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5 Easy Squat Variations To Add To Your Fitness Routine

5 Easy Squat Variations To Add To Your Fitness Routine

January 27, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

Fitness experts have said that the one exercise to do if you do not have time for any other exercises is squats. Squats are a key essential exercise proven to improve your mental and physical health, as sports therapist and chronic pain specialist Dr. Christopher Stepein saying that doing squats everyday can seriously keep your doctor away. In doing squats, you are not only building your leg muscles - the hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps - but also helps create an anabolic environment that helps improve muscle mass and flexibility. 

With squats, there are many variations that can be added to your fitness routine where the benefits can be applied. Each variation will serve a different purpose, targeting different areas throughout the body. For example, if your legs are more farther apart when doing the exercise, you will be working more of your inner thighs and glutes. If it includes upper-body movement that involves an overhead press, you'll also be working in some arm and shoulder work. No matter what, squats are an essential and functional workout. Here are 5 squat variations to add to your fitness routine:

Body Weight Squats

  1. Start with your feet slightly further than hip-length apart, with your feet and toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your arms by your side with palms facing inward.
  2. While engaging your core and keeping your chest lifted and back flat, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back and bend your legs into a lower squat. 
  3. While squatting, send your arms up and bring your hands together to your chest.
  4. Begin to stand as you squeeze your glutes to accomplish one rep. 
  • TARGETS: Gluteus Maximus, Core, Hamstrings, and Quadriceps

Sumo Squats

  1. Stand with your feet more than shoulder-length apart, feet turned out, with arms by your side. 
  2. While engaging your core and keeping your chest lifted and back flat, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back and bend your legs to lower into a squat. 
  3. Bend your arms while you press your hands together in front of your chest.
  4. Begin to stand as you squeeze your glutes to accomplish one rep.
  • TARGETS: Gluteus Maximus, Core, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, and Inner Thigh Muscles

Dumbbell Thrusters

  1. Start with your feet slightly further than hip-length apart, with your feet and toes pointed slightly outward. Keep a weight in each hand resting by your shoulder with palms facing in.
  2. While engaging your core and keeping your chest lifted and back flat, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back and bend your legs into a lower squat. 
  3. Begin to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top. As you stand, press the dumbbells overhead, straightening your elbows completely. Keep your core engaged and hips tucked under to avoid arching your lower back.
  • TARGETS: Gluteus Maximus, Core, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Deltoids, Trapezius, and Triceps

Squat To Lateral Leg Lift

  1. Start with your feet slightly further than hip-length apart, with your feet and toes pointed slightly outward. Keep a weight in each hand resting by your shoulder with palms facing in.
  2. While engaging your core and keeping your chest lifted and back flat, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back and bend your legs into a lower squat. 
  3. Begin to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top. Then rise your right leg as you flex your foot. The weight will shift to your left leg, so be sure to keep your back straight and core engaged.
  4. Lower your leg to complete 1 rep. Switch sides and repeat.
  • TARGETS: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Core

Sumo Squat Swing

  1. Stand with your feet more than shoulder-length apart, feet turned out, while holding a dumbbell on each end with hands out in front of you. 
  2. While engaging your core and keeping your chest lifted and back flat, shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back and bend your legs to lower into a squat. 
  3. Begin to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top, swinging the dumbbell overhead while keeping your arms straight.
  • TARGETS: Gluteus Maximus, Inner Thigh Muscles, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Core, Trapezius, Deltoids, and Latissimus Dorsi

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-Patrick