Did you know that the squat is one of the only exercises that will work 75% of your muscles with one movement? If you are getting bored with the same old squat exercise, we have some challenging variations for you to try in the list below:
1. The Powerlifting Squat.
Put a weight bar between the deltoids and across the rhomboid while squatting. Make your stance wider than shoulder width. This squat puts less stress on your knee joints, but more stress on your lower back. When you are in descending motion, pretend that you are sitting into a chair. Keep in mind that until your muscles are ready, your full range of motion could be prohibited. In this case, do an abbreviated version so as not to risk injuring yourself.
2. The Prisoner Squat.
Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your fingers on the back of your head as if you were being arrested! Sticking your chest out, lower your body by pressing your hips back and bending your knees – again, as if you were sitting into a chair. Squat as low as you can, and then stand up. Repeat.
3. Barbell Hack Squat.
This squat really works out your outer thighs. To do this squat, put the barbell behind your legs. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. As you squat down, grasp the barbell with an overhand grip. As you extend your hips and knees completely, lift the barbell. Squat as if you are sitting down into a chair. Make sure that your back is straight and your knees and toes are pointed in the same direction. Squat until the bar is behind your lower legs, then repeat.
4. Jump Squat.
To execute a jump squat, you basically start out by doing a regular squat. As you move lower, you will notice your glutes and hamstrings tightening. Once you are as low as you can go, jump off the ground by pushing your hips forward and throwing your arms up towards the sky. After you land back on the ground, sink back down into the squat and repeat!
5. Isometric Squat.
Do you have bad knees or feel that you aren’t able to move as well as you would like? How are you supposed to do squats when you have these issues? Easy – try this isometric squat! You can even do an isometric squat with your back against a wall if need be. Either way, start out by going into a squat position, with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Next, isolate a certain part of the squat and work on strengthening that movement. So, if you are weaker in a certain area, you can focus on just that one area.
6. Monkey Squat.
Are you looking for a fun squat? Then the monkey squat is for you! To do the monkey squat, bend down and hold either your ankles or your toes. As you keep your upper body totally still, bend your knees and lower your butt to your ankles. Lastly, go back to your starting position, then repeat. We told you it was fun!
7. Pistol Squats.
If you are looking for the ultimate squat challenge, you have found it with the pistol squat! To execute the pistol squat, stand on your strongest leg and elevate your other leg straight out in front of you. Lower your body until your glutes are just a few inches from the floor. Then, return to your start position using only one leg. It’s not easy, but after a few tries we know you can do it!
8. Dumbbell Split Squats.
The dumbbell split squat is a great strength training squat! To do it, hold a pair of dumbbells arm’s length away from your body. Remember to keep your palms facing each other. Stand with your left foot in front of your right foot. Squat down as low as you can go. Return to your starting position, switch legs and repeat.