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30-Minute Dumbbell Squat Workout (MetCon, Day 3)

Challenge every muscle group in the lower body with this dumbbell squat workout. Target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and thighs. Between each triset circuit, we’ll perform 25 repetitions of a squat variation (completing 100 squats in this workout).



 

This is DAY THREE of our MetCon 100 Program.

Woman performing a lunge hold and rotate with a dumbbell in a cardio and core workout

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Build strong legs at home with this dumbbell squat workout.

Day three of our 2-Week MetCon 100 Program is leg day. This strength training workout builds lower body and core strength by challenging you to complete dumbbell front squats.

The squat is one of the best foundational lower body exercises. Any time you bend down to pick something off the ground, you’re squatting. It’s important to train this movement to practice good form and ensure you’re able to move pain-free in your daily life.

This workout is done in a triset format. Each circuit has a foundational “base” exercise and a “build” exercise that will challenge you to increase the power and intensity.

Plus, you’ll complete 25 squats between each circuit for a total of 100 dumbbell squats. There are several dumbbell squat variations you can try today – follow along with us or take this workout at your pace.

two women performing a squat with dumbbells front racked in a squat workout

Dumbbell Squat FAQs

Is Squatting With Dumbbells Effective?

Squats are a solid foundation for training and an exercise you can come back to if you experience pain while lunging. Dumbbell squats in particular are a great alternative if you don’t have access to a barbell.

What Are The Benefits Of Squatting With Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are accessible and there are several dumbbell squat variations you can add to your workout. Free weights are also great for unilateral leg exercises which can correct muscle imbalances often caused by barbell squats or other gym equipment.

What Muscles Are Involved In A Squat?

A dumbbell squat targets all the lower body muscles like the glutesquadshamstringsthighs and hips. A strong lower body can improve your posture and balance, and help protect your knees, hips and lower back.

Should I Do Squats Every Day?

Squats are a foundational exercise that you can come back to, especially if you experience pain while lunging. While squats are great for both beginners and advanced athletes, I recommend including a variety of lower body exercises to challenge your strength and muscular endurance.

two women performing a lateral lunge with a dumbbell front racked in a squat workout

30-Minute Dumbbell Squat Workout (MetCon, Day 3)

Build muscle in the lower body with this 30-minute dumbbell squat workout.

This metabolic conditioning workout challenges you to complete 100 squats. This is a complete lower body workout targeting the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and thighs.

I suggest doing this squat workout once a week as part of a well-rounded workout routine.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to Heavy Set of Dumbbells. I recommend between 5-30 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15, 20 and 30 lb dumbbells in today’s workout. Option to drop weights at any time and perform bodyweight squats.

Option to add a mini loop resistance band (discount code: NML) and/or plyo box (or sub a bench/chair).

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woman holding a reverse lunge with a dumbbell in a squat workout

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Squat Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 3 Trisets (2 leg exercises per triset)
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest. Complete as many reps as you can in the timed interval.)
  • Repeat Each Triset x3 Sets
  • Perform 25 Squats Between Triset Circuits For a Total of 100 Squats

Workout Outline

TRISET ONE:

  1. Side-to-Side Squat Clean
  2. Deadlift, Clean and Lateral Squat

TRISET TWO:

  1. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
  2. Lunge Hold and Step Up and Knee Drive

TRISET THREE:

  1. Staggered Deadlift and Calf Raise
  2. Dumbbell Snatch, Rack and Lateral Lunge

BONUS: Single Leg Hip Thrust or Glute Bridge

two women performing a lunge hold with dumbbells in a squat workout

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Squat Workout

7 Lower Body Strength Exercises

Goblet Squat

Targets: Legs, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips and core.

two women performing a goblet squat with a dumbbell in a lower body workout

How To Do The Dumbbell Squat (Goblet Squat)

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width distance apart knees slightly bent, holding a single dumbbell at your chest (vertically so dumbbell is touching your collarbone and sternum). Option to place a resistance band six inches above your knees.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel with your knees. Drive your knees out toward your outer three toes.
  3. Drive through your heels to stand tall, returning to a standing position.

Side-to-Side Squat Clean

Targets: Gluteus medius (outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, calves and core.

two women performing side to side squat cleans in a dumbbell workout

How To Do A Side-to-Side Squat Clean

  1. Start standing, feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
  2. Step out to the right as you bend your knees, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor between your thighs as you lower into a squat. Push your knees out towards your outer three toes.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you step your right foot in and return to a narrow standing position.
  4. As you press your hips forward to stand up, “clean” the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Catch the dumbbells at your chest in a front rack position.
  5. Then, step out to the left as you bend your knees, lowering into a squat with dumbbells between your legs.
  6. Press through your heels to stand tall, pulling your left foot in to return to a narrow standing position. As you stand, clean the dumbbells up, catching at shoulder height.
  7. Continue this pattern, alternating a dumbbell clean with a squat out to the left or right.

Modification: Omit the clean, performing just side-to-side squats.

Deadlift, Clean and Lateral Squat

Targets: Lower body (glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, calves), upper body (trapezius, deltoids, lower back), abs and core.

two woman performing a deadlift clean and lateral front squat with dumbbells in a squat workout

How To Do A Deadlift, Clean and Lateral Squat

  1. Start standing, feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips to perform a deadlift, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you return to a standing position.
  4. As you press your hips forward to stand up, “clean” the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Catch the dumbbells at your chest in a front rack position.
  5. Then, step out to the right as you bend your knees, lowering into a squat. Push your knees out towards your outer three toes as your hips lower. Repeat twice, performing two lateral squats to the right.
  6. Then repeat, this time performing a deadlift, clean and two lateral squats to the left side.

Modification: Option to omit the dumbbell clean, keeping the weights at your sides.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (Bulgarian Lunges)

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.

one woman performing a rear foot elevated lunge and one performing a lunge modification

How To Do A Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (Bulgarian Split Squat)

  1. Kneel in front of your bench or chair, then place your left foot behind you on a chair or bench, shoelaces down. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands, palms facing in.
  2. Step your right foot forward (it will vary for everyone, but a little over a foot in front of your bench). Your front thigh will be parallel to the floor. This is the bottom of your movement. In this variation, hold at the bottom of your movement for a three-count.
  3. Drive through your front right heel, squeezing your right glute to return to standing. Feel your front glute engage to power the movement.
  4. With control, bend your knee to lower down back to the starting position (back left knee should lower down close to the ground), to make your front thigh parallel with the ground. Shoulders remain stacked over hips throughout the movement.

Modification: Perform a standard reverse lunge or split squat, keeping your back foot on the ground rather than elevating it on a chair.

Lunge Hold and Step Up and Knee Drive

Targets: Legs, quads (thighs) and gluteus maximus (butt), hip flexors and core.

two women holding the bottom of a lunge then performing a step up and knee drive in a leg workout

How To Do A Lunge Hold and Step Up and Knee Drive

  1. Stand in front of your box or bench, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell at your chest (vertically so dumbbell is touching your collarbone and sternum).
  2. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the ground. In this variation, hold at the bottom of your reverse lunge for a three-count.
  3. Then squeeze your left leg glute, driving your back, right leg forward, stepping your right foot on to your box.
  4. Place the right foot firmly on the box, then squeeze your right glute as you step up onto the box, driving your left knee up as you stand.
  5. Return your left foot to the mat, then bring your right foot down and back, stepping into a reverse lunge to return to the starting position.

Modification: Perform a reverse lunge, step up and knee drive from the ground.

Staggered Deadlift and Calf Raise

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, hips, lower back, calves and core.

two women performing a staggered deadlift and calf raise in a squat workout

How To Do A Staggered Deadlift and Calf Raise

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your hips, palms facing in towards your body.
  2. Stagger your feet, so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back left toe.
  3. Maintain a staggered stance as you hinge at the hips. Pushing your hips back towards the wall behind you as you glide the dumbbells down the front of your legs; core tight.
  4. Drive through your front right heel to push your hips forward, pulling the dumbbells back up towards your hips as you stand tall.
  5. Then, slowly lift yourself up onto the balls of your feet to perform a calf raise, heels rising above the ground.
  6. Lift your heels until you feel a stretch along the back of your legs, balancing on your toes.
  7. Then, slowly lower your heels back to the ground, returning to the starting position.

Dumbbell Snatch, Rack and Lateral Lunge

Targets: Legs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, back, shoulders and deep transverse abdomen (core muscles).

two women performing a dumbbell snatch rack and lateral lunge in a squat workout

How To Do A Dumbbell Snatch, Rack and Lateral Lunge

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Place a dumbbell on the floor between your feet.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back towards the wall behind you as you lower down, reaching for the dumbbell with your right hand.
  3. Then, drive your hips forward as you ‘snatch’ the weight overhead with your right arm. Use the power and momentum created by your legs and hips to drive the weight overhead. You should finish standing tall with your right arm straight overhead, right bicep near your right ear.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell to your right shoulder, finding a front rack position.
  5. Then, step your right leg into a lateral lunge. Push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
  6. Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, exploding back up to center and repeating the dumbbell snatch.

Modification: Omit the overhead snatch, pulling the dumbbell up to shoulder height.

woman flexing with text overlay describing MetCon program

MetCon 100: FREE Metabolic Conditioning Program

A 2-week metabolic conditioning program designed to show you that you’re stronger than you think. 

If you liked this lower body workout at home, download the FREE, 2-Week Workout Plan.

Pin This Workout: Dumbbell Squat Workout (MetCon, Day 3)

woman performing lateral squat as part of squat workout

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6 comments
  1. I’m loving this program! Specifically find of the calf raise integration with the LB workout. I don’t do nearly as many of these as I should! Thanks Lindsey!

  2. Loving the Metcon 100 program. Have done all three days and am feeling it! I am 53 and have been doing your workouts for three year now they are by far my favorites to do! Keep up the awesome programs!