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Squat Variations

Squat Variations to Kick Your Workout Into High Gear

Squats are to your legs and tush as push-ups are to your arms and core — you've got to be one with the squat if you want to tone your lower body. The basic move is hard enough, but here are some ways to make it even more challenging.

  • Target different muscles in your lower body with yoga variations including Open Side Fierce where you twist your torso, or Goddess with your legs wide (also called Sumo Squat).
  • Raise one heel at a time as you lift and lower your hips. Also try lifting both heels together, either during the squat or at the very end when you come up to target your calves and strengthen your sense of balalnce.
  • Instead of lifting and lowering your bum, hold the lowered squat position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Work one side at a time by lifting one leg (to get legs like Cameron Diaz).
  • Do more reps. With this plan you can build up to 200 in just four weeks.
  • Make it a multitasking move for your upper and lower body by lifting dumbbells while you squat — try overhead presses and hammer curls.
  • After working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes doing squats, it's nice to do some squat stretches. Lower your bum all the way down, widen your stance so your feet are shoulder-width distance apart, and hold a Wide Squat. This will open your hips and stretch out your calves. Or you can do a Bound Wide Squat to get all the benefits of a Wide Squat, but it will also open your chest and shoulders, and increase flexibility in your spine.
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Join The Conversation
EatStylePlay EatStylePlay 3 years
\u00a0@teacherturtle1 you should, they def work.
MissLola85 MissLola85 7 years
squats are such betches! lol...although after one week of a few reps daily, you'll see amazing results
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I've started doing one-legged squats with weights and lemme tell ya...THOSE suck! But they really work your backside, though.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 7 years
squats.. i never do them but that may change..
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 7 years
squats.. i never do thembut that may change..
cookie23 cookie23 7 years
oh squats ... i hate (but love) them ...
sundaygreen sundaygreen 7 years
i've always found them the most difficult of the 'basic' strength training exercises to do (apart from pushups!). just because i feel like my bum isn't going low enough, or something.
Callie325 Callie325 7 years
I once heard that "it's not an effective squat unless you make a face when you come up," (a grunty, teeth-baring face, natch) and believe it or not, when I do that, my glutes totally tighten in a way they just don't if I'm looking normal. Plus, I get to intimidate all the dude weightlifters!
kia kia 7 years
I like doing squats with a bar and weight. I tend to focus better with single leg variations so I don't favor my knee I had ACL surgery on.
eclecticFLgirl eclecticFLgirl 7 years
Great tips! I do squats every day but the only thing I do besides normal squats is I add bicep curls. I'll have to try some of these tomorrow...
brookrene brookrene 7 years
Also, after you come all the way back up, lift yourself onto the balls of your feet to work your calves. :)
Hoaxerz Hoaxerz 7 years
Try adding a barbell. In addition to being harder on your legs, it'll throw off your stability and work your core more.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Squats are evil!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Squats are evil!
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