Legs days – you can love them or hate them, but you cannot ignore them.
As dreadful as leg days are, skipping them altogether is never really an option, is it?
Working on your lower body helps in supporting your daily movements and overall athletic performance. This also helps in preventing injuries and in supporting any kind of cardio that you may be practising.
This is exactly why we will be talking about squat variations today. After all, it is one of the most effective leg exercises, that engages not just your leg muscles but also your abdominal muscles.
Benefits Of Doing Squats
Squats are one of the best bodyweight leg exercises that you can do at home. It works on your glues, quads, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors as well as your calves.
Doing squats can be very painful, but the pain is definitely worth it. This exercise is essential for supporting your daily movements like climbing stairs, walking, running, etc. Even though it’s a leg exercise, it also helps in strengthening your core and burning calories. More so, this simple and effective exercise can be done anywhere, without or without equipment.
Squat Variations For Home Workouts
Now that most of us are working out at home, it’s important to make your workouts more effective. These squat variations are challenging enough on their own, however, you can always increase the intensity by adding weights.
1. Prisoner Squats
This is one of the best squat variations for beginners. All that you need to do is place your hands behind your head and squat like you normally would. This exercise targets the glutes, quads and hamstrings.
2. Pistol Squats
This movement is one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises and will surely leave you with wobbly legs, post the workout. It’s a single leg, deep squat, that improves knee, ankle and hip mobility.
3. Sumo Squats
Sumo squats are deeper and wider than usual squats and are a beginner-friendly variation for anyone to try. These squats are great for increasing the challenge on your core muscles and your inner thighs.
4. Lateral Squat Walk
This exercise is similar to a side squat, however, in this movement, instead of taking one step at a time, one has to move laterally. This will increase the challenge for you, without having to add any weights. You can add some resistance bands to make it even more challenging.
5. Squat Jacks
This exercise is one of the advanced squat variations. Adding jumps to your movement is one of the best ways to intensify your workouts, without adding weights. This movement combines strength and cardio, which is great for fat loss.
6. Bulgarian Split Squat
This squat variation may seem easy, but will definitely challenge your leg muscles to the max. All that you need is a slightly elevated surface, like a bench or a chair. Place one leg on the bench and squat with the other. It targets all the major muscle groups of your legs – quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
7. Box Jump Squat
Last but not the least, we have a box jump squat for you. All that you need for this explosive squat variation is an elevated box or a low step. Make sure that the box isn’t too high and is stable enough to handle your bodyweight.
Squats are one of the most painful yet effective exercises for working your leg muscles. Elevate your home workouts with these no-equipment squat exercises and your muscles will only get stronger.
Which leg exercise is your all-time favourite? Let us know in the comments below.