One of my all-time favorite bodyweight moves is the squat, which is why they are present in a majority of my workouts. Squats are a great functional move. They build muscle throughout your body and they help prevent injury by improving your flexibility and strength. As an added bonus, there are a ton of different squat variations, which means you’ll never get bored.
Instead of listing out hundreds of different variations, I’ve decided to list four ways you can switch up the traditional squat. One of the ways I fight workout boredom is by making it fun. Trying new things is key for me, so I’m always on the hunt for ways to spice up my moves.
I love to add cardio into my bodyweight workouts. It gets my heart rate up, keeps me interested, and makes it all the more exciting. One of the newest additions to my list is the hopscotch squat. That fun childhood game is actually a great workout. To start this move, squat down with your feet about hip-width distance apart. While remaining in a squatted position, jump your feet together and then quickly jump them back apart. Continue jumping in and out while making sure you stay in as deep a squat as possible. If this is too hard on your knees, you can definitely walk your legs in and out instead. Do what works for you!
Switch your Stance
Another simple way to modify a basic squat is by changing your footing. One of my favorites is the sumo squat. This stance places added emphasis on the inner thighs and glutes, so it’s a great addition to any lower body workout. To begin, get into a wide stance with your toes turning out. Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly return to standing, contracting your glutes at the top. Add a bicep curl for an added challenge!
Make it a Combo
Adding a combo move, like the bicep curl to a sumo squat, can be an effective way to maximize your workout when you’re pressed for time. If you don’t have access to weights, that can be a little trickier. Instead of searching for something heavy, try adding a punch to a traditional squat. The key here is to really try to create some resistance for yourself. I know it sounds silly, but truly imagine punching through something. I promise it works!
Split it Up
I can’t create a list of squat variations without sending a shout out to one of my favorites: the rear-foot elevated split squat. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Start by lifting one foot and placing it on a low, stable surface behind you. Shift your weight to the foot on the ground. Squat down until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, keeping your abs contracted and your chest up. Lift back up by pushing through the heel, and make sure to contract your glutes at the top.
What are some of your favorite squat variations? Have you tried any of these?