6 Squat Variations that Up the Ante
Squats are a classic exercise that really works the leg and butt muscles, but sometimes mixing it up is necessary.
Let’s take a classic move, and turn it into the ultimate workout. Do 12 to 15 reps of each exercise three times for a complete squat workout.
- With your feet spread shoulder-width apart, lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Drive your weight down in your heels. Pause, and then slowly push yourself back up.
- This squat helps strengthen the power of your legs by driving down your entire body weight into the squat. With feet shoulder width apart dip your knees in preparation to leap, and then jump as high as you can. Land, and immediately squat down and jump again.
- This squat relies on your upper leg muscles (hamstrings and quads) to hold your body weight up, and gives you killer legs. Stand with your arms straight out in front of you and raise your left leg slightly off the floor, and hold it there. Push your hips back and lower your body to the ground (your left leg should be extended out in front of you). Pause, and then push your body back into the starting position. Repeat and then switch legs.
Wide Stance Barbell
- Adding the barbell gives you more weight to drive down, and results in a great butt. Hold the bar across your upper back and squat with your feet set at twice shoulder width. Return to the starting position, and repeat.
- This squat really works the calf, quad and butt muscles. Hold the bar across your upper back and before you squat, raise your heels off the ground as high as you can. Lower into the squat position, and return to the starting position. Try to hold your heels off the ground the entire time.
- This squat not only builds your butt muscles, but also upper arm muscles from holding added weight out in front of you. Hold a medicine ball or weight plate out in front of you with your arms completely straight. Perform a squat and hold the weight in place.
- Work your abs, and drive more weight down into your heels with this variation on a squat. Hold a dumbbell vertically next to your chest with both hands. Brace your abs, and lower your body into the squat position. Pause and return to the standing position before repeating.
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