The squat is the foundation of most athletic and aesthetic training programs. You want to run faster? Squat. You want to lift more weight? Squat. You want to have a nice butt? Squat. You want to reduce back problems? Squat even more! For as many benefits we can reap from squatting there are just as many variations. Below I’ve listed the majority of squat variations, easiest to hardest, in each category: bodyweight, kettlebells, and barbells.

Before you begin it’s important to remember each of us will squat differently. Certain squats mentioned below will feel easy while others will feel nearly impossible. In certain instances you may never have the ability to perform these squats (2-kettlebell overhead and barbell overhead squats in particular). That’s ok! You can still lift enormous mounts of weight, improve performance, and looks by using the other variations.

Last, but not least, is your bone structure and mobility. One you were born with and the other can be altered over time. With respect to your skeletal frame, this will never change. No matter how many ankle mobility drills, hip flexors stretches, or glute smashing exercises you do you can’t change the shape of your hip or ankle structure or limb length.  However, there are a multitude of mobility drills that

Body weight:

  • Pole squats

  • Band squats

  • Wall squats (this can be done with arms up and on the wall for support)

  • Squat w/ Reach regression (reach toes, pull down)

  • Air Squat

  • Pistols (TRX, bench, bodyweight)

Kettlebells:

  • Goblet squat w/ prying (push elbows against knees and feel inner thighs stretch)

  • Goblet Squat

  • 1-KB racked

  • 2-KB racked

  • 1-KB overhead

  • 2-KB overhead

Barbell:

  • Zercher Squat

  • Front Squat (cross arm, racked)

  • Back Squat (high bar, low bar)

  • Overhead Squat

 

Keep your squats varied and keep them fun! I suggest picking 3-5 of your favorite variations and start incorporating them into your program.

 

STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!

About Josh Jarmin

Originally from Washington, D.C. (NOVA) Josh moved to Atlanta to be a Middle School history teacher after graduating from James Madison University. He joined the Marine Corps infantry as a reservist and served in Iraq honorably. Josh then turned his attention to personal training after his tour in order to help others reach their health/fitness goals. At one point he was 275lbs and 28% body fat. Now he’s 195lbs and 13.5% body fat. Josh worked for several fitness facilities in Atlanta and developed a loyal following of trainees. He’s created a training program of his own personal design and has established himself as one of the top kettlebell and body movement experts in the Atlanta area. Josh is currently the Co-Owner and Director of Fitness at Blueprint Fitness.

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