Different Types Of Squat Variations And Benefits

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, whether you work out at home or the gym, you can do several types of squats to build a strong and toned lower body. The different squat types will help you target each muscle of your lower body, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Doing several squats can help you boost your lower body strength, beef up muscle mass, and burn maximum calories simultaneously.

Squats have two types, bodyweight squats and weighted squats, and they have different variations, such as standard squats, sumo squats, jump squats, squat thrust, and many more.

 Related: An Ultimate Guide To The Dumbbell Leg Exercises 

So let’s find out how to do different types of squats with step-by-step variations and their benefits.

I’ve also shared a workout plan (which I have created with the help of various types of squats) that can help you build more muscular legs.


Different Types Of Bodyweight Squats

You can do bodyweight squats anywhere you like, at home, in the gym, or on the field.

You can do a myriad of bodyweight squat variations, for instance, jump squat, pistol squat, and lateral squats.

Here’s a quick view of all bodyweight squat variations that you’re going to see below

  1. Regular Squats
  2. Sumo Squats
  3. Jump Squat
  4. Lateral Or Side Squat
  5. Split Squat
  6. Pistol Squat
  7. Single-Leg Squat
  8. Wall Squat
  9. Frog Squats

Let’s see how to do all the squats variations with step by step guide.

1. Regular Squats

Different Types Of Bodyweight Squats
Bodyweight squat

The regular squat is one of the basic squat types that works specifically on quads.

It stimulates lower body strength, tone muscles, and improve endurance.

How to do a regular squat

  1. Stand straight with feet your feet shoulder-width apart keeping your arms extended and parallel to the ground. You can also hold your fingertipes behind your head with elbows bent.
  2. Tighten your core, slightly push your hips back and slowly squat down with maintaining a flat back.
  3. Pause for a moment and then extend your knees to stand up back in the standing position. That is your one rep.
  4. Do as many reps and sets as you like.

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


You can also save this: 12 Week Dumbbell Workout Plan (With Free PDF

2. Sumo Squats

The sumo squat is slightly different from the usual squat in terms of stance.

It works on quads, hams, glutes, and calves, but they specifically target and strengthen inner thighs and abductors, least targeted by the standard squats.

How to do the sumo squats

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, your feet point out the sides from the center of your body.
  2. Keep your hands at chest level with elbows bent and start lowering your body by bending your knees and hip at the same time.
  3. Go lower until you feel pressure in your inner thigh then stand back up to complete one rep.
  4. Repeat as many times as you like.

Related: Sumo Deadlift: Form, How-To, Benefits & More


3. Jump Squat

The jumping squat is a high-intensity fat-burning workout that increases heart pace and improves blood circulation.

Type Of Bodyweight Squat - Jump Squat
Jump squat

It works on the whole body from top to bottom and boosts strength and stamina.

If you want to burn maximum calories at home, then jumping squats will be one of the best bodyweight squat variations for you.

Five minutes of jumping squats will burn around 100 calories, equal to 5-10 minutes of running.

Let’s see how to do a jump squat.

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and squat down until you go into a seated position.
  2. Squeeze your butt tight and jump up explosively in the air by pushing your legs and heel on the floor and then land on your entire feet to complete one rep.
  3. When you jump, your chest will come up and hands will go backward.
  4. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
You may also like: HIIT Lower Body Workout

4. Lateral or Side Squat

One of the many variations of the squats, the lateral squat is also an interesting and effective one.

types of squat
Lateral Squat

The LateralSquatt mainly targets the glutes and the inner thigh.

You can alternate the sumo squats with the lateral squats when you train your legs at home.

How To Lateral Squat:

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and shift your weight onto the right heel.
  2. Slightly push your hips back, bend your right knee and then squat down while keeping your right leg straight.
  3. 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.
  4. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.
Also, Read: Top 6 Dumbbell Quad Exercises Of All Time

5. Split Squat

When you create a routine using different squats variations, include split squat as it works pretty similar to the forward lunges.

How to split squat

  1. Stand in the split stance with your right foot in front of you left behind. Maintain one large step distance between them.
  2. Keep your back upright and arms wherever you like. This is your starting position.
  3. Squat down until you reached in a seated position.
  4. Pause for a second and then press your feet into the ground to stand back. That’s one rep!
  5. Do as many sets and reps as you like.

6. Pistol Squat

The pistol squat is one of the advanced variations of bodyweight squats.

You need to have a better balance and strength to perform this movement.

Follow these steps to do a pistol squat.

  1. Stand upright with your feet together in the shoulder-width stance and arms straight in front of you.
  2. Bend your knees and squat down on your right leg as low as possible. And when you go into the squat position, bring your left leg straight in front of you.
  3. Hold in the squat position for as long as you can and then extend back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat with another leg to complete one repetition.
  5. Do as many times as you like.

7. Single-Leg Squat

Like a pistol squat, the single-leg squat is also an advanced type of squat.

However, you should do this exercise to improve your mobility and strength.

  1. Stand on your right leg and keep your left knee slightly bent with your feet off the floor.
  2. Slowly bend your right knee to squat down while the left leg move backward.
  3. Squat down as low as possible on your right feet and then extend your knees to return to the standing position. That’s one rep!
  4. Do two sets of 10 reps each, both sides.
You may like: Dumbbell Leg Extension: How-To, Muscles Worked, Benefits

8. Wall Squat

If you’re a beginner or a female, the wall squat is for you.

It is an easy and efficient bodyweight squat variation that can help you enhance strength and tone lower body muscles.

bodyweight squat variations
beginner bodyweight squat variations

How to do a wall squat

  1. Stand (in the shoulder-width stance) against the wall with your rear body stay in contact to the wall.
  2. Keep your arms at your sides or on your hips.
  3. Look forward, keep your core tight and slowly slide down until your hamstrings parallel to the ground, assuming seated position.
  4. Pause for a moment and then pushing into the floor with your feet return back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as many times as you like.

9. Frog Squats

The frog squats work on the quadriceps, calves, and especially the glutes and the inner thighs.

It strengthens the gluteal muscles and improves hip extension.

How to perform the frog squat

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

Also, Check out: Best Glute And Hamstring Workout

Several Types of Weighted Squats

Once you gain strength from the bodyweight squat variations, you can do weighted squats.

And If you want to gain muscle, you need to do weighted squats because weight helps promote muscle gain faster.

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

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

Performing squats with the dumbbell, barbell, and machines can help you boost more strength, beef up muscles, and build powerful legs.

Weighted Squat Variations

  1. Barbell Squat
  2. Dumbbell Lateral Squat
  3. Dumbbell Sumo Squat
  4. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
  5. Dumbbell Squat With Alternating Glutes Kickback
  6. Dumbbell Bulgarian Squat
  7. Hack Squat
  8. Smith Machine Squat

Now, let’s how to do the different types of weighted squats with stepwise instructions.

1. Barbell Squat

weighted squats types
Barbell weight squat (image: Thoroughly Reviewed)

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

How to do the Barbell Squat

  1. Place the appropriate weight into the barbell, hold it on the back of your shoulder (behind your head), and grab it with an underhand grip, and stand in the shoulder-width stance.
  2. Brace 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 are the same as a bodyweight lateral squat which mainly works on the hamstrings, hip abductor, and glutes.

How to Dumbbell Lateral Squat

dumbbell lateralSquatt
  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width, holding a dumbbell with your hands, and shift your weight toward the right leg.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your right knee and then squat down while keeping your right leg straight.
  3. Slowly return to the standing position and repeat the same with the right leg to complete one rep.
  4. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  5. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.

3. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Dumbbell sumo squat can be an efficient squats variation that can help you target your thighs internally.

Adding a dumbbell in a sumo squat will increase muscle strength and promote muscles growth.

You can also do the sumo squats using the kettlebell.

How to perform the dumbbell sumo squat

  1. 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 slightly out to the sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and then squat down until your hips are parallel to the ground.
  3. 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 several muscles simultaneously, such as quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip abductors, and calves.

You can do it using a kettlebell as well as a dumbbell.

The Sumo squat and the goblet squat seem 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 kettlebell

  1. 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.
  2. Slightly push your hips backward to squat down as deep as you can go.
  3. Hold for a couple of seconds then slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep.
  4. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  5. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.

5. Dumbbell Squat with Alternating Glutes Kickback

TheSquatt with kickback works on all lower body, especially the glutes. This movement increases muscle flexibility and improves balance. As with each squat variation.

You can do it with and without weight.

How to perform the squat with alternating glutes kickback using a dumbbell:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in front of your chest.
  2. Perform a full standard 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 floor.
  3. Repeat the same with your left leg to complete one rep.
  4. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

6. Dumbbell Bulgarian Squat

  1. Stand upright against the bench (one large step away) and place the top of your rear foot on it behind you and keep your arms straight at your sides. That’s the start.
  2. Lower your rear knee toward the ground as you squat down, go as deep as you can.
  3. Stay in the squat position for a moment and then pushing through your front heel, extend your knees to return in the standing position. This is your one rep.
  4. Do as many sets and reps as you like.

7. Hack Squat (machine squats variations)

  1. Set the appropriate weight and get on the hack squat machine and adjust yourself.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself as down as you can go.
  3. Push through your feet to extend your knees until your legs are straight. This is your one rep.
  4. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.

8. Smith Machine Squat (Machine Squat Types)

  1. Set the bar into the rack at a height that, will rest on the back of your shoulder.
  2. 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.
  3. Slowly return to the standing position to complete one rep.
  4. Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
  5. Keep your back flat dung the whole movement.

Also Read: Dumbbell Workouts For Lower Back


Multi Movement Squats Types

1. Squat to Calf Raise

It allows you to work on your quads and calves simultaneously with this exercise.

You can do it with a dumbbell, barbell, or weight, depending on your fitness level.

To perform this movement, complete a squat and when you return to the standing position, raise your heels as high as possible so that your calves can feel the work.

You can hold for a moment squeezing your calves, and then land your heel on the ground. That’s one rep!

Do as many sets and reps as you can.

2. Squat to Overhead Press

DoingSquatt to overhead press can help you strengthen your legs and shoulder both at the same time.

It is for intermediates. However, if you’re a beginner, you can try only with the bar.

How to doSquatt to overhead press with a barbell

  1. Grab a bar and place it on your shoulder behind your head.
  2. Stand in the shoulder-width stance with your back straight.
  3. Push your hips backward and bend your knees to squat down until your hamstrings are parallel to the ground.
  4. Pressing into floor return to the standing position and press the weight overhead until your arms are fully straight. And then lower the bar back on your shoulder. That’s one rep.
  5. Do as many sets and reps as you can.

3. Barbell Jammer (one of the advanced squat variations)

The barbell jammer is one of the highly effective squat variations that you can incorporate in your workout routines to beef up your strength and mass.

It works on multiple muscles simultaneously, such as quadriceps, glutes, calves, chest, shoulder, and core.

You can see in this video how to perform barbell jammer.

4. Squat to Swings

TheSquatt and swing is a compound workout that lets you work on various muscles at once.

It boosts strength and power, increases explosiveness, and enhances endurance.

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, you can try this squat variation at home as well as in the gym.

I’ve already created a separate article on this so that you can check more about it.


Several Other Types of Squat Variations

  1. Bulgarian split squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  2. Goblet Squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  3. Narrow Stance Squat (For Beginners)
  4. Pulse Squat (For Beginner to advanced)
  5. Duck Walk Squat (Level: Intermediate and advanced)
  6. Box Squats (Level: Beginner to intermediate)
  7. Hindu Squats (Level: Beginner to intermediate)
  8. Sissy Squats (For Beginner to advanced
  9. Front Barbell Squat
  10. Dumbbell Jump Squat
  11. Dumbbell One-leg Squat
  12. Kettlebell Jump to Goblet squat
  13. Dumbbell Pulse Squat etc.

Major Benefits of Squats Workout

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

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, and the knees and feet and ankles.

Squats can help you build and maintain a more muscular lower body, allowing you to do other activities like jumping and running.

They also allow you to stay active throughout the months and years as long as you do.


3. Squats Burn Maximum Calories

According to modern studies, squats are exercises that burn maximum calories while ensuring muscle gain.

Squat variations like jumping squats, squat thrust, or even standard squats burn not less than equal calories to the cardio exercises like jogging and cycling.

Thirty 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 lousy 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 area where you 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.

So, 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 performance.


5. Squats Strengthen The Core

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


6. Squats Increase Muscle mass

If you have lean legs and look like chicken legs, you should start doing squats as much as possible. Because squats not only strengthen the muscles but also help you gain muscles.

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


7. Improve Overall Performance

Squats are one of the best strength and conditioning exercises that increase muscle strength, improve muscle 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 threat of joint pain.


30-Day Squat workout routine

Day 1: 25 reps x 4 Squats Variations

Standard 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
Standard 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
Standard 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
Standard 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
Standard 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
Standard 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
Regular 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
Standard Squats, Sumo Squats, Jumping squat, Lateral Squat.
This routine is for all, and if you can’t complete 100 squats a day, you can reduce repetition.

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