Legs are an important part of your body that gets neglected way too often. You use them all the time and you literally need them to be able to walk. Since they are so important, why not make them as strong as possible?
The Best Squat Variations
Squats are one of the most—if not THE most—important leg exercises ever. But most people either find them boring or not “fun” enough. So for that occasion, we’ve found the best squat variations that will give you serious size and keep you entertained for quite some time.
1. Front Squat
You can either clean it from the ground and then do a front squat or you can do it from a squat rack. Then when you do that, keep your back straight and core tight for maximum stability. You can place your hands over each other so that your left palm is touching your right shoulder and vice versa, or you can keep your palms bent and at your clavicle.
2. High Back Squat
High bar is when you place a barbell on your shoulders and upper traps while keeping your back very vertical. It builds quads awesomely and it doesn’t stress the spine as much as the low bar squat.
3. Low Bar Back Squat
Low bar places the barbell more on the shoulder blades and your torso is tilted forwards. This is very famous among powerlifters as it allows you to move more weight easily. Mix both low bar squats and high bar squats and see what feels better for you.
4. Overhead Squat
This is awesome because you get to do arms as well. It’s very different from doing regular squats and mastering this will give you some great overall strength and muscle mass. Practice doing this with an empty bar and gradually add more weight.
5. Pistol Squat
You often see CrossFitters doing these on kettlebells and Bosu balls while holding random stuff above their head. Despite the fitness cultists giving this exercise a bad name, it’s actually very difficult to perform and great for quad strength and size building.
This is a pretty advanced exercise, so if you can’t do it initially, don’t sweat it. Place a bench behind you and try sitting down and standing back up on one leg without touching the chair with your hands.
6. Goblet Squat
You can perform this with either a kettlebell or a dumbbell. It looks super easy, but you can make it more difficult by, instead of one dumbbell/kettlebell, using two.
7. Steinborn Squat
If everything else gets too boring and you are feeling adventurous, give this a shot. It’s how the old school strongman squatted back when there was no squat rack. You lift the weight, get underneath it, and as you are lowering the weight on your back you squat. Hey, if nothing else, it will look funny but it will still count as doing legs.
8. Jump Squat
You can do this with a barbell or just with your own bodyweight. If you are doing it with a barbell, do it with a low weight or with an entirely empty bar. It will build explosiveness and put some serious muscle building stress on your quads. Quick tip for the road: If you have bad knees, avoid this like the plague. The last thing you need is to blow out your knees while doing jump squats.