Squat variations – the squat exercise for effective full body workout at home!
It is not for nothing that the squat is an indispensable part of an effective whole body workout. It is a compound exercise in which a number of muscle groups are trained at the same time. These primarily include the glutes, the quadriceps, the upper and lower legs, as well as the back and abdominal muscles. In addition, doing the right squat brings many benefits to our physical and mental health. This improves our performance and coordination, our bones are strengthened and can also help to relieve back pain. And although the effectiveness of the exercise is undeniable, there are many other squat variations that target different muscles. In this article you will find lots of great ideas that can help you improve your workout and keep things more interesting.
While the squat is considered a classic exercise for the lower body, the many variations help to train different muscles. For example, if you spread your legs further apart, your thighs and glutes are used a little more than the quadriceps. Plyometric squats raise your heart rate and are great for a HIIT training plan. When it comes to adding equipment, you can really use anything – from mini fitness bands to barbells or water bottles, anything is allowed. You can do all the variations you will find in this article with or without weights – depending on how much fitness experience you already have.
Squat variants provide more variety in your training routine
- Goblet Squat exercise is one of the most popular squats variants with weights, which is suitable for both beginners and professional athletes. In addition to the legs and buttocks, the shoulders are also trained at the same time. Hold a free weight in front of your chest like a dumbbell, a kettlebell or a 3 liter water bottle. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your knees and toes pointing slightly outwards. Tense your buttocks and stomach, push your hips back and then squat as deep as you can.
- Squat variants with push down are a wonderful plyometric exercise, which above all strains the inner thighs and the buttocks. Do a classic squat, but instead of immediately returning to the starting position, start moving up and down slightly.
Squat exercises train several muscle groups at the same time
- Pistol squat exercise is a one-leg squat and one of the most effective exercises with your own weight. This will improve your coordination, balance, strength and endurance. Shift the weight onto one leg and stretch the other forward without touching the floor. Then squat as deeply as possible until you almost touch the floor with your buttocks. Push yourself up slowly. By stretching your arms forward, you provide more balance.
- Lunge squats for slim legs and a tight buttocks. Depending on how much experience you have, you can do this squat variant with 2 dumbbells. Stand waist-wide and squat. Return to the starting position and take a big step forward with your left foot, push your body down slightly. Then do another squat followed by a lunge with your right leg.
- Squat walk exercise is a wonderful addition to a HIIT home training plan. Place your feet waist-wide with your toes and knees facing forward. Tense your stomach and buttocks and do a deep squat. Hold the position and then take 5 steps forward and then back without getting out of the squat. Another option would be to run sideways. If that's too easy for you, feel free to use weights or mini fitness bands.
Due to the many variations, it never gets boring
- Eagle squat variants – Anyone who has participated in a yoga class will probably already know this exercise. And anyone who thinks squats are boring and monotonous will simply love this challenge. Stand with your feet close together and stretch your arms forward. Now cross your thighs and place your right leg over your left. Do the same with your arms – bring your right elbow under your left and place your palms on top of each other. Then squat down as deeply as possible and slowly push up into your body.
- Squat with kickbacks – Open your feet a little wider than your hips, tighten your abdominal and core muscles. Do a classic squat and step back with one leg when standing up. Place your leg on the floor as you squat again. Repeat the movement with the other leg. Another variant that is more aimed at the thighs is the squat with side leg raises. It becomes even more exhausting and effective if you do the exercise with a fitness band.
- Sumo squats are among the most popular squat variations. The legs are placed wider apart, with the toes and knees facing outwards. Now tense your stomach, stretch your back and crouch deeply. Make sure that the knees and hips remain parallel when performing. Hold the position for a few seconds and hold it in the starting position. The wide leg position strains the inner thighs and the glutes. Even more muscle groups are addressed by adding free weights in the form of dumbbells or kettlebell to training at home. Sumo squats with jump, on the other hand, raise your heart rate and are particularly popular with HIIT training.
Plyometric squats are real calorie burners
Plyometric exercise has become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts lately. It is a full body workout with dynamic jumps or forward, backward and sideways movements. Plyometric exercises improve our strength and coordination and raise our heart rate so that they can be wonderfully added to any cardio workout.
- Start with a classic squat and finally jump as high as possible with a lot of strength. As soon as you have mastered this exercise, you can also do side jumps.
- Squat with a jump on the sofa – The exercise is a little more complicated and incorrect execution can lead to permanent injuries. Therefore, it is only suitable for advanced users. Place either in front of the sofa or in front of a large, stable box. Do a classic squat, but instead of returning to the starting position, jump up and land in a crouch on the box. Jump back and repeat.
- Jumping Jack's squat take your home training to the next level! Place your hands behind your head and feet close together. Push your hips back and jump out with your feet. Stay in the squat and then quickly jump back to the starting position.
- Wall seat exercise is a static squat variant that particularly stresses the legs and the bo. Although it looks pretty boring and simple, the challenge is to stay in the position as long as possible. Now lean your back against a wall, put your feet hip-width apart and turn them slightly outwards. Then slide down until the knees form a right angle and the thighs are parallel to the floor. Try to hold the position for at least 60 seconds.
- If the classic variant is not challenging enough for you, you can increase the level of difficulty by performing the wall seat with one leg, by placing the right leg over the left. Then repeat with the other leg.
Bulgarian squat is a real all-rounder when training with your own weight
The Bulgarian squat, or from the English as Bulgarian Squat, is one of the most effective and demanding squat variants. In addition to the buttocks and thigh muscles, the trunk and back muscles are also strengthened. The Bulgarian squat is a classic unilateral exercise – this means that the center of gravity is only on one leg. This in turn improves our coordination and balance. Advanced users can do the exercise with dumbbells.
- Bulgarian squat version – Stand with your back about 1 meter in front of a chair or sofa. Stretch your back and raise your legs waist-wide. Now bend one knee and place the back of the foot of the same leg at the end of the sofa. Place the other foot on the floor as far as possible in front of the sofa. Then bend the front knee joint until it forms a 90 degree angle and the other knee touches the floor slightly. When performing, make sure that you keep your shoulders back and do not turn your knees outward. Try to do at least 15 repetitions and repeat with the other foot.
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