Encyclopedia Of Squats: Every Squat Variation You Could Imagine (27 To Be Exact)
Good morning! Happy Thursday. I know that I’ve said before but I love Thursdays.
We’ve almost made it through the workout week, yet there is still enough time to cross some major things off our to-do lists.
I also love Thursdays because it’s a weight lifting day!
Well more specifically, a kettlebell training day.
I love the fact that Dan and I pay for a gym membership, yet we bring our own weights with us.
The looks we get are pretty priceless.
Whatever, we’re sticking with it.
When it comes to our training, there is one move that is very rarely (like maybe 1 out of 20) left out my workouts:
That might sound boring? But I assure you, I’m about to blow your mind.
Do you feel like aside from the basic sit your butt down, you don’t know squat about squats? Haha, get it?
And here’s what I mean…
27 Ways To Do A Squat
A Variation For Almost Every Day Of The Month!
Just a good old normal squat to get us started.
- Make sure to keep your feet planted on the ground.
- Push the hips back and lower down as if going to sit down.
- Keep the head and shoulders up, with a straight or slightly arched back.
- Focus on keeping the knees pointed forward or pushing slightly out.
2. Prisoner Squats
Lately, these have been showing up a lot in our workouts.
- We used to do them very sporadically but lately with our heavy workout loads, they’ve been popping up pretty regularly and are a killer.
- Lower down one leg at a time. Whatever leg came down first, is the leg you want to stand up with.
- If you’re doing it with a weight, see goblet squat on how to hold it.
3. Squat Wall Hold
- Just like it sounds, find a nice sturdy wall and hold a squat.
- The trick to this is to maneuver your feet far enough away from the wall so that while you’re in the squat position, your thighs are parallel to the ground and knees are directly over ankles.
- Make sure to stay upright, with your back flat against the wall.
4. Goblet Squat
Grab a “goblet” and get to squatting.
- Your feet will be slightly turned out.
- Make sure to keep the feet completely on the ground.
- Lower down while pushing the knees slightly out, keeping the back straight and head up.
- Lower down as far as you personally can.
5. Uneven Squat
I posted this move down last week when I brought up pistol squats. It’s a great move to really work one leg at a time and also making steps towards practicing balance.
- Keep one foot up higher than the other by using a step, box top (like this one), or a dumbbell (as seen here).
- Keep most of your weight on the grounded floor.
- Continue on with the squat, keeping in mind the rules above.
6. Split Squat
One of my favorites!
- A one-legged squat, with the foot placed behind you on a bench. Also known as a Bulgarian Squat.
- It takes practice and making sure that the foot is placed in a position what when lowering down it remains right under the knee.
- Use a wall for balance if needed.
7. Squat Jumps
This is a great plyometric move and will have the legs burning quickly.
- Squat down, and jump up as high as possible.
- Land back in a squat and repeat, without breaking reps if possible.
8. Barbell Back Squat
If you’ve been working out regularly and are in a place of adding barbells to your workout then the back squat might be perfect.
- However, if you have back or knee problems it might be wise to skip this exercise (the front squat might be better).
- Use a squat rack to position a barbell along the upper part of your back. NOT ON YOUR NECK.
- Keep the head up, weight distributed through feet (so they stay planted down) and lower down by pushing the hips back.
- Once at your lower position, push up back to normal.
9. Barbell Front Squat
Another barbell variation.
- The bar is placed along the collarbone region of the body. Resting on hands There are several different grip positions, I like this one.
- As you lower down you’ll feel your back want to arch a bit more than the back squat. A slight arch is okay, just don’t let it roll or allow your chest to fall forward.
10. Monkey Squat
This is a fun squat and one that will leave your butt burning like crazy.
- Reach down, grab either the ankles or toes.
- Keeping your upper body completely still, bend at the knees and lower your butt towards your ankles.
- Return to starting position and repeat.
11. Sumo Squats (Plie Squats)
- Sumo squats have a wide stance with the toes turned out.
They work the inner thighs more than a standard squat.
12. Sumo Squat Jump
Like the traditional squat jump, but from the sumo squat position.
- The jumps will more likely be more “hop-like” and will not have the height of the squat jumps.
13. Frog Squat Jumps
These are from a low squat position, and the squat is never broken.
- They are hops just as you would envision Kermit to jump around.
- It’s easy to let your head and shoulders fall down. Don’t let them.
- Keep the back straight and head up.
14. 1/2 Squats
Great to add to the end of a squat workout or the perfect move for a complete beginner to begin tackling form.
- It’s a squat that simply doesn’t go all the way down.
- 1/2 Squats are often used for pulsing or really fatiguing the muscles.
15. Pistol Squats
Perhaps the Holy Grail of squats. These mean business.
I just recently wrote a progression for them, if you’re interested check it out here.
16. Squat Jacks
Jumping jacks are great, but squat jacks are my favorite.
- Start with feet together, then jump apart and lower into a squat.
- From here, jump back up to return to starting position.
- Repeat without breaking reps.
17. Tornado “Twister” Squats
A crazy version of a squat jump.
- From the squat, jump and rotate the body so that you’re facing the opposite direction.
- Immediately, squat back down and repeat.
- To avoid getting dizzy, Rotate opposite shoulders with each rep.
18. Squat Hold
Imagine the wall squat but without the wall.
- Make sure to keep the back straight, head looking forward!
Am I starting to sound repetitive? That’s good!
19. Forward Wall Squat
Why is my husband demonstrating this squat?
Because he rocks at it and I suck at these.
- Place the feet about 1-inch away from the wall, keep your eyes fixed forward and lower down.
- You’ll immediately feel your balance being tested, make sure to keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Holding a weight actually helps.
20. Dumbbell Squat
A great option if you want to do a weighted squat but don’t have access to barbells.
- Hold a weight in each hand, and squat down allowing the weights to go on the outside of your feet.
- All the rules of a “squat’ apply.
21. Squat To Press
This can be done with a set of dumbbells, a barbell or a kettlebell.
- Hold the weight right above chest level.
- Squat down, as you stand back up use your legs to help push the weight overhead.
- Make sure to keep the core tight.
- Don’t allow the back to arch while the weight is being pushed.
23. Suitcase Squat
Sounds like fun right?
- This is using a single weight (dumbbell or kettlebell)
- It’s just like the DB squat above except only one hand holds a weight.
- Why? Because it engages the core more and works smaller stabilizer muscles.
24. Single Arm KettleBell Squat
- Hold the weight slightly in front of the chest, and complete a squat.
- Other arm is there for stability.
25. Horizontal Squat Jump
A traveling squat!
- Squat down and explode not just up but out as well.
- Land softly back into a squat and repeat.
26. Sumo Pulse Hops
Another great one to finish with. Really drives those legs (thighs) to be fatigued.
27. KettleBell Pop Squat
- This combines a row and a squat.
- Lower into the squat, as you come up, pull the KB up as if doing an upright row. Toss the weight up and catch it.
- Make it smooth and you’ll feel why this is such a great squat variation.
These are just 26 variations!
I say just, because I know we can make this list grow…
For example, just while typing, I remembered:
“Swivel squats”: Like a twister squat but instead of jumping, you simply rotation around one foot.
“Squat walks”: In a squat position, walk forward or backwards.
So what do you think?
What’s your favorite squat on the list?
Is there anything I left off?
Did you get value from this post?
Check out these other exercise variations posts: