7 Ways to Do Squats to Get More Muscle, Strength and Power
There is more than one way to achieve this ultimate movement for the lower body. Here they are.
The squat is probably one of the most versatile exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine.Performed correctly, this low-back exercise helps you maintain your motor functions, excel in sports, increase strength and development throughout your body, and improve your ability to perform simple everyday tasks.
Of all the exercises for the lower body, the back squat with long dumbbell remains the absolute reference for most experienced weightlifters. However, this is not the only way to achieve a squat. With only a few adjustments and / or a few equipment changes, there are a handful of additional ways to perform a few repetitions of this movement and get very good results. Whether you are a beginner, a novice or a competitive athlete, there is a good squat for you and we will help you find it.
1. Long Dumbbell Front Squat
Advantages: strength of the legs, abdominals and upper back balanced, more difficult to cheat.
The front squat is rapidly gaining popularity among athletes, thanks in part to its notoriety in CrossFit culture. It is also an essential component of the Olympic lifts. No matter why you do it, it’s an exceptional movement. It is easier to perform than a back squat.
By placing the dumbbell across your shoulders in front of your body, the front squat puts more emphasis on the quadriceps and upper back than the traditional back squat, but it still makes the glutes and hamstrings work. leg warmers effectively.
How to do it: Grab the dumbbell by leaving a slightly larger gap between your hands than the one between your shoulders. Swing your elbows under the barbell until they point forward and the dumbbell is placed across your shoulders in front of you. Keep your elbows forward throughout the movement.Perform a squat while keeping your weight in your heels. Keep your torso and elbows up. If you have problems with elbows, rotator cuff, wrists and / or shoulders, it is best to avoid this variation.
2. Hack Squat
Advantages: quadriceps strength, no compression of the spine
Hack Squat is an effective movement to strengthen your lower body and muscles. It focuses primarily on the quadriceps because you have to lean forward as for a back squat. Because of its strength and mobility requirements, it’s best to start with a reasonable weight until you’re used to the movement. The strength of your grip will influence the weight you will need to use.
How to do it: step between the hack squat barbell, feet flat on the floor or heels raised on a small plate to make even more work quadriceps. Catch the handles with an overhand grip. Keeping your back arched and your torso bulging, extend your hips and knees until you stand up.
3. Goblet Squat
Advantages: quadriceps strength, no compression of the spine, different weight dispersions
The squat goblet is a very effective movement to strengthen the lower body and muscle mass, especially for the quadriceps and buttocks. Due to its abdominal and mobility requirements, in addition to the possibility of affecting the lower back, it is best to start this movement with reasonable weight until you have mastered it.
How to do it: put a dumbbell or kettlebell between your legs, feet flat on the floor or heels raised on a small plate. Catch the kettlebell in front of you with an overhand grip. Keeping your back arched and your torso bulging, extend your hips and knees until you stand up.
4. Bulgarian Split Squat
Benefits: improves muscle balance, increases balance and strength of the lower back
Unilateral training can have benefits for all weightlifters. Working one leg at a time helps to improve the balance between the two sides of the body as well as the balance in general and allows you to overload the muscles without needing as much weight. The Bulgarian split squat can also be performed on a Smith Machine or with dumbbells or a long dumbbell. Start slowly by focusing on developing the balance and becoming familiar with the movement before using plates to elevate yourself. Once comfortable, you can increase the weights with dumbbells that you hold in front of you like for a goblet squat or a dumbbell long to make a variation of the back squat or the squat before.
How to do it: place a foot a few centimeters behind you on a bench or on an elevated platform. Keeping your torso straight, start pushing your hips backwards as if you were a back squat. Let your back leg bend at the knee. Go down to the lowest position, when your front leg is parallel to the ground or your back knee touches the ground.
5. Overhead Squat
Benefits: balance, body control, greater muscle mobility
Like front squats, squats above the head are bases for Olympic weightlifters. They reinforce the midpoint of a long dumbbell lifter and are essential to master this particular Olympic lifted. For amateur weightlifters, it can be an effective way to work the lower body while developing balance and mobility in the muscles and joints.
How to do it: Lift a dumbbell over your head and, while keeping it above your center of gravity, make a squat. Squats above the head require a certain degree of mobility in the shoulders to be properly performed, but with a wide grip on the dumbbell, it is much simpler. You may find it difficult to use a heavy enough weight to make your legs work while squatting over your head, but this is not the most important.
6. Sissy Squat
Benefits: balance, muscle control, greater flexibility, greater muscle separation
This squat is very intense. By putting weight on your toes and forcing the front of your legs to support your whole body as you go down, you isolate the quadriceps by stretching them and forcing them to lift all that weight without the help of any other muscle group. Even without any other weight than the body, this is one of the best squat variations possible.
How to do it: Start with a four-second negative as you lower your body to the ground keeping your hips up and keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. If you are not comfortable with weights, you can reap a lot of benefits from this movement by using only the weight of your body. Explode during the positive phase and pause at the top of the movement to contract your quadriceps.
7. Long Dumbbell Back Squat
Advantages: power of the posterior chain, hypertrophy
This is what you think when you are told “squat”. The back squat with long dumbbell is the king of leg movements and one of the most effective exercises to strengthen the lower body. Although it works the lower body muscles, this movement focuses mainly on the muscles of the posterior chain like the glutes, hamstrings and erector muscles of the spine like no other variation of the squat. When done correctly, it is also a lower body exercise that allows you to build mass.
How to do it: grab the dumbbell with a slightly larger gap between your hands than the one between your shoulders, place yourself under the barbell and put it across the top of your back just below the top of the trapeze. Be sure to keep the shoulder blades tight against each other and the upper back as well as the abdominals contracted throughout the lifted.
After removing the barbell from its fasteners, start the movement by pushing your hips backwards. Keep your torso bulging and your back arched while stooping until your hips are lower than the top of your knees. Reverse the movement until you come back to standing. Inhale deeply at the top of the movement, hold the position, then descend to the lowest point of the movement and exhale as you ascend.