Squats are one of those exercises that you have to include in your gym routine or at home. They allow you to tone your glutes and legs.
In this article, we’ll tell you which squat exercises are the best. Now you won’t have an excuse to not shape your legs!
Squat exercises: which are the best?
Squat exercises are excellent, but it’s true that in some cases they can be a bit boring. Once you have the basic technique down, you can start adding complements or other exercises to the routine. Best of all, you can do all of this without losing the benefits for your glutes and legs.
1. Basic squat
You probably already know how to do them, but it is worth the reminder or a lesson for those who have never done them before. With your back straight, spread your legs shoulder width apart. Leave your arms at your sides.
Slowly lower your torso while bending your knees. The idea is to keep your thighs “facing forwards” and to keep your back straight. Get as low to the ground as possible, hold that position for a few seconds and then return to your initial position.
2. “Ballet” squats
This is a more powerful alternative to the basic squat. You will work your glutes mainly, but also the interior part of your thighs (adductors) and your outer hips (abductors).
- Standing with your back straight, spread your legs wider than the width of your shoulders.
- Your toes should point outwards, as if you were in a classic ballet position.
- Lower your body by flexing your knees. Be careful that your knees do not go out further than your toes.
- Once you have reached this position, quickly go back up.
- Lower yourself down again and rise up with agility.
3. Closed leg squats
This type of squat is the opposite of the one before. The legs stay together the entire time. The technique is very simple: stand up and then lower yourself by bending your knees and leaving your glutes behind you. Your knees should not go past your toes.
4. Open and closed leg squats
Now it’s time to combine the two squat exercises: the basic one with the closed leg one.
- Start as you normally do, spread your legs shoulder width.
- Slowly lower yourself and rise back up slowly.
- For the second set, close your legs and lower yourself a little, but rise back up quickly.
- Alternate opening and closing your legs.
5. Squat jumps
This is an excellent exercise for toning your muscles while also getting in a little cardio. We don’t recommend using extra weight for these squats because it can cause injury or joint problems.
They start just like basic squats, but when you have to come back up, you do so by jumping with your legs straight. You can bring your arms over your head to keep your balance.
6. Triple squats
When it comes to toning your glute muscles, this exercise can be a great help. To do it, you want to bend your knees as much as possible. When your torso is lowered, put your arms straight out in front and make three quick movements, raising and lowering your glutes.
7. Squats with dumbbells
Little by little we are increasing the difficulty of the exercise. To start, use two small dumbbells. Your arms stay out in front of your body, and while your torso lowers (with your legs spread apart) “let them hang” until they almost touch the floor.
8. Squats with a kettlebell or medicine ball
These are also known as “sumo squats” and are similar to the ballet squats, but with additional weight. This can be dumbbells to start with or, for the more advanced, a medicine ball or kettlebell.
9. Squats with a bar
This is also one of the more demanding exercises. The weight of the bar will depend on your training and abilities. You can even start with just the bar (without weights). Put the bar on your back, resting your shoulders. Your hands will grip it on either side of your shoulders.
Lower yourself slowly with your back straight while bending your knees. Count to three in this position before slowly coming back up. This should only be added to expert’s routines.
Once you have dominated this technique and you have added weight, you can practice the following option: while your legs are bent, raise your arms and put the bar above your head. Hold this position a few seconds and then lower the bar before raising your torso.
10. Squats with lunges
Lastly, this exercise completely tones your lower legs. It’s pretty demanding and we recommend that you do it slowly so that you do not hurt yourself.
- Start with a basic squat. But, instead of raising back up until your legs are completely straight, bring one leg backwards to make a lunge. The front leg should stay bent.
- Return to the squat position and then bring the other leg behind you.
- That is one repetition.