We love to hate them, we, especially us ladies, do it for the butt, it burns our quads and glutes, they can be done anywhere, with or without weights, and they one of the most performed exercises at the gym: squats. Use these 7 different types of squats to get the most out of your workouts!
Here’s 7 of my personal favorites – Squat Variations
With a barbell and arms extended over your head, it’s easy to see where this squat stems from: Olympic power lifting. Like a regular squat, it targets all the same muscles with a little bonus. Your core is engaged more because of the weight over your head, the arms, shoulders are working and so does your balance. Trust me, it’s not the time you want to topple over. Because of the technicality of the move, I’d start with lighter weights and work my way up.
Bulgarian split squat
Sometimes known as King Squat. Again, could be done with weights or just bodyweight. This move is great for hypertrophy and imbalances. Your back leg goes on a bench, front leg in a split stance. Make sure you’re wide enough for your legs to still be at 90-90, front knee not going past your toes. This move can overload your muscles without the use of heavy weights. Again, start light and work your way up.
Sometimes referred to as pistol squat is the mother of all squats. It’s a testimony to strength, balance and flexibility. It’s one I can only perform halfway,but working on it. Stand on one leg, other leg extended, butt goes behind, squat all the way to the ground and push yourself back up. Don’t get discouraged, it’s a very difficult move and take consistent practice to really master it. Sometimes it’s not so much a strength, but a flexibility issue. Try placing a plate under your heel and squat that way. It should help.
This one you have to use weights for. Place a barbell behind you, go down for a squat, grab the barbell behind you using an underhand grip and lift. This bad boy will strengthen your quads, since not leaning forward here is not an option, and takes the spinal compression out of the move, while also working the majority of your posterior chain. Think of it as a back sided deadlift.
It’s not one of the more well-known variations, but if you’re looking to deepen the motion and really get into those glutes, this one is perfect for you. Instead of starting at the top, like you would with a regular squat, you’re starting from the bottom, from a squat and then push up. This takes the bouncing and the momentum out of it and really digs into those glutes.
This one is great if you’re going for deepend range of motion, back/torso strength, again, without the spinal compression. Hug a barbell in front of your chest, get in a wider stance and squat deep, almost into a front squat. Keep your torso up, try not to tip over with the weight. Again, start light and gradually build it up.
Favored by cross fitters, again, part of it stems from Olympic lifting, this form is great for core/upper back strength, and balanced leg strength. Rest the barbell on your chest at shoulder level, supporting it with an underhand grip. Go all the way down, then press back up. As always, chest straight, not tipping. Be smart about your weights, and adjust according to our strength level.
So there you have it, now you have enough squats to rotate for every day of the week. Let us know which ones are your favorite, which ones your struggle with the most. Happy squatting!