Squats - the workout everyone hates to love and loves to hate. They're a daily part of many butt and leg day workouts, as they make your bod look amazing. This is because squats strengthen pretty much every muscle in your lower body, including: your thighs, core, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. You can always stick with the classic squat, but it's time to mix up your fitness routine. Here's our ultimate squat workout guide.
Before you try any of the below, you must first master the classic squat. Getting in the right position will ensure you're working out your muscles correctly, while preventing any injuries. Start by standing as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Then, lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. You can choose to have your arms out straight and level in front of you, or bent together. Finally, push yourself back to the starting position while squeezing your glutes. This counts as one rep. As soon as you get the hang of this, you can increase the workout difficulty by looping a mini band around your calves to create restriction.
Squat With Weights
You can really make squats a full-body workout by adding weights. You can do this in a number of ways. When doing a classic squat, you can grasp the head of a heavy dumbbell and hold it in front of your chest. You can also hold a dumbbell at arm's length in front of you and raise it as you lower your body, and lower the weight as you push yourself back up. Or you can easily add a shoulder press by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and hold them next to your shoulders. While you stand up from the squat, press the dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Want a chest press? Hold a dumbbell close to your chest with both hands, keeping your elbows next to your sides. Once at the bottom of the squat, extend your arms straight out in front of you and bring them back to your chest, then go back up. Finally of course, you can complete a classic squat while resting a barbell behind you. The possibilities are endless, so get creative with your additive arm workouts.
Here is a different angle for your legs and glutes. Stand in a stance with your right foot about two feet in front of left and your hands on hips. Slowly lower your body as far as you can, pause, then quickly push yourself back up to starting position. Then repeat on the opposite side after your reps. If you want your arms involved, then do a split squat to shoulder raise. Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length next to your sides, palms facing each other. Go down for a split squat, then push yourself back up quickly while raising your arms straight out to the sides until they're even with your shoulders.
This one takes practice, so we recommend starting with a squat jack. With your feet hip-width apart, lower your body until your knees are bent to almost 90 degrees. Then jump your legs outward like a jumping jack, and then immediately jump to bring them back to starting position. After you get the hang of this, try the real squat jump. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Next raise your arms until they are parallel with the floor. Pause and breathe, then jump as high as you can while swinging your arms back toward your sides. Finally land and reset your body. You can even add a box or platform to jump onto to increase difficulty.