Squats are one of my favourite functional movements as they work a number of major muscle groups and can be done virtually anywhere. Squats strengthen and tone our legs, engage our core and help torch calories.
I love to mix up my training by incorporating a number of squat variations into my workouts. If you’re getting bored of the same old squats, step them up with some of the options below.
Doing the same old squat day in and day out is not only boring – it’s ineffective. Some of my favourite squats are front squats, back squats, sumo squats, goblet squats and pistol squats… just to name a few. Make sure you mix it up to keep things interesting and keep your body guessing. You can always increase the resistance for an extra challenge.
Ensure that when doing your squats that your knees are driving out, your butt is back and your heels are not lifting. Slowly but surely increase your depth range without sacrificing this technique to really get that booty working.
3. Utilise equipment
I love to use equipment with my squats for a challenge and for variety. You can utilise the TRX (pistol squats are great with the TRX), do a swiss ball wall squat or stand on two stable benches (one foot on each bench), holding a kettlebell. The last one is great for squatting deep.
4. Introduce isometric holds
Add some burn to your booty with isometric holds. Squat, hold for a count of 5 at the lowest point, push up with the weight through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top to increase the intensity and time under tension. On your final set, finish with a 30 second isometric hold to really ensure it’s a workout you won’t forget in a hurry.
5. Turn your squat workout into a plyo one
A great way to spike the heart rate and add more of a cardio element to your squats is to add plyo moves to your routine. You can’t go wrong with jump squats, burpee jump squats, split lunge jumps and continuous jump squats. This will give you the ultimate booty burn and send your heart rate through the roof.
The most important thing is that you focus on your technique and ensure your movements are slow and controlled. Keep those knees driving out with the weight in your heels, engage your core and squeeze through your glutes. Don’t forget to stretch and prepare to perk that peach.
Sam Wood is the founder of online training and nutrition program 28 by Sam Wood and Australia’s largest personal training gym ‘The Woodshed’
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