It’s that time of year when the sun is out and you know with the sun comes my annual Summer Squat Challenge. I love seeing everyone, from all over the world, rock their 100 squats a day and make no excuses. This challenge really proves my philosophy that less is truly more when you commit yourself 100 percent. When you do whatever it takes to reach your 100 squats daily, big things happen.
One question I get a lot is, “Will my body continue to respond if I am doing squats every day?” This is a great question and the answer is YES, as long as you are changing it up! Our bodies are extremely smart and will adapt to whatever it is we do but if we are changing up our variation, tempo and rep range, our bodies won’t adapt and therefore will continue responding. By doing different variations, you are also working different muscle fibers, not only targeting your glutes but also shaping your legs all over. I wanted to share five of my favorite squat variations to try. See how with each variation, you are using different muscle fibers and targeting your leg muscles in different ways. Have fun and let me know what you think!
5 Fun Squat Variations to Try
- Windmill Squats: Start standing with your arms straight overhead and legs wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes in a neutral stance. Squat down, bringing one arm to meet your opposite foot and gaze toward the side you are reaching. Bring yourself back up to the starting position and then repeat. Squat down while bringing your opposite arm to meet your opposite leg, rotating with each squat. Always keep your arm that is above your head straight and engaged, and your core tight.
- Ball Overhead Squats: Stand with a wide stance, holding an exercise ball low. While you lower down into a squat, lift the ball straight up over your head with your arms locked. Then return to standing, lowering the ball back to the starting position, with arms low. Repeat, bringing the ball overhead and then down low, exhaling as you rise from each squat.
- Tippy-Toe Squats: Stand behind a chair, with one hand resting on the chair’s back and the other hand hanging directly down by your side. Shift your weight onto the balls of your feet, then slowly drop down into a squat while bringing your hanging hand out in front of you for balance. Stand straight up, staying on your tippy-toes. Keep your legs and booty engaged to help maintain your balance as you go up and down.G-Tip: This is an excellent variation to work your quads. You will feel the burn with each squat. You may even feel the shake in your legs; that is completely normal. Go slow and take your time to get through this variation. Your knees will go past your toes in this squat variation.
- 180 Jump Squats: Begin standing sideways with arms clasped at your chest. Squat down into the bottom of a squat and then as you rise, explode off your toes, jumping into the air and rotating your body 180 degrees to land in a low squat facing the other direction. From the bottom of the squat, repeat the jump-turn combination in the reverse direction. Continue, alternating directions with each squat.
- Slide Squats (Skateboard Squats): Stand with one foot on a skateboard or if you don’t have a skateboard use a sock, paper plate or anything that will allow you to glide outward. Use your elevated foot to slide the skateboard (or whatever you are using) out to the side as far as you can. Engage your inner thighs, then roll the skateboard back into the starting position and repeat before switching to the other side.G-Tip: This is a very challenging variation and really will make your inner thighs scream. Go slow and be sure to not overextend at the bottom of the rep. Roll out slowly and keep control throughout the slide/roll out and slide/roll in.