Wright: Sensational squats
February 23, 2012
(Second in a two-part series)
Five different sensational squat variations were featured last week. And, before beginning any of the following 15 squat variations, make certain to check out last week’s column which included the guidelines for properly performing squats. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
20 Great Squat Variations – the next 15! *Note: When utilizing external resistance, begin light progressing slowly to greater resistance amounts never sacrificing your form, alignment or technique (i.e. never break form).
*External Resistance refers to dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, tubing, medicine balls, plate loaded equipment, selectorized, etc.
**Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions slowly, of one or two variations, to a point of momentary muscle failure, 2-3x/week on non-consecutive days.
#6 -The Free-Standing Squat w/external resistance – once the free-standing squat w/no external resistance is mastered, you may wish to add external resistance.
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#7 – Same as #6,”regressing” by eliminating the external resistance but perform from a stable elevated platform (i.e. a step 4-8″ high) alternating the squats, right/left, w/one foot always on top.
#8 – Same as #7, but now perform with external resistance.
#9 – The Free-Standing Squat w/no external resistance performed from stability equipment (i.e. BOSU balance trainer, pillow discs, etc.) – when #8 is mastered, eliminate the external resistance and add the challenge of stability equipment. On the BOSU, perform alternating squats and on the pillow discs, place the discs approximately hip distance apart and perform the squat from both discs.
#10- Same as #9, but now perform with external resistance.
#11 – The Knee/Squat w/no external resistance – Stand w/legs approximately hip distance apart and lift one knee to the front of the body, squat down center w/both feet, then press up as you lift the opposite knee, repeat. *Once mastered, this may also be performed from a step platform or BOSU.
#12 – Same as #11, but now perform with external resistance.
#13 – The Hip Abduction/Squat w/no external resistance – Stand w/legs approximately hip distance apart and lift the leg straight out to the side of the body, squat down center w/both feet, then lift the opposite leg, repeat. *Once mastered, this may also be performed from a step platform or BOSU.
#14 – Same as #13, but now perform with external resistance.
#15 – The TRX Squat -Perform first w/both feet on the floor, then when ready, attempt w/one foot off the floor.
#16 – Smith Machine Squats -Begin w/just the bar, which is usually 20lbs. once you are already able to perform a free-standing squat w/a comparable amount of external resistance. *Once you master the squat w/the bar alone, then you may consider gradually adding weight plates to the bar.
#17 – The Traveling Squat w/no external resistance – perform the squat two-four times traveling right and then left. Make certain to actually perform the entire squat as you travel.
#18 – Same as #17, but now perform with external resistance.
#19 – The One-Leg Squat w/no external resistance – perform the squat w/one leg elevated off of the floor w/meticulous form and attention paid to keeping the body weight into the heel of the squatting leg.
#20 – Same as #19, but now perform with external resistance.
While this series is not exhaustive, these twenty variations should provide you with significant challenges for 2012-enjoy!
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.