The dumbbell front squat builds on the mechanics of the barbell front squat. Because you are holding 2 dumbbells in front of you as counterbalance, you can increase your squat depth without compromising on quality. Balance dumbbells on shoulder by holding on to dumbbells with elbows flaring outward. The dumbbells may not be supported entirely on the torso as they are with the barbell, but the goal remains the same: to support the load primarily on the shoulders with the elbows pointed forward. This multi-joint exercise also improves balance and stability throughout the core and focus on both sides of the body. Workout Step. Dumbbell Front Squat. Dumbbell front squats are a simple and effective exercise to help you build stronger abs and overall full-body strength. Preparation. Position feet shoulder width or slightly narrower apart. You can do a normal bodyweight squat and see how low you can squat without your back rounding. 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