Different Types Of Squat Variations And Benefits

Squats are quite a useful exercise when it comes to gain muscles and burn maximum calories at the same time. If you want to get success in your “fat to fit” or “lean-to muscular” journey then squats should be on the top of your workout list or routine. That’s why I’m going to cover a complete guide on squats such as; Different types of squat variations and their benefits in the muscle gain and weight loss.

Squats have two types, bodyweight squats and weighted squats; and they have different variations such as; normal squats, sumo squats, jump squats, squat thrust etc. All squats are effective that help you gain muscles, burn excess fat and loss weight.

So what’s in this article?

Here are the things that you are going see:

  1. Different Types Of Squat Variations
  2. Squats Benefits
  3. Top 5 Squats for weight loss
  4. 30-Day Squat workout routine

Different Types Of Squat & Variations


Top 5 Bodyweight Squats

You can do body-weight squats anywhere you like for example; in the bedroom, living room, on the street, at the ground or at the gym. Here we take a look at the types of bodyweight squats:

1. Normal Squats

The normal squats work on almost all lower body muscles including hamstrings, quadriceps and the glutes. They increase lower body strength, tone muscles, improve flexibility and improve posture.

Normal Squats
Source: Giphy

To perform the bodyweight squat, stand straight with feet your feet shoulder-width apart keeping your arms extended parallel to the ground or behind your head with elbows bent. Tighten your core, slightly push your hips back and slowly start doing squat while maintaining a flat back. Do as many reps you like.

Note: Go lower in normal motion but stand up slowly focusing on your leg.


2. Sumo Squats

The sumo squats also target quads, hams, glutes and calves but they specifically target and strengthen inner thighs and abductors which are least targeted by the normal squats.

 Sumo Squats
Sumo Squats

To do the sumo squats, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, your feet points out the sides from the center of your body. Keep your hands at chest level with elbows bent and start lowering your body with bending your knees and hip at the same time. Go lower until you feel pressure in your inner thigh then stand back up to complete one rep. Do 30 to 50 reps.


3. Jump Squat

The jumping squat is a high-intensity fat-burning workout which increases heart pace and improves blood circulation. Squat jump works on the whole body from top to the bottom. It will increase and improve both strength and stamina.

 Jump Squat
Source: Giphy

If you want to burn maximum calories at home so jumping squat will be one of the best workouts. 5 minutes of jumping squats will burn around 100 calories, which is equal to 5-10 minutes of running.

How to: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and squat down until you go into a seated position while maintaining a flat back. Then squeeze your butt tight and jump up explosively in the air by pushing your legs and heel on the floor. Then land on your entire feet to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10-12 reps.


4. Frog Squats

Do you want to try a new squat variation? If yes, then frog squat will be the best option. The frog squats work on quadriceps, calves and especially the glutes and the inner thighs.

Frog squats strengthen the gluteal muscles and improve hip extension.

To perform the frog squat, Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and feet pointing out the sides of your body and your hands on your hips. Push-up hips back, bend your knees and then squat down as low as you can go. Then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


5. Lateral or Side Squat

One of the many variations of the squats, the lateral squat is also an interesting and effective one. The Lateral squat mainly targets the glutes and the inner thigh. You can alternate the sumo squats with the lateral squats because their functions are a bit similar.

Lateral Squat
Source: Giphy

How To Lateral Squat: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and shift your weight onto the right heel. Slightly push your hips back, bend your right knee and then squat down while keeping your right leg straight. Then slowly return to the standing position and repeat the same with the right leg to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


Others Different Types Of Body-weight Squat Variations:

  • Bulgarian split squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  • Goblet Squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  • Narrow Stance Squat (For Beginners)
  • Pulse Squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  • Duck Walk Squat (Level: Intermediate and advanced)
  • Box Squats (Level: Beginner to intermediate)
  • Hindu Squats (Level: Beginner to intermediate)
  • Sissy Squats (For Beginner to advanced) etc.

Related: 8 Most effective dumbbell leg workout


Weighted Squats

The weighted squats are more difficult than bodyweight squats. And If you want to gain muscle then you need to do weighted squats because weight helps to promote muscle gain faster.

There are two ways you can do weighted squats, one is free weight squats and the other one is machine weight squat.

Top 5 Free Weight Squats

To perform the free weight squats, you need dumbbells, kettlebell and the barbell. Below is the list of some free-weight squats.

1. Barbell Squat

The barbell squat is the best among all squats because it incorporates all lower-body muscles, increases muscles strength improves endurance and burns maximum fats.

To perform the Barbell Squat; set the weight plate into the barbell, place it on the back of your shoulder (behind your head), grab it with an underhand grip, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your brace, Push-up hips back, bend your knees and then squat down as low as you can go. Then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep.

Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


2. Dumbbell Lateral Squat

The dumbbell lateral squats is same like a bodyweight lateral squat which mainly works on the hamstrings, hip abductor and the glutes.

Source: vimeo

How to Dumbbell Lateral Squat; Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width, holding a dumbbell with your hands and shift your weight toward the right leg. Then push your hips back, bend your right knee and then squat down while keeping your right leg straight. Then slowly return to the standing position and repeat the same with the right leg to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


3. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

To target the inner thigh specifically, dumbbell sumo squat would be the best option. Adding dumbbell in a sumo squat will increase muscle strength and promote muscles growth. You can also do the sumo squats using the kettlebell.

Here are the steps to perform the dumbbell sumo squat: Start with holding a dumbbell ( dumbbell weight depends on person to person), and stand upright with your back straight and your feet wider than shoulder-width and pointing slight out to the sides. Push-up hips back, bend your knees and then squat down until your hips is parallel to the ground. Then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


4. Kettle bell Goblet Squat

The Goblet squat works on the whole lower body such as quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip abductor, and the calves. Goblet squat can be done using a kettlebell as well as a dumbbell.

Sumo squat and the goblet squat seems like similar but they’re different. The stance, squatting position etc are different from each other.

Here’s how to perform the goblet squat using a kettle-bell: Start with standing straight with your feet will be in the normal stance like shoulder-width apart but slightly across, holding a kettlebell in front of your chest. Then slightly push your hips backwards to squat down as deep as you can go. Hold for a couple of seconds then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


5. Dumbbell Squat with Alternating Glutes Kickback

The squat with kickback works on all lower body especially the glutes. This movement increases muscle flexibility and improves balance. As each squat variation, this can also be done with and without weight.

How to perform the squat with alternating glutes kickback using a dumbbell: Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in front of your chest. Perform a full normal squat as mentioned above and when you stand up, squeeze your glutes and kick your right foot behind you while ensuring that your hips stay square to the ground and then return your foot on the ground, do one more complete squat, and repeat the same with your left leg to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps.


Others Different Types Of Weighted Squat Variations:


Smith Machine Squat:

How To Smith Machine Weight Squat: Set the bar into the rack at a height that, it will rest on your back of your shoulder. Stand straight with a shoulder-width stance, keep your chest up, core tight and start squatting down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.


Also Read: 6 Dumbbell Workouts For Lower Back


Squat Benefits

Here we take a look at the overall benefits of Squat:

1. Squats Strengthen The Lower Body

According to an article published in the Harvard Medical School, Squats activate many muscles and joints at once, such as; the quads, gluteals, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves as well as the knees, feet, and ankles.

Squats can help you build and maintain a stronger lower body, which helps you in other activities like jumping, running. They also allow you to stay active throughout the months and years as long as you do.


2. Squats Burn Maximum Calories

According to modern studies, squats are one of those exercises that burn maximum calories while ensuring muscle gain. Squat variations like jumping squats, squat thrust, or even normal squats burn not less than equal calories to the cardio exercises like jogging and cycling. 30 minutes of high-intensity strength training like squats burn approximately 200-220 calories.


3. Squats May Improve Posture

Squats are also one of those workouts that help improve posture. People with bad posture should do squats consistently, if they want to improve posture.


4. Squats Are Adaptable, efficient and effective

To do bodyweight squats, you don’t need much space or any equipment. They are so adaptable that they only require your body weight and a small space where can sit and stand.

They are efficient because you can do anytime you want, whether it’s morning, afternoon, evening or night. And even twice or thrice a day. For example; you can do 25-50 squats in the morning and 25-50 in the evening, anytime you like.

There is no doubt that squats are effective for overall fitness. There is plenty of reason to do squats such as they strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, increase stamina and improve your overall performances.


5. Squats Strengthen The Core

According to a study conducted in 2018, Back Squats squats improve core strength. The core is the midsection of the body, so having a strong core allows you to perform many difficult activities like weightlifting, powerlifting, push-ups, bench press etc.


6. Squats Increase Muscle mass

If you have legs which are lean and look like chicken legs then you should definitely start doing squats as much as you can. Because squats not only strengthen the muscles but also help you gain muscles.

If you’re a beginner with lean legs then start with 15 squats of 3 sets a day and increase repetition as well as variations as you’ll be habituated.


7. Improve Overall Performance

Squats are one of the best strength and conditioning exercises which increase muscle strength, improve muscles and joints coordination, improve bone density and strengthen the core. Apart from these, they also have multiple benefits which help in different activities and improve overall performance.


8. Decrease the risk of injuries

Different types of squat variation strengthen bones and joints and reduce the risk of injuries. Having strong bones and joints also help you in the long run and may protect you from the risk of joint pain.


Top 5 Squats for weight loss

  1. Jump Squat
  2. Squat Thrust
  3. Normal Squats
  4. KB Goblet Step-Up to Squat
  5. Duck Walk Squat

Related: Weight Loss: 30-Day Intermittent fasting results


30-Day Squat workout routine

Day 1: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations

Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 2: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 3: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats, squat with alternating glutes kickback.
Day 4: RestDay 5: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 6: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 7: RestDay 8: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback.
Day 9: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 10: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 11: RestDay 12: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback
Day 13: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 14: RestDay 15: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 16: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback
Day 17: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 18: RestDay 19: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 20: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback
Day 21: RestDay 22: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 23: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 24: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback
Day 25: Rest
Day 26: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
Day 27: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Goblet Squat, Bulgarian split squat, Pulse Squat, Duck Walk Squat
Day 28: RestDay 29: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Sissy Squats, Frog Squats,squat with alternating glutes kickback
Day 30: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations
Normal Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
This routine is for all and if you can’t complete 100 squats a day then you can reduce repetition.

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