions About A Quad Workout With Dumbbells
When buildng a muscle it’s not as much about the equipment as it is the progressive intensity. Dumbbells are a great way to challenge the quadriceps and stimulate the muscles to grow. Likewise, they challenge your stability more and allow you to train unilaterally which is a great way to prevent injuries. Make sure to continue to challenge yourself and progress your workouts over time to keep seeing results.
Exercises like narrow or elevated squats, dumbbell front squats, upright Bulgarian split squats, and leg extensions are great ways to target the quadriceps using only a set of dumbbells.