Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat: To Get Tone and Strong Legs

Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat is an excellent resistance training exercise to workout your Quads. Are you looking to get fit, but don’t have access to a gym? No problem. Dumbbell elevated split squats are an easy and effective way to get in shape. They require minimal equipment, and can be done almost anywhere. In this article, we’ll cover the step-by-step instructions, benefits, muscles used, tips, and mistakes to avoid with this exercise. So put on your workout gear and let’s get started – no more excuses.

Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Quadriceps
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductor Magnus, Gluteus Maximus, and Soleus
  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Basic
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat Instructions

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand
  • Lift one foot off the ground, placing it on a raised platform behind you
  • Bend both knees, lowering your body until your back knee is close to the ground
  • Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position
  • Repeat on the opposite side
  • Repeat for desired number of repetitions

Video Tutorial

HOW TO do a BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT | proper form + common mistakes

Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat Muscles

Target (Agonist)

  • Quadriceps


  • Adductor Magnus
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Soleus

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Hamstrings


  • Erector Spinae
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Trapezius – Middle
  • Trapezius – Upper

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • Obliques
  • Rectus Abdominis
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the dumbbell elevated split squat exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat

The Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat is a great exercise for strengthening the quadriceps. This exercise is beneficial for increasing the size and strength of the quadriceps muscles, as well as helping to improve balance and coordination. Additionally, the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat forces the lifter to use a greater range of motion than a traditional Squat, which can help to further increase muscular development in the quadriceps. The increased range of motion also helps to increase flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Overall, the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat is an effective exercise for building strength and muscular development in the quadriceps.

Tips for Performing Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat

Split squats are a great way to increase strength, stability, and flexibility in your lower body. When done with dumbbells, these exercises can be more intense and help you get even better results. Read on for tips to ensure you get the most out of your dumbbell elevated split squats and start seeing the benefits soon!

  • Do Some Aerobic Exercise to Reduce Soreness. You can cut down soreness by undertaking a just a few minutes of aerobic exercise directed at your primary muscle groups to finish your routine, in this case a stationary bike can help prevent soreness in your quads. Riding a bike can flushing out much of the lactic acid produced by your squats. In the end you will reduce recovery time.
  • Improve Your Technique by Make Use of a Mirror. You be vain by looking in a mirror while working our at a gym. You should be using a mirror to make sure your technique is good.
  • Execute Your Major Compound Movements First. You will want to perform barbell squats at the beginning of your work out, and then conduct isolation exercises to target particular muscle groups towards the end. So if you are going to do split squats the same day that you are going to do barbell squats, do the barbell squats first. Then you can work the isolated areas or zones that didn’t get fatigued as much during your compound exercise you executed.
  • Perform Drop Sets. You can maximize your workout with some drop sets. A drop set is when you do a set to you can’t do another rep and then you grab smaller dumbbells and continue. You could reduce the weight many times after each failure.

Benefits and Tips Video


Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

It’s important to remember that proper form is essential when doing the dumbbell elevated split squat. If you don’t have the right technique, you risk injuries and won’t be able to get the full benefits of the exercise. To make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly, it’s important to avoid the common mistakes listed below.

  • Forgetting Your Cooldown. You can reduce your healing time and soreness if you do a good cooldown. When you forget to cooldown, you will likely notice it in a day or two when you are sore.
  • Using too Little or too Much Resistance. Grabbing too small of dumbbells, and you will not work your muscles sufficiently, too big of dumbbells, and you’ll most likely need to cheat. To find the right dumbbells focus on doing 8-12 reps. If you can do 12 reps increase the weight until 12 reps is too hard. If you can’t get to 8 reps reduce the weight until you can.
  • Neglecting Discomfort and Pain. Sore muscle tissue and an injury pain are not the same. If you are feeling strong discomfort or pain while you are squatting, you might have an injury. Everybody has a different tolerance for pain and you need to understand your body. As soon as you feel an abnormal discomfort when you are exercising you need to stop, or you can make an injury worse.

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If you’re looking to switch up your workout routine or just want some alternative exercises to add to your regular Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, here are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that work similar muscles.

Graphic image of Dumbbell Clasp Grip Sumo Squat.

Dumbbell Clasp Grip Sumo Squat: The Dumbbell Clasp Grip Sumo Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. This exercise works the same muscles as the split squat, but also adds an element of balance and stability. By using a wide sumo stance, the exercise works to target the inner and outer thighs, as well as the glutes and core. Additionally, by utilizing a clasp grip, the lifter will be able to challenge their grip strength while also working their arms and chest. The Dumbbell Clasp Grip Sumo Squat is an effective exercise for increasing strength and muscle development.

Graphic image of Bulgarian Split Squat.

Bulgarian Split Squat: The Bulgarian Split Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. This exercise works the same muscles as the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, but with one foot elevated on a bench. This variation allows you to focus more on the glutes and quads while also providing a greater range of motion. Additionally, it is a great way to challenge balance and stability, making it ideal for those looking to increase their overall strength and athleticism.

Graphic image of Squat Sidekick.

Squat Sidekick: Squat Sidekick is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. This exercise uses the same motion as a traditional squat, but challenges your balance by lifting one leg off the ground while you squat. It targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, helping you build strength and stability in the same muscles that are used in the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. By adding this additional level of difficulty, Squat Sidekick helps you progress faster and become stronger in your lower body.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Graphic image of Squat Hold.

Squat Hold: The Squat Hold is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. This exercise strengthens the same muscles as the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, but in a static position. To perform the Squat Hold, start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower your body into a squat position and hold for 30-60 seconds. This exercise will increase your core and lower body strength, as well as help improve balance and stability. It is also a great way to stretch and warm up the muscles prior to performing other exercises.

Graphic image of Squat.

Squat: The Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. Squats target the same muscle groups as the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, but in a different way. The Squat requires you to stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. You then bend your hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the ground. This exercise works the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, and lower back muscles. It also helps build balance, stability, and coordination. By adding Squats to your routine, you can further target the muscle groups used in the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat and help improve overall strength and mobility.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Rear Lunge.

Smith Machine Rear Lunge: Smith Machine Rear Lunge is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. It works the same muscles and is performed in a similar fashion, but the Smith Machine allows for more stability and balance. Instead of holding the weight in both hands like you do in a Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, you can place the bar of the Smith Machine at hip level and step back into a lunge position. This exercise is great for targeting the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. Additionally, the Smith Machine helps to better control your body and helps with form which is important in order to get the most out of each exercise.

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To get the most out of this exercise, it is important to pair it with exercises that work opposing muscle groups. This will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat and promote better posture and balance. Here is a list of exercises that will help you achieve this:

Graphic image of Resistance Band Single Leg Curls.

Resistance Band Single Leg Curls: Resistance Band Single Leg Curls can be used to complement Dumbbell Elevated Split Squats by targeting the opposing muscle group. The single leg curl works the hamstrings and glutes, while the split squat primarily targets the quads and glutes. This combination of exercises will give a well-rounded workout for the lower body, with one exercise targeting the front of the legs, and the other targeting the back. Additionally, both exercises can be done with minimal equipment and space, making them ideal for home workouts.

Graphic image of Resistance Band Leg Curls.

Resistance Band Leg Curls: Resistance band leg curls are a great complement to the dumbbell elevated split squat exercise. The resistance band leg curl targets the hamstrings, which are the opposing muscle group to the quadriceps used in the split squat. When performing the resistance band leg curl, the user lies on their back, hooks the band around their feet, and then bends their knees to bring their feet up towards their buttocks. This exercise will help to activate and strengthen the hamstrings, which is important for balance and stability when performing exercises like the dumbbell elevated split squat.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Single Leg Deadlift.

Smith Machine Single Leg Deadlift: The Smith Machine Single Leg Deadlift is a great exercise to complement the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat. This exercise works the opposite muscle group of the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat, as it primarily works the hamstrings and glutes. It also helps to improve stability and balance in the lower body, which can help you to perform the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat more effectively. By performing the Smith Machine Single Leg Deadlift regularly, you will be able to maximize your results from the Dumbbell Elevated Split Squat.


This dumbbell elevated split squat is an excellent exercise to add to your routine if you want to increase your strength and fitness. You will work out your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core muscles with this exercise, and with the tips provided you can make sure you are doing it correctly and avoiding common mistakes. Don’t forget to stretch afterwards! So if you’re ready to get fit, why not give this exercise a go? And if you want more great fitness tips, be sure to check out more of our articles!

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov

Pin image for dumbbell elevated split squat post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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