How can you possibly modify classic squatting to make it attractive and even more efficient? Here comes another 6 bodyweight squats to fit into your workout. Whether you’re aiming at the slim legs, shaped hips, or firm glutes, squats will help you reach your goal. And the core will work, too.
7. SQUAT JUMPS
Those improve not only our lower body muscle strength and shape, but also boost our jump. Stand with your feet shoulders-width apart, put your hands on hips, and squat down like you were sitting on a chair. As you go up, add a jump at the end of the movement – jump as high as possible, focus especially on the work of your calves.
As you land on the ground, go smoothly into another squat. Continue for 30 seconds in a set. It may take a few squat jumps to coordinate your body to the point where you actually get a nice dynamic pace and the fluency of movement.
8. BULGARIAN SQUATS
A challenging variation. On the gym, you use a bench for this one, but at home you may use a bed or a sofa. Stand with your back to the bench or the sofa, 1-2 steps from it. Put one foot on the bed, the back leg is bent in the knee. Keep your hands on the hips. Squat down and back up for 30 seconds on one leg. Then, alternate the legs and squat for another 30 seconds with the other. Make sure your front knee does not go past the toes level. Tip: Use your back leg to push against the bed as you go up.
9. CHAIR SINGLE LEG SQUAT
Single leg squats are very high level, so it’s crucial to do them right – in order to avoid knee injuries. A good way to start is a signle leg squat with a chair. Stand with the chair behind you, as if you were to sit on it. Lift one leg straight in knee a few inches off the ground. Slowly sit on the chair, and stand up with the one leg in the air all the time.
If you can’t do that, keep the leg touching the floor straight in knee. Go for 30-seconds on the same leg, an then switch for another 30 seconds, or alternate with each rep. Try to spend as little time sitting as possible, just touch the seat and go back up, if possible.
10. APE SQUATS
Great for the lower body, especially the calves and quads. Start in a deep squat with your knees wide, the heels stick to the floor, the torso leaned down front and your hands touching the ground between your legs. Lift your torso up to the upright position, extend your arms to the sides and go up to your toes while staying in the deep squat position. Hold for a second and go back to the starting pose. Remember to keep your core and back braced to keep the balance. Don’t rush, it’s a static exercise. Go for 30 seconds in each of your sets.
11. SWEEP SQUATS
Perfect if you want to focus on mobilizing the hips. Prepare for the sweep squats standing with your feet hip width apart. Hands together, in front of your belly button. As you squat down, turn to the left and circle with your right foot to the right over the ground (the right leg is straight in knee). Transfer your balance from the left leg to the right by bending the right knee. Turning right, circle with the left foot over the ground towards the right foot. Repeat the movement backwards (that is from right to left). Keep going for 30 seconds, take a short break and repeat as many times as you need.
12. GOLF SWING SQUAT
A nice little movement with the leg makes the classic squat a refreshed exercise. Stand with your feet a little bit wider than hip-width apart. Squat down, and as you go back up, swing with your right leg to the left. The swinging leg should be straight in knee. Keep going with the same leg for 30 seconds, then switch the legs, and repeat the whole series as many times as needed.
Hope at least one of the 12 ideas will become a way to introduce some variety to your lower body workout. I bet there are hundreds of more ideas for unusual squats. If you know more interesting versions of the great exercise, please share them in the comments below.