6 Types Of Squats You Should Try To Stay Healthy
By: Kratika Tue, 08 Nov 2022 10:00:37
If you are aiming at a good lower body workout, there’s no avoiding squats. A great test of your muscle strength and core, the squat is something you can do anytime, anywhere – no equipment needed. And you’ll manage to work multiple muscle groups, so what’s not to love!
Squats are also functional exercises. Even when you’re doing a squat without any weights, your own body provides the weight component as you work against gravity each time you rise from the bending position to standing. If you take a look at a classic squat, it is not too different from a movement you might make in real life – whether it is to sit on a low chair, squat to play with a child or pet, to pick up something you’ve dropped, or to take a closer look at something that’s on the ground.
# Regular Bodyweight Squats
- Stand with feet a little more than hip-distance apart, your toes gently turned out, arms by your sides, palms of the hands facing in. Pull your shoulders back. Engage your core/abdominal muscles and stabilize your spine. Your chest should be out and up. Shift your weight onto your heels.
- Inhale as you lower your hips gently, shifting them back and then down, so your hips and knees have a hinge-like movement. Your knees may start to move forward but try and keep this movement to the minimum and use your core muscles as you do so. Your back must stay flat.
- Keep lowering until your thighs are nearly or fully parallel to the ground. Avoid moving your feet. Your knees must remain lined up over the second toe of each foot.
- Exhale as you extend your knees and hips and push into the floor through your heels to rise up. Keep extending till you are upright again.
# Front Squat With Dumbbells
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand as you do the exercise. Begin with your elbows bent, dumbbells just below the ears, at shoulder height.
- Lower yourself into a squat the way you would for a basic squat, taking care to align your body as you did before.
- As you do this, go down till where your elbows touch the top of your knees. You may not be able to do this immediately but work toward it. Just be sure to retain your dumbells and elbows in the same position throughout, even as you engage your core and use your hip and leg muscles to lower yourself without losing form.
- Rise up exhaling, pushing into the floor through your heels till you are standing again.
# Back Squats With Barbell
- Place the barbell across the rack, ensuring the weight is resting in the traps just below shoulder height.
- Grip the bar, hold your arms so they make right angles to the bar and are a little more than shoulder-width apart.
- Stand up so you can lift the bar off the rack and step back a bit, feet a little more than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight as you lower yourself down into a squat, holding the bar. Your hips should be below your knees.
- To rise up, push into the ground with your feet, moving your hips a little forward so you come back to the standing position.
# Chair Squats
- Stand in front of a stable chair, feet hip-distance apart and feet planted firmly into the ground. Stretch your arms out fully extended in front of you. Look straight ahead.
- Inhale as you press down into your heels, lowering your body, arms still stretched out. Bend your legs at the knees, reach back with your buttock as you lower yourself to the chair. Your shoulders must align with your ankles.
- Keep lowering yourself till your buttocks graze the chair but don’t actually sit down.
- Exhale, squeezing your buttocks as you raise yourself back upright.
# Stability Ball Wall Squats
- Stand against a wall with the top of the ball in the small of your back and in contact with your lower and middle back as well as the tailbone. Keep your feet hip-distance apart, about 6 to 12 inches in front. They can turn out a little if you need to or face forward. Your hands should rest on the front of your thighs.
- Breathe in as you slowly bring your body down, rolling the ball along the wall downward as you do. Ensure the ball remains in touch with the lower and middle back and tailbone throughout. Drop your hips under the ball, pushing back into the ball from the hips to reduce stress on the knees.
- Your feet should not move and your knees must line up over the second toe. Keep lowering yourself till your thighs are parallel to the ground or as far as you can manage. Pause and hold for a moment before rising up.
- Breathe out as you push up from the floor, your focus on extending the hips so they come back to the original position underneath your body. Continue till your knees and hips are extended fully.
# Prisoner Squats
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your arms up so your fingers (the palm side) lie flat at the back of your head. Picture an episode of a cop show where the suspect has just been arrested and told to put their hands behind their heads. That’s what this needs to look like.
- Now lower your body down as far as you can go by bending at the knees and pushing hips back.
- Hold for a few seconds at the lowest position you can muster before pushing your body back up to return to the start position.