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Dumbbell Jump Squat: Form, Benefits and Variations

Dumbbell Jump Squat


An explosive move that works multiple muscles, the dumbbell jump squat is one of the most effective exercises you can do when it comes to increasing explosive power and strength in your lower body. It’s also very safe and simple to learn, as long as you know how to properly do it! In this ultimate guide, we cover everything you need to know about proper form, variations and other tips and tricks to help you get the most out of this exercise in your training routine.

Before we start, I have recently made a whole 5 day dumbbell workout. Check it out here.

Muscles Worked and Benefits

The jump squat is a full-body exercise that trains your upper body and lower body simultaneously. It is a dynamic exercise that activates large muscle groups like quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Additionally, it also develops explosive power in athletes due to its eccentric (negative) phase of action. Though both these benefits are evident in Olympic weightlifters as well as football players and sprinters.

Correct Form To Perform The Dumbbell Jump Squat

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Let the weights hang by your sides next to your thighs.
  2. Slowly start to lower the weight by bending your knees and keep lowering until your upper leg is parallel to the floor. Make sure your back is straight while going down into the squat position. Keep the dumbbells next to your calves.
  3. Push explosively as fast as you can with your heels straightening your legs and jumping into the air. Ensure that your arms are straight and by your sides.
  4. Land softly and descend into the squat position with your knees bent. Again push up explosively and repeat.
  5. Perform the desired sets and repetitions.

Pro Tips Regarding the Dumbbell Jump Squat

The dumbbell jump squat is a great compound exercise that will help build strength in your legs. However, it’s important that you learn how to perform it correctly with good form. Doing so will maximize your gains by targeting all of your major leg muscles for maximum development. Follow these key tips for performing proper form on dumbbell jump squats.

  • Doing more reps and sets will increase your power and increase your vertical jump. I like to do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps and I use this exercise as a finisher for my leg workout.
  • If you find yourself leaning forward too much or feel like you’re about to lose your balance, then stop. It might take some time for your body to adjust and feel stable during these movements, so try not overdo it in order to avoid injury.
  • The weights you pick must be enough for you to work against the load. Using dumbbells that are too heavy for you makes it difficult for you to generate more strength during jumping which will hamper your performance and results when doing jump squats with proper form.
  • If you have any knee, ankle, hips or even any back injuries, consult with your doctor or health professional if performing dumbbell squat jump is safe.

Common Mistakes When Performing the Dumbbell Squat Jump

Not going low enough

The number one mistake people make when doing dumbbell squat jumps is not going low enough. To get maximum benefits out of jumping squats you need to squat until thighs are parallel to the ground.. This ensures that you are hitting your legs at their deepest point which will maximize muscle recruitment throughout your quads, glutes and hamstrings.

Keeping your back arched

When going down to the squat position, ensure that your back is straight. By arching or rounding your back, you will be putting unnecessary pressure on your neck and spine. It will also limit the benefits you get from this exercise.

Push From Your Heel

While doing a jumping squat, try to push through your heels instead of toes for maximum stability during whole movement. This will also limit the pressure put on your knees. As you land however, you should land softly with balls of your feet. consider the below vedio for a visual explaination.

Alternatives and Variations of the Dumbbell Jump Squat

There are several variations of jump squats that you can do depending on your fitness level. These include: box jump, weighted vests or even doing a normal jump squat.

Box Jumps

If your really want to challenge yourself, try this variation which basically adds more resistance then the simple dumbbell jump squat. This variation requires an elevated surface, like a box, for you to jump on top of. Here is a quick video:

Using Weighted Vests

This variation is all about preference. I personally don’t mind holding dumbbells but if you’re the type of person that feels uncomfortable holding weights by your sides, you should give this option a go. So instead of having to hold dumbbells, just simply put on a weighted vest.

Jump Squat

Performing simple jump squats can be as beneficial as performing them with weights. You can increase your reps with this which can ultimately maximize your leg explosive power. Especially when you are just starting out, performing just a normal jump squat without any weights might be the better way to go!

Takeaway Message

Dumbbell jump squat is a great lower body exercise to build power and strength. However, just like any exercise, perform this with proper form and techniques following our complete guide to get maximum benefits.

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Hey, I'm Shalin

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Shalin Anam

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