How is summer almost over? I’m not going to lie I am extremely excited for Fall, Football, and Pumpkin EVERYTHING, but very sad to see summer go so fast. If you are working towards or have established a healthier lifestyle, you know just because bikini season is over doesn’t mean you can start neglecting your weekly workout schedule. If anything you might have more time to focus on yourself and your health because the craziness of summer weddings, vacations, and parties is coming to an end. So I wanted to share with you a few ways to change up your workouts by trying some squat variations.
A squat is a multi-joint exercise that targets a variety of muscles in your lower body such as your gluteus maximus (butt), hamstrings (back part of your upper leg), and quadriceps (front of your thighs). Basically if you want want to form your booty and other areas of your lower body, you HAVE to be doing squats several times a week. That being said I definitely have a love-hate relationship with squats. They can be so incredible tough and are one move that I am always ‘feeling the burn’, but I feel so strong after completing them.
I typically do use a barbell and squat with weight at least once a week. But when I am doing a cardio workout I usually incorporate a variety of squats using my own body weight as resistance. If you have been working out for awhile and/or are familiar with body weight exercises, I’m sure you have heard of a basic squat and maybe even a sumo and pile squat. When I first started doing HIIT workouts I was always doing these three moves. But then I started to get bored of doing the same squat exercises over and over again, so I started to look for different variations.
These five squat variations are high impact moves because they involve jumping, so only try these exercises if you are capable of completing this type of exercise. And as always there are plenty of modifications if you need to lower the intensity. Also monitor the following body alignment cues when performing a squat:
- Butt back
- Weight into your heels
- Make sure your knees don’t go over your toes
- Keep your knees at or above a 90 degree angle
1.) Revolver Squat: Start in a standing position, jump a quarter turn to the right while moving your legs out wide and butt back into and squat, then return to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
2.) Criss Cross Squat: In a standing position jump and criss cross your legs (right foot in front), then jump your legs out and bring your booty down into a squat, jump back up and cross your legs (left foot in front) and repeat. You are jumping anytime you are moving or changing leg positions. (Jumps are too hard to capture with an iPhone)
3.) Squat and Jump Forward: Squat down, rise up a bit to gain momentum to jump forward, bring both feet simultaneously off the ground. Once you land safely you should need to squat down an inch or two further and then repeat.
4.) Thruster: Begin in a push up position, jump both feet up behind your hands, lift your hands off the ground and bring your heels back so you are in a squat position. Hold the squat position for a few seconds, then return to the starting push up position by placing your hands back on the ground and jumping your legs back out.
5.) Jump Squat with Pulse x 2: Begin in a standing position, jump your legs out wide and squat down. Pulse twice (bending at your knees move up and down only a few inches while holding the squat position) then jump back to standing and repeat.
Do you have a favorite variation for a basic exercise? Tell me about it!