The dumbbell front squat is a popular exercise for targeting the muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. Holding dumbbells in the racked position also works the core and upper-back muscles to maintain posture while the lower body moves. Because the amount of weight you can use will be limited by what you can clean to the rack position, this movement is usually performed for moderate to high reps, at least 8-12 reps per set or more. If this movement hurts your knees, try performing it with a wider stance.
Serious work for the legs, glutes, and hamstrings
Can work in strength or muscle-focused rep ranges
Adds a challenge to the upper back, shoulders, and core to maintain proper posture
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a pair of light dumbbells down by your sides. Clean the dumbbells up to your shoulders so that one end of each dumbbell rests on top of each shoulder. Balance the dumbbells on your shoulder by holding on to dumbbells with elbows facing forward. This will be your starting position.
Keeping your head facing forward, your back straight, and your chest high, squat down by bending your hips back while allowing knees to come forward slightly, keeping your back straight and knees pointed in the same direction as your feet. Descend until your thighs are at parallel, or just past parallel to floor.
To return to the starting position, extend your knees and hips until your legs are straight. Repeat for the recommended number of reps.