Squatting is the most perfect exercise to build up your lower body strength. They are my go-to when I am training my legs, and luckily there are about 1 billion different variations of the squat so you will never get bored. In this video I showed you 10 different types of squats. Here they are with a brief description and how-to guide.
Squat #1: Bodyweight Squats
This is the most basic of squats because you don’t need anything but your own body. Your feet should be shoulder width apart or slightly wider. You want to sit back like you are sitting into a chair (poke your butt out). Your weight should be over your heels as you push back into the squat. Go down as low as you are comfortable and then slowly stand up. When you get to the top give your butt muscles an extra squeeze for good measure. Make it harder by lacing your fingers behind your head for the whole set. Doing this will make you want to bend forward. Fight that urge and you will feel your back muscles working hard as well as your glutes
Squat #2: Goblet Squats
Repeat what you did with the Bodyweight squats but hold a weight (of any kind) in both hands up near your chest. Don’t rest it on your chest, hold it just slightly off your chest. When squatting down, keep your weight over your heels but as you go down push your knees out. This will make “room” and allow you to drop you butt a little bit lower than you did with the regular bodyweight squats.
Squat #3: Split Squats
These are difficult to do and maintain balance so pay attention to what you are doing. The cool thing is that you can do it on just about anything. I have used my bed (its kind low), and a stationary comfy chair and in the video I am using a basic patio chair. You want your front foot to be far enough away from the chair that when you squat down that front knee will make a 90 degree angle, and you want the foot back on the chair to have the top part of your foot on the chair about halfway. If you have to much foot on that chair when you squat down it will catch on your ankle and smart.
Squat #4: Stripper Squats
I call these stripper squats because they feel to me like you are balancing on stripper heels. That is why I like them. To perform them get an aerobics box or a piece of wood and put your heels up on it so that your weight I balanced on your toes. SLOWLY squat down as low as you can do and then SLOWLY stand back up. I say slowly because these squats load your quads a lot and your knees, you want to make sure you load them slowly so that you don’t tweak anything and end up losing your balance.
Squat #5: Wide Stand Squats & Plie Squats
Similar to the Bodyweight squats, for the wide stance squat you want to start with your feet shoulder width apart and then step out so that your feet are wider than that. Squat back slowly pushing your knees out and sticking your butt back. You will probably not be able to squat back as low as you can in other squats. For the Plie squats step out even wider and turn your feet out as far as they can go. You are going to feel unsteady in this position and as you squat you will be squatting straight down. You will be pushing your knees out to the side and creating a 90 degree angle in that position and then slowly come back up.
Squat #6: Narrow Stance Squats
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and then step them closer together. You don’t want your feet touching but close maybe leave 3 or 4 inches between. Again, this needs to be a slow squat down and back up. You will feel really wobbly so you need to make sure you maintain control all the way down and all the way back up.
Squat #7: Walking Squats
Basic side squat. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, take a step to the side, perform a squat and then bring your feet together. Do 5-10 walking left and then even it out by doing 5-10 walking right.
Squat #8: Squats w/ Instability
I used the Sanddune Stepper in the video but you can use anything that makes you feel just a bit unstable. Stand on pillows, or a thick mat – anything that makes it so your feet are not quite on solid ground. Then perform your basic bodyweight squat.
Squat #9: Box Squats/Chair Squats
These are the best squats, I think, because you can work on your form and don’t have to worry about falling or getting stuck at the bottom. You can squat back to a box (most gyms have something you can use) or a basic chair. You want your feet a little bit wider than shoulder width and you want to be about a foot away from the box or chair. This is going to seem scary at first, but I want you to be far enough away that you really have to push your butt back and reach for the chair/box. When you do this you will really feel your hamstrings and glutes working. Sit back onto the box and let your body relax for just a split second then engage everything and pop up. Stand all the way up and pull your hips through squeezing your glutes and feeling a tiny stretch in your hip flexors.
Squat #10: Pistol Squats/One Legged Squats
I’m not gonna lie, this is a hard one to teach. I am going to punt and let you learn from a master. Follow this link for an excellent tutorial in how to execute the squat correctly.