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The Dumbbell Squat

The Dumbbell Squat

The Intro.

While this movement is not technically really part of the squat continuum it is part of the squat hierarchy. Think of this as a pit-stop from the air squat to the back squat.

Good thing about the Dumbbell Squat (DS), is that it uses the same positions as its predecessors (As will every squat in the hierarchy).

Position 1, 2, and 3.

That is all you will ever have to know...along with how exactly they should be performed haha.

The Execution

Position 1.

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells.
  • Set up with feet shoulder width apart, screwed into the ground, glutes on, midline braced and shoulders packed.
  • Set the head of the dumbbell on your shoulder, keep the elbows tucked into next to the body.
  • Dumbbell should be parallel to the floor.

Position 2.

  • Unlock your knees, and send your hips back and down.
  • Push your knees out, inline with your toes.

Position 3.

  • Send the hips down until the crease of the hip is just below the top of the knee.
  • Elbows should track between your legs and tight against your body.
  • Dumbbells remain parallel to the floor.

Common Faults & Corrective Cue(s)

Fault: Broken Wrist

Cue (Verbal) Say “Straighten your wrist”

Cue (Visual) Demo the correct position

Cue (Tactile) Adjust the trainee wrist(s) until you get the ideal position


(I imagine his wrist are broken because he is holding them in such a $#!% position)

Fault: Back rounds on rising

Cue (Verbal) Say “Big breath, squeeze the belly”

Cue (Visual) Demo the correct position

Cue (Tactile) Have the athlete rack the bar, when performing the movement identify the fault and physically manipulate the back to the ideal position under no load or extremely light load. Increase incrementally until the fault happens again then back track and have the athlete self correct.

(Ouch my thoracic)

Fault: Elbows drop

Cue (Verbal) Say “Elbows up, head on shoulder”

Cue (Visual) Demo the correct position

Cue (Tactile) Apply pressure to bottom of the elbow so the athlete can feel the direction of the correction.


(Its not exactly a dumbbell...but this still has to hurt)

Area(s) of limitation

Downstream Arm (Elbows)

Tricep Extension Smash

Ever have elbows to tight that your overhead press looks like russian kettlebell swing??

Well next time they get as sore and tight as a wrestlers cauliflower ear try this out!

Spine Thoracic (Upper Back)

T-Spine Smash Extension

Have a back that looks and feels like Igor from Dracula?

Ever think you share kinship with Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Well check this beauty out!


See you in class,