Squats are one of the best moves you can do to tone your entire body, especially your legs and glutes. You can also tweak a simple squat to get the specific results you desire. Here’s how:
- If you want to lose weight, do squats a few times a week. When you do them, do six sets of five reps with weights. This will help you build muscle and burn fat quickly.
- If you’re a runner and you want to run faster, try heavy front squats with three to five sets of three to five reps.
- If you have back pain and want to feel better, ask your doctor first and if they give it the okay, try these squats. Try slow and controlled front or box squats, three to five sets of five reps. Focus on strengthening muscles in your back, stabilizing hips and embracing your core.
- If you want to embrace the booty, try back-loaded squats. Aim for two to three times a week, doing three to five sets of six to 10 reps. Focus on squeezing those glutes.
Here are some different squats to try:
- Front squat (sometimes called the goblet squat). This one is best if you have a long torso. Hold a weight in front of you equally between your glutes, hamstrings and quads and do a simple squat with it. Make sure you use a weight that is the right weight for you (not too heavy, but also not too light that it has no effect).
- Box squat. Sit on the edge of a box (or a bench). This is best for short legs to get a deeper stance and eliminate injury.
- Banded squats. These are great for knees, especially if you have ones that rotate slightly inward. Place a looped resistance band around your thighs and do squats. This will help your hips to work harder to counteract your knee movements.
- Back squats. These are great for those with short torsos. Hold a bar against your shoulders and squat.
- Sumo squat. These are helpful if you have tight hips. Separate your feet more than shoulder-width apart and turn your toes outward before you squat. Think like a sumo wrestler!
- Heel-elevated squat. Try these if you have flat feet. Lift your heels as you squat. Simple, but effective.
- Toes-out squat. These are good for long legs. Point your toes out to 45 degrees (but not as much as a sumo squat) and keep your knees aligned with your middle toe.
- Dumbbell squat. These are effective for keeping asymmetry. Hold a weight at each side as you squat, but make sure you are holding the weights evenly.
Did you know how amazing squats are for your body? Did you know there were so many different variations? Share with us your favorites or the ones you want to try during your next workout!