Squat exercises are probably one of those few movements that you should never skip or avoid. These exercises and variations work on your entire lower body and legs, helping the muscles become stronger. Not only does it help with muscle strengthening, but it also improves muscle endurance and overall balance.
Now, there are different types of squats that work on different parts of the leg. Try at least a few of them and incorporate them in your workout routine to get optimal results.
7 effective squat exercises to get stronger
Before beginning any squat exercise, you must have warmed up to avoid any muscle cramps or muscle pulls during the movement.
1) Barbell squat
This is the most common squat. You place the barbells on the squat rack, slightly below shoulder level. Stand underneath the barbell and place it behind your neck and push it up.
Once you’ve picked it up, move slightly backwards and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Go down slowly and push up with your heels. You should feel the pressure on your quads.
2) Hack squats
This is another squat that will work on your quads and glutes. However, you’ll either need a smith machine or a hack squat machine.
If you have never used the machine before, ensure that you have a spotter to help you with the exercise. A significant amount of pressure is on the quads and shoulders, and losing balance can injure you.There will be a significant amount of pressure on your quads while performing this exercise, so it's important not to lose your balance.
3) Goblet squats
This is a squat exercise that works on your entire lower body such as glutes, quads, calves, and even core muscles.
Stand with your legs hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell close to your chest. Next, move down slowly while keeping your core muscles engaged. When you come back up, do not lean forward since it could result in loss of balance and you could fall.
4) Sumo squats
Sumo squat exercises are helpful for hamstrings and glutes. Stand with your legs wide apart and hold a dumbbell between your quads. You can hold it horizontally or vertically.
Go down slowly, ensuring that the weight does not stagger. Once you feel a stretch on your hamstrings, come back up.
Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the entire time for proper balance.
5) Front squat
This is similar to a barbell squat, but the barbell rests in front of your shoulders rather than behind your neck.
If you’ve never done front squats before, make sure you start with a light weight. This will help you understand the motion and protect you from any form of injury.
Ideally, you should be able to feel the pressure on your quads and glutes. Ensure you squeeze your glutes when you go down and push up from your heels.
6) Box squats
This is another one of the squat exercises which focuses on working on your hips along with the other muscles. You’ll either need a box or a bench when doing this movement.
Make sure to place the bench in such a way that it doesn’t become an obstacle once you’ve taken position for the exercise. You can do this exercise on a smith machine or on a squat rack, depending on which is easier.
7) Bodyweight squats
This is something you should do as a warm-up and as a cool down exercise. Bodyweight exercises are one of the most important exercises to improve physical fitness, and you can incorporate bodyweight squats even on days you aren't training your legs.
Squat exercises are extremely important for strengthening the lower body and legs. You should never skip these exercises, especially the ones which work on the bigger muscle groups. The compound movements help with strengthening the leg muscles as well as working on the smaller muscles.
You do not need to do all the squat exercises on the same day. Ideally, you should split them into two or more workout routines and use those routines alternatively.