5 Kick-Butt Squat Variations

Featured Article, Fitness, Workout Plans
on November 13, 2014
5 squat variations

Want a lifted booty and lean legs? We thought so.

If you’re not already on the squat train, then it’s time to hope on board. Why? Squats are a compound movement, which means they engage multiple muscle groups in order to complete the exercise. In fact, a squat recruits the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and even abdominal muscles at once, making it an ultra-effective lower body workout.

The next time you hit the gym, amp up the burn with these five challenging squat variations, which will help you sculpt a killer lower half. The best part? These exercises require zero equipment and can be done anytime, anywhere!

Plie Squat

plie squat

Photo by Lauren Gleisberg

This squat variation is especially beneficial for working your inner thigh muscles, also known as the adductors. Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and rotate both feet outward, so your toes point to either side. Bend at the knee to squat down, ensuring your knees remain stacked over your ankles and your upper body remains upright.

Jump Squat

jump squat

Photo by Lauren Gleisberg

This plyometric movement can help increase muscular power and explosiveness, which is particularly beneficial for athletes. Begin by bending in the knees, sitting back into the squat and keeping the chest high. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, explode upward, reaching your hands as high as you can as your feet leave the floor.

Squat with Glute Kickback

squat with glute kickback

Photo by Lauren Gleisberg

Talk about the ultimate booty blaster! This variation emphasizes the glute muslcles aka your butt to lift and sculpt. Begin by squatting down into the movement and as you push up, kick back the left leg by squeezing your left glute muscle. Lower that leg back to the ground as you move down for another squat. This time, as you rise up, kick back your right leg.

Single Leg Squat

single leg squat

Photo by Lauren Gleisberg

This is an advanced, yet very beneficial squat variation as it isolates each side of the body. To perform, begin with feet hip width apart and arms stretched straight out in front of you. Pick a leg to isolate and cross the nonworking leg across the thigh of the isolated leg Squat down and push up through the heel once you’ve gone as low as you can get. To make this exercise more suitable for beginners, try sitting back onto a chair or bench or balancing against a wall!

Split Squat

split squat

Photo by Lauren Gleisberg

This is another great movement that targets each side of the body individually. Begin with one foot about two feet in front of the other and both toes pointed forward. The front leg will be the designated working leg. Allow that front knee to bend, lowering your body closer to the ground. Then, push through the heel to return to the starting position. After several reps, switch sides, so that the other leg is in front.

About the Author: Lauren Gleisberg is a health and fitness enthusiast who uses her education and experience to inspire and empower women to look better, feel better, and lead lives they absolutely love! Her self-titled blog brings enjoyability to healthy living. Learn more about Lauren and her approach at www.LaurenGleisberg.com.