Gymondo® Magazine: Fitness, Nutrition & Weight Loss

10 Bodyweight Squat Variations That Will Target Way More Than Just Your Butt

Squat benefits go way beyond your peach! 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a trainer not incorporating squats into their workout sessions on the reg. And if they’re not, it’s definitely a red flag! 

If you want to strengthen every muscle in your lower body and fire up your core, look no further. Here’s a round-up of the top 10 bodyweight squat variations to add to your workout routine. You won’t be disappointed! 

#1 Sumo Squats

For the sumo squat, exaggerate how wide your legs are and how far you turn your toes out. This will target your inner thighs and glutes more than a normal squat. 

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet much wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out. 
  2. Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels. 
  3. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. 
  4. Drive through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top. 
  5. Repeat until time expires or reps are completed. 

#2 Squat Pulses

How to: 

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Perform a squat and hold it at the bottom as you pulse a few inches up and down. Hold this position for as long as you can. 

#3 Squat Hold

How to: 

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width or slightly wider and turn your toes out slightly. 
  2. Brace your core and keep your chest up.
  3. Bend your knees and push your hips backward. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
  4. Pause and stay in this position until time expires. 

#4 Good Morning Squat

How to:

  1. Perform a normal squat by bending the hips and knees.
  2. As you stand back up, go right into a good morning by bending forward at the waist while keeping the lower back flat. 
  3. Keeping a slight bend in your knees, lower your torso until it’s parallel to the ground. Then straighten back up. 
  4. Keep repeating the squat and good morning in succession until time expires or reps are completed.

#5 Knee to Elbow Squats

How to:

  1. Perform a normal prisoner squat with your hands clasped behind your head and your elbows out to the side. 
  2. As you stand back up, bring your right elbow to your left knee in front of your body.
  3. Repeat a normal prisoner squat. 
  4. This time, as you stand back up, bring your left elbow to meet your right knee. 
  5. Keep repeating until time expires or reps are completed. 

#6 Squat to Front Kick

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower down into a squat. 
  2. As you return to an upright position, bring your left knee up in front of you to hip height and extend your leg out into a kick. 
  3. Then, switch sides—perform a squat followed by a front kick with your right leg. 
  4. Keep alternating kicks until time expires or reps are completed. 

#7 Squat to Reverse Lunge

How to: 

  1. From a standing position, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly. 
  2. Descend your hips backward and lower yourself into a full squat position.
  3. Return to the start position by driving your hips toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your back straight, core tight and chin parallel to the floor.
  4. Step your right foot back into a lunge position. Your back knee (right) will drop approximately one inch from the floor while bending your front knee (left) to a 90-degree angle. Ensure your front knee (left) remains behind your toes. 
  5. Return to a standing position and repeat the lunge with your left leg. 
  6. Keep alternating 1 squat with 2 lunges until time expires or reps are completed. 

#8 Squat to Reverse Lunge Kicks

How to: 

  1. Lower yourself into a full squat position.
  2. Return to the start position by driving your hips toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your back straight, core tight and chin parallel to the floor.
  3. Step your right foot back into a lunge position. Your back knee (right) will drop approximately one inch from the floor while bending your front knee (left) to a 90-degree angle. Ensure your front knee (left) remains behind your toes. 
  4. Return to a standing position and raise your right knee to hip height and kick forward.
  5. Repeat on the left side. 
  6. Keep alternating 1 squat with 2 lunges and kicks until time expires or reps are completed. 

#9 Dynamic Squats

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet together. 
  2. Jump your feet out so that they’re slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes are slightly pointed out. 
  3. Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels. 
  4. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  5. Drive through your heels to jump your feet back together. Make sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. 

#10 Squat Jumps 

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly turned out.
  2. Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels. 
  3. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. 
  4. Jump as high as you can while keeping your back straight and chest lifted.
  5. Land with soft knees and repeat until time expires or reps are completed. 

Start your free trial with Gymondo and explore a huge selection of exercise variations. Discover new ways to squat, lunge and more. See you on the mat! 

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Kristy Crowley

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