Squats are a classic fitness move, and they can be quite challenging on their own. I have found that adding in new ways to do squats has helped me keep from getting bored with them, but also work slightly different muscles when I do them. Plus, with these different squats, you can find one that really works for you as they are all just modifications of the basic squat. So whether you have bad knees or you desire a change in movement, here are 5 different ways to up your squat game.
The Suitcase Squat is a good way to help you strengthen your core and work on balance. It also helps you do more targeted toning. Suitcase Squats are great for making a squat a fuller body workout as well and providing some resistance.
Use any weight that you feel comfortable with and hold it in one hand the way you would lift a suitcase off the ground. Just like with lifting something, make sure to lift and do your squat with your core and booty/quad muscles and avoid bending over or using your back.
A Barbell Squat is similar to a Suitcase Squat except in this case, you are using two weights, one in each hand. You can hold the barbells in different positions and I like to even hold them above my head sometimes each time I go down in order to really challenge myself. Make sure you sticking your booty out and holding your chest up when you do the squat.
The Sumo Squat is so great for opening your hips and strengthening your inner thighs. It does require some balance, but this can be achieved over time as well. For a Sumo Squat, you want to make sure you are standing with your toes pointed completely out and straight. If this position is too hard for you, try a plie squat when your toes are only pointed slightly out. In either case, you will not keep your legs forward. Instead, you will open your hips and bend that way.
A Half Squat is a great place to start for those that suffer from bad knees or are just trying to get the squat position down. To do a Half Squat, you will not go down all the way, but rather do a short squat and only go down halfway. I like to use these in ‘bursts’ (at a faster pace) for strengthening and using it for cardio as well as strength.
A Wall Squat is also good for those that maybe struggle to keep their chest up or a bad back. This squat will require a wall or any surface that you can lean against and be straight up. I am using a dugout for a baseball diamond in this case. Just basically ‘sit’ against it and using your core, hold the position for as long a you can and come back to a standing position. Repeat a few times and sit with a deeper intensity for more challenge.
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