10 Squat Variations For Awesome Results
Switch up your squats and your results with these squat variations! Squats are a crucial exercise for everyone but especially for moms. Training for a better squat can help keep mamas strong and injury-free. There’s something for everyone in these squats so pick one or two new ones and give them a try!
As I mentioned, squats are just about essential for everyone and in my opinion a fundamental movement everyone should perfect. We squat each and every day when we:
- Get up from the couch
- Go to the bathroom
- Talk to children
- Get out of the car.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately though, many people “cheat” this movement or perform them incorrectly because they’re not strong enough or they don’t understand the correct way to use them.
Tips For Safe Squats
- Your heals remain on the floor. Far too often people elevate the heels because they can’t get low enough into their squat. Instead of doing this day in and day out, work to improve your mobility and get your foam roll on.
- Squats (and squat variations) require a lot of mobility through the hips and the ankles.
- Your knees shouldn’t cave in when squatting. This is most common amongst females and much of the reason is poorly activated glutes. Here’s six killer glute exercises.
- Your knees shouldn’t hurt. When people complain about knee pain in a squat it’s normally because they are falling forward, not sinking the weight back or the knees are caving in. That said, there are a lot of exercises you can do to strengthen the knees and prevent pain.
The best squat for beginners (after learning bodyweight squats of course!). This squat is utterly useful for almost everyone because the load is placed in the front making it easier to sink the weight backwards.
It can also be done with a variety of equipment and is extremely low impact for a loaded exercise. Lastly, it still provides external load which helps stimulate your fast-twitch fibers and really hit your muscles.
Barbell Back Squat
This squat is truly my all time favorite option. I love lifting heavy weights so this fits just in. This squat is a great option for anyone looking to get into resistance training and who already has great squat form. You don’t need to lift extremely heavy to do this squat but you do have to know how to use proper technique. Nerd Fitness actually has a great How To Squat.blog post.
I love this variation not just for the lower body activation but because it loads the vertabrae as well which helps prevent osteoporosis.
Banded squats are my go-to squat to improve glute strength and work on fixing the knees while squatting. I like to use these mini bands for resistance because they’re so effective. You can grab them at ProsoourceFit and save some money with code mamabear15.
Squat With Slide
This squat challenges your endurance and also targets your legs in a bit of a unilateral way. It’s challenging to maintain the position while moving a limb and thus requires just about your entire body to fire in order to complete it.
Barbell Front Squats
This squat variations are a great option to challenge your mobility and your anterior core!
They’re a very tricky exercise and I’d advise having a really strong back squat prior to trying them but they’re truly amazing when it comes to strength training.
Squat With Parlof Press
These squats challenge your endurance and your core muscles. They require you to hold the squat at the parallel mark while pressing the weight outright in front of you. They’re challenging and rewarding.
This squat variation is my all-time favorite way to improve form and technique! It can be used with any squat variation and requires you to pause at the bottom of a squat and focus on activating the muscles. This makes it so you improve the hardest part of a squat (thus making you stronger) and also prevents any bouncing momentum coming back up.
Single Leg Squats
Training unilaterally is a great way to gain strength, prevent injury and bust plateaus.
Single leg squats can be done with a booster so you have a marker or free standing. Regardless, they`re extremely challenging so ensure good form before working them into a program.
You can check out a full video on how to train and progress your pistol squats!
TRX Front Squats
Trx straps are one of my four top pieces of workout equipment. This particular version takes much of the load off of the lower body and allows for an easier full range of motion once you understand how to rock the basic technique.
For anyone looking to boost power jumps are a great place to start. Make sure you practice landing (soft landing, knees not caving) in order to prevent injuries. I prefer these off the ground versus onto a box and you should only do as many as form allows- never past.
Bonus Squat Variations
- Bulgarian Split Squats- a brutal but crucial squat variation
- Crossack squats
- Overhead squats
Some of these squat variations require equipment but many of them can be done using just your own bodyweight- there’s always options!
If you do want to step up your game with bands, kettlebells or sliders, hit up prosoursefit.com– they have some great gear. And they’re awesome enough to give my favorite mamas 15% off with code mamabear15!
When To Use Squat Variations
We naturally squat each and every day, it only makes sense to me that we perfect the movement, become strong in it and truly understand the squat in order to make day to day tasks easier.
Bodyweight squats can become boring so use these squat variations when you want to:
- Bust through a plateau
- Challenge a performance goal
- Need to train unilaterally for injury prevention
- Are bored mentally
- Have new equipment
There’s many valid reasons for using a squat variation. For myself, it’s fun! Trying new exercises and recruiting muscles you may not use all the time helps boost workout motivation.
Rarely is there just cause that some sort of squat shouldn’t be in a program. So try out a few different squat variations to find one that suits your goals and abilities best.
Then, try more!
Don’t Forget To Pin These Squat Variations!
Squats are an amazing exercise for just about everybody. They’re functional, they boost your strength and they decrease your risk of injury. There are squat variations for everyone. Find a version that suits your abilities, limits, and goals and start squatting!
If you’re looking to get fit, strong and be able to keep up with your kiddos, check out my How To Get Strong AF E-Book. Full-body workouts perfect for busy moms. This strength training program takes busy moms through basic full-body workouts and slowly builds upon the routines over a twelve-week period to progressively boost strength. These workouts share a few things in common: The difference between these workouts and other at-home workout routines is that these full-body workouts are progressive. Meaning, they build on one another. Every four weeks the workouts change and the exercises are slightly more advanced than they were before. This is crucial to developing strength. Take the thought out of working out and follow a plan. Because being strong isn’t optional when you’re a mom. Grab your copy of the How To Get Strong AF E-Book (when you click on the button a new window will open that will take you to securely process payment)
If you’re looking to get fit, strong and be able to keep up with your kiddos, check out my How To Get Strong AF E-Book. Full-body workouts perfect for busy moms.
This strength training program takes busy moms through basic full-body workouts and slowly builds upon the routines over a twelve-week period to progressively boost strength.
These workouts share a few things in common:
The difference between these workouts and other at-home workout routines is that these full-body workouts are progressive. Meaning, they build on one another. Every four weeks the workouts change and the exercises are slightly more advanced than they were before. This is crucial to developing strength.
Take the thought out of working out and follow a plan. Because being strong isn’t optional when you’re a mom. Grab your copy of the How To Get Strong AF E-Book (when you click on the button a new window will open that will take you to securely process payment)