When it comes to muscle growth, doing Quad exercises at home with dumbbells can seem a long and drawn-out process especially if you have a limited list of exercises and training know-how. How do you get big Quads with dumbbells?
Hi, I’m Psymon H., home workout motivator and creator of The BIG-UP Training System, hands down the best home workout program for building muscle with minimum equipment. At the grand old age of 52 with nearly 40 years of hard natural training under my belt, you could say I'm qualified to have a list of what I consider to be the best dumbbell Quad exercises for building size.
We’re going to squat and lunge our way into the world of Quad training with dumbbells, but these are squat and lunge movements with a difference.
While the basic Dumbbell, Goblet Squat, and Lunge are awesome exercises in their own right, I'm sure you've done your fair share; and if you haven’t, bookmark this page and get to work on the basics and then come back and see me.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter training at home and wanting to expand your dumbbell exercise arsenal and training knowledge, let’s get down to work.
In this article, I’m going to share…
· My list of Six underground Quad dumbbell exercises. While these movements can be seen as less conventional, they are what I consider upgrades to the standard Dumbbell Squat, Bulgarian Squat, and Lunge. For some of these movements, you will need additional items such as two heavy resistance bands, an upright anchor to secure these bands, wrist straps, and a small platform or crate (strong enough to take your weight.)
· Tips on how to accelerate Quad growth. There are always rules and cues to every exercise. Put these cues into action instead of going through the motions, and you’ll stimulate more Quad growth.
Wrist straps are advised on any heavy dumbbell Quad exercise. While some say that going strapless is good for the grip, I think there’s nothing worse than the grip giving out before the Quads are exhausted.
I call this exercise Quad Royalty not because of the name, but because of the results that can be achieved with this exercise.
While this may seem a polite lower body exercise, this is anything but courteous and well-mannered.
The pump in the Vastus Medialis is insane (the teardrop), while the most significant part of the Quad, the Vastus Lateralis, located on the outer side of the upper thigh gets gorged with blood the higher the rep range is set.
I consider this to be one of the best quad exercises with dumbbells you can do at home for building muscle.
Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: Cross your feet in a curtsy position, with the front foot set at a slight angle that feels comfortable.
Cue 2: You should be on the toes of your back foot throughout the movement.
Cue 3: Tense your core and keep your Torso as stationary as possible before setting off. Let your knees travel out to the sides as you slowly lower. Stop briefly when the knee on your rear leg is equal to the lower portion of the Calf on your front leg before returning to the start of the exercise.
Cue 4: Keep your back flat and drive through the heel of your front foot.
More at home quad exercises!
This is one of the most challenging exercises to master if you have less than good balance, but an exercise worth learning for all the good it can do for your Quads, Abductors, Calves, and Glutes. Named the Toe Squat because the entire movement is carried out on your toes, this exercise will blow a hole in the entire Quad muscle as well as your calves.
When it comes to doing quad exercises with dumbbells at home, this should be top of your list.
Equipment Needed: A pair of dumbbells
Cue 1: Start on your toes, shoulder-width apart, with feet pointed out at about a 45-degree angle.
Cue 2: Have the two nearest dumbbell heads at an angle as you pick them up with palms facing in with the dumbbells in between your legs as you slowly lift them off the floor. Make sure to maintain a flat back and a tight core throughout the movement.
Cue 3: Drive up on your toes, and as you straighten your legs, rotate the dumbbells until they are outside of each thigh with palms almost facing away from you.
Cue 4: As you lower down for the start of the next rep and as your knees open out, slowly bring the dumbbells back, so they are in between your legs with your palms facing in towards you.
Cue 5: Keep on your toes throughout the movement.
Here Are Some Great Hamstring Exercises With Dumbbells For Your Next Home Workout
How do you get big Quads with Dumbbells? Include Step Back Incline Lunges in your lower body workouts. This is one of the great quad exercises with dumbbells right here!
This exercise is vicious on the lower and outer Quad area from start to finish. Getting up on the platform for the last few reps of a set is a pure test of will and determination.
Items Needed: Platform, and one pair of dumbbells
Cue 1: Make sure the platform is secure and won't tip over during the lunge by placing weight at the far end.
Cue 2: Start with both feet on the platform and choose which foot you will step back with first.
Cue 3: With dumbbells in hand, carefully take a step back off the platform with your lunging leg, being mindful to plant your toes firmly on the floor before completing the full lunge with your back Knee just hovering over the floor. If you have Knee issues, take away the platform and do the step back lunge on the floor.
Cue 4: Once in the extended lunge position, drive up with the back leg until both feet are on the platform. Maintain a straight Back throughout the movement.
Cue 5: Complete the desired amount of repetitions before swapping legs.
No doubt you’ve done your fair share of the brilliant Quad builder, the Bulgarian Split Squat. This upgrade will test every fiber in your working leg while challenging the core to stay completely upright. At home quad exercises will never be the same after you've added a few sets of these to your quad workout with dumbbells.
Items Needed: One dumbbell, a medium to heavy resistance band, and a bench or rack with a bar to rest your back foot on.
Cue 1: Set up the band so that it is under the foot of your front leg and across the opposite shoulder. Hold the dumbbell on the working side.
Cue 2: Rest your non-working leg behind you on the bench by placing the top of your foot on the bench and not your toes.
Cue 3: If you don't suffer from any knee issues, take a small step forward with your working leg so, at the bottom of the movement, your knee travels over your ankle and places more stress on your Vastus Medialis. If you have weak knees, either do not do this movement or take a larger step forward to take more stress away from the area.
Cue 4: Tense your core before setting off. Don’t drop into the movement, but slowly lower yourself. Use your free arm as a balance rod to assist you throughout the movement.
Imagine taking a standard dumbbell lunge and adding additional force to the exercise movement; now you have one of the best Quad exercises at home with dumbbells at your disposal. While this movement stimulates growth in the Quads, it also batters the hell out of the Hamstrings and Glute muscles.
I would place this as one of my favorite quad exercises with dumbbells and resistance bands.
Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells, Two heavy resistance bands, Velcro, and a sturdy upright anchor.
The Setup: Loop the first band to an upright anchor at hip height and use a wrist strap or Velcro to attach the second band. This exercise does come with a warning – Please make sure the upright anchor is secure and the Velcro strap can take the pressure of the two bands under tension. If you don't have Velcro or a heavy wrist strap, you can loop the second band around the first band to create a knot, but this can be a bitch to undo once you’re done.
Cue 1: With the first band attached to the anchor, step inside the second band and have it resting around your Hips. Grab both dumbbells and step back until there is a good amount of tension in both bands. At this moment, you should feel as if you would be catapulted across the other side of the room if you were to lift both feet off the ground.
Cue 2: (The Start of The Movement) Take a step forward into a front lunge with your front leg at a 90-degree angle, making sure to take your time with foot placement as not to lose your balance. Maintain a straight/upright Back while concentrating on the contraction of your front Quad and your rear Glute.
Cue 3: Once you are in the down position, push back against the band as you begin to bring your front foot back to the standing position.
You should concentrate on doing one leg at a time and once you master the movement, you can alternate legs during a set.
While the dumbbells offer the usual stress on your Quad muscles, the bands give serious tension to both ends of the movement. When you step forward into the lunge, you feel the band accelerate, and as you step back into the standing position, you can feel yourself fighting the band tension as well as the gravity from the dumbbells which make the whole affair one hell of a dumbbell workout.
Your speed of repetition matters from start to finish. Make sure you slow the movement down to maintain control as this can become dangerous if you go too fast. When it comes to a kick-ass dumbbell leg workout to initiate growth, the Spring-Loaded Lunge is one of my favorite movements.
When it comes to explosive exercises that have the potential to make you walk funny after a set, the Hell Raiser is that exercise. There is no best time to deploy this movement; whether it's done at the beginning or end of a dumbbell Quad workout, it's going to take a lot out of you.
If you're looking for some different quad exercises with dumbbells to add to your lower body workout, you could do a lot worse than add this explosive movement.
This exercise can be done with one dumbbell in between your legs or two dumbbells (one on either side.) For this example, we will use one dumbbell.
Items needed: One dumbbell
Cue1: Hold one dumbbell lengthways in both hands in between your legs which are set about Shoulder width apart.
Cue 2: With core tight and Back Flat, lower down in the squat position until the dumbbell is just hovering over the floor.
Cue 3: With all of the force you can muster, spring straight up into the air with feet coming off the floor. As you land on your Toes, go straight back down into the full squat position and repeat. You shouldn’t be standing upright in between repetitions, you should either be in the full squat position or jumping in the air until the set is complete.
Quad Exercises At Home With Dumbbells Sets and Reps
For reps and reps in reserve (RIR), you could use anything from 6 – 20 repetitions per set, aiming to leave 2 repetitions in reserve on all working sets. This will ensure that you are achieving maximum motor unit recruitment.
Over a four-week muscle building cycle, you could change the reps performed…For example, on week one you could use 8 repetitions per set, week 2 = 10 reps, week 3 = 12 reps, and week 4 = 15-20 reps per set.
Sets will depend on your training structure, recovery, and fatigue, but 3 – 4 sets per exercise should be a good starting point.
If you need help putting these exercises into a structured workout and training cycle, let me know by clicking on this “Contact Me” link, and I will be only too happy to help.
Final Thought On These Quad Exercises With Dumbbells!
Now you’ve read my Quad exercises at home with dumbbells, don’t just sit on the information because that won’t grow your legs. Turn thought into action – Give everything and leave nothing.