Dumbbell Quad Exercises for Size and Vascularity

Quad Exercises

When it comes to quad training, Squats is the king. However, barbell squat is not the only exercise for big quads. In this post I am going to share some of the most powerful dumbbell quad exercises.

Understanding the quads Muscles

The quads muscle is made up of 4 separate muscles.

  1. Rectus Femoris – The Rectus Femoris Muscle originates at the Iliac crest and inserts at the Patellar Tendon.
  2. Vastus Lateralis – The Vastus Lateralis muscle originates at the Femur and inserts at the Patellar Tendon. Vastus lateralis is the biggest muscle in the quad group. It lies on the outer side of the thigh.
  3. Vastus Medialis – The Vastus Medialis Muscle originates at the Femur and inserts at the patellar Tendon. Vastus Medialis is also known as the TearDrop muscle.
  4. Vastus Intermedius – The Vastus Intermedius muscle also originates at the Femur and inserts at the Patellar tendon.

All four muscles have the function of Knee Extension. However, the Rectus Femoris is also involved in Hip Flexion.

Best Dumbbell Quad Exercises

  1. Goblet Squat
  2. Dumbbell Lunges
  3. Dumbbell Step-Ups
  4. Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat
  5. Dumbbell Squat Jumps
  6. Dumbbell Leg Extensions
  7. Dumbbell Front Squats
  8. Dumbbell Box Squats
  9. Dumbbell Sumo Squats
  10. Dumbbell Walking Lunges
  11. Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
  12. Dumbbell Jump Squats
  13. Dumbbell Lateral Lunges
  14. Dumbbell Hack Squats

Dumbbell Quad Training Tips

  1. Experiment with training frequency : If your quads muscles are not growing. Increase the frequency. You can start training quads once a week and increase the frequency upto 3 times a week
  2. Experiment with Volume : Ideally you should do 2-3 exercises per workout with 3-4 sets per exercise. You can increase the volume by 4-5 exercise and 4-5 sets per exercise
  3. Use Variety of Training Intensity : Keep one workout strength focused. Higher number of sets, low reps and heavy weights. Keep another workout Volume based, more exercises, more sets, more reps. Keep yet another workout based on Density. User supersets, decrease rest between sets. 
  4. Keep 2-3 compound movements as the base of your workouts. Keep rotating isolation exercises. This will help you train your quads in all possible angles.

How to build quad using dumbbell exercises

If you want to build quads using dumbbell exercises you can follow a tried and tested strategy.

  1. Start with one basic movement which allows you to isolate the muscle. Go for higher reps and low to moderate weights. The reps should be slow and controlled. The idea is to build the mind muscle connection, get a nice pump and stretch in the muscles.
  2. Move on to the next exercise. For this movement select a compound exercise or any exercise that allows you to go heavy. Dumbbell squats, dumbbell sumo squats are good options. The idea to go heavy. Lift heavy weights, moderate number of reps
  3. Finally you want to isolate and finish the quads muscle. For this, pick another isolation exercise. This time you can use shocking principles like rest pause. You can also use pyramid training technique or reverse pyramid training technique to really squeeze the last few reps possible

This workout strategy will give you a killer workout every time. 

Dumbbell quad exercises bodybuilding

For bodybuilding you want to have both size and symmetry in your quad muscle. You want the muscle to be thick and at the same time each muscle should be well developed.

Exercises for Vastus lateralis

To isolate the lateralis, focus on a narrow grip and rotate your legs slightly outwards. 

  1. Dumbbell squats with narrow grip
  2. dumbbell lateral lunges
  3. Closed stands dumbbell front squat

Exercises for Vastus Medialis

To isolate the medialis, use a narrow grip and a feet elevated position.

  1. Bulgarian split squat 
  2. Dumbbell walking lunges 

Exercises for Rectus Femoris

  1. Dumbell Front Squats
  2. Dumbbell Squat Jumps
  3. Sissy squat
  4. Dumbbell split squats

Exercises for Vastus Intermedius

  1. Dumbbell Box Squat
  2. Front foot elevated squats

Dumbbell quad exercises for beginners 

As a beginner you should focus on exercises 

  1. Dumbbell goblet squats
  2. Dumbbell lunges
  3. Dumbbell step up

Dumbbell quad exercises for mass

  1. Dumbbell squats
  2. Goblet squats
  3. Bulgarian split squats

Dumbbell quad workouts 

Here are complete dumbbell quad workouts for you.

For each exercise keep a rest period of 60-90 secs. 

Make sure you do the exercise in a slow, controlled manner.

For weights, just keep as much that allows you to do the rep. The reps should be challenging.

Dumbbell quad workouts Plan A

Dumbbell Goblet Squat48-12
Dumbbell Lunges48-12/leg
Dumbbell Step-ups48-12/leg

Dumbbell quad workouts Plan B

Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat48-12/leg
Dumbbell Walking Lunges48-12/leg
Dumbbell Sumo Squat48-12

Dumbbell quad workouts Plan C

Dumbbell Front Squat48-12
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge48-12/leg
Dumbbell Lateral Lunges48-12/leg


Dumbbell is an excellent tool for building quad muscles. It allows you a greater range of motion than machines and gives more flexibility to experiment with position and angles. This helps you target the individual quad muscles in a better way. Go ahead and use these dumbbell quad exercises for bigger and more muscular quads.















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