Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

9 MUST Do Squat Variations To Torch Fat & Demolish Your Lower Body

squat variations, squat exercise variations, different squats, squats, different types of squats, squat variants, squat exercise variants, what are other types of squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, different kinds of squats

Step up to the bar. Well, maybe not anymore. We’re refreshing the squat game with 9 new, MUST do squat variations — many of which leverage kettlebells, dumbbells, and other dynamic equipment beyond the traditional barbell.

Squats are the kings of the exercise realm. They’re high intensity, full-body firecrackers that can help optimize the body in a stack of different ways; touting benefits that reach FAR beyond the lower body.

Not only do squats demolish the legs and stimulate strong gains, but they also help carve out a rock-solid core and pack massive metabolic advantages — including significantly boosted resting metabolism (aka EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), increased fat usage (aka fat oxidation), and surging testosterone levels.1234

That cocktail of metabolic and hormonal shifts puts the body in an anabolic state,5 and ultimately cultivates an environment that’s constantly shredding fat and churning out fresh new muscle tissue. Even when you’re sleeping, jetsetting, stuck in the office, or otherwise not exercising.

Beyond the physiological perks, excitement and variety are key factors to any grade of sustained success. You can only barbell squat yourself into the ground so often before insane boredom and muscle adaptation set in. Given most people’s short attention spans and semi-ADD, it creates an insatiable thirst for variety — in the context of fitness, that HAS to be executed without sacrificing exercise caliber, effectiveness, or intensity.

Your solution: switch up your workouts with any number of our 9 innovative squat variations; each of which works the body across distinct movement patterns and emphasizes a plethora of different muscle groups. Toss 2-4 exercises into your workout routine, or alternatively, test your lower body fortitude in The Squat Gauntlet.

 

9 MUST Do Squat Variations To Torch Fat & Demolish Your Lower Body


squat variations, squat exercise variations, different squats, squats, different types of squats, squat variants, squat exercise variants, what are other types of squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, different kinds of squats

Image: Muscle & Fitness

For all exercises, complete 10-12 reps per set. ALWAYS continue to push yourself and increase the weight as each exercise becomes too easy — it’s the only way to continuously improve your strength, build muscle, and sustain progress.

 

Squat Variation 1: Goblet Squats


squat variations, squat exercise variations, different squats, squats, different types of squats, squat variants, squat exercise variants, what are other types of squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, different kinds of squats

How to: 

Video Demo — Goblet Squats

 

How they’re different — greater emphasis on the core; significantly more shoulder, bicep, and tricep activation.

(1) Stand upright and hold a dumbbell/kettlebell with two hands so that it’s in line with your collarbone. Keep it at this height throughout the movement to simultaneously hit the shouldersbiceps, and triceps, and maintain strong posture.

(2) With your chest puffed out and your abs tight, slowly squat down until your quads are BELOW parallel, hold .5s, and explode up through your butt. Ascend with the pressure on your heels, not your toes.

 

 

Squat Variation 2: Kettlebell Swing Squats


squat variations, squat exercise variations, different squats, squats, different types of squats, squat variants, squat exercise variants, what are other types of squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, different kinds of squats

How to:

Video Demo — Kettlebell Swing Squats

 

How they’re different — significantly increased shoulder activation; high-velocity swinging incorporates more cardio.

(1) Start in a low, wide squat position. With your chest puffed out, abs tight, and lower back pinched, use your shoulders and powerfully swing the kettlebell upwards until it’s at face height. As you swing, ascend through your quads.

(2) Immediately squat down into your hips and butt, and lower the weight down to the ground. Pause for .5 seconds at the bottom and repeat the movement.

 

 

Squat Variation 3: Front Squats


squat variations, squat exercise variations, different squats, squats, different types of squats, squat variants, squat exercise variants, what are other types of squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, different kinds of squats

How to:

Video Demo — Front Squats

 

How they’re different — much greater emphasis on the core; increased shoulder activation.

(1) Fold your hands over and grab the bar with your fingertips. Alternatively, cross your arms, rest the bar on your shoulders, and hold it in place with your hands.

(2) Pinch your back, puff out your chest, and slowly descend. Make sure that you keep your center of gravity on the back half of your feet and resist the pull to hunch forward. While maintaing strong posture and a flat back, ascend up the start.



 


Page: 1 | 2 | 3


 

 
 

References, Notes, Links

  1. Melby C, Scholl C, Edwards G, Bullough R. Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Oct;75(4):1847-53. []
  2. Osterberg KL, Melby CL. Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Mar;10(1):71-81. []
  3. Fry AC, Lohnes CA. Acute testosterone and cortisol responses to high power resistance exercise. Fiziol Cheloveka. 2010 Jul-Aug;36(4):102-6. []
  4. Schwab R, Johnson GO, Housh TJ, Kinder JE, Weir JP. Acute effects of different intensities of weight lifting on serum testosterone. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Dec;25(12):1381-5. []
  5. An anabolic state is a favorable condition in the body created by a combination of optimized training, nutrition and rest that leads to increased lean muscle mass and fat loss. []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

Pages: 1 2 3

  • Dave Keirstead

    How much weight should you be able to do on a front squat compared to a regular squat? Is it about the same?

    • There’s really no set rule, and it depends on individual ability, but in my experience (and with my own training) about 60-70% of the weight is normal.

      • Dave Keirstead

        Thanks, that seems about right for me too.

  • Huds

    I delivery by operation so when can I start to do the exercise