TRX Squat Jump
This is the perfect exercise to get warmed up and to work on your mobility and technique.
The move: With your feet shoulder width apart, or a little wider if you want to target your glutes, squat down as far as you can. Once you are at the bottom of the squat your arms will now be extended out above your head/face. Push through your heel, avoid using your arms and explode into a jump, trying to land back on the same spot your feet left.
Although this is an advanced powerlifting squat, it is great for increasing your mobility, core and shoulder strength and improving your squat technique..
The move: Start with only the bar, and lift it directly over your head. Then while keeping it over your center of gravity, perform a squat. As you go down your shoulders will need to go back slightly to keep the bar in line with your center of gravity, if you can not keep your arms straight you may need to work on stretching your chest and shoulders. To get around this keep as wide a grip as possible.
Bulgarian Split Squat
A variation of the popular single leg squat, the Bulgarian squat is great for glute activation as well as core strength and balance.
The move: While keeping an upright torso, rest one foot on a bench behind you and the other foot a few feet out in front of you. Begin by pushing your hips back, like in a back squat and allow your back leg to bend at the knee.
This may just be the hardest squat variations to master, it requires great balance, core strength, leg strength and flexibility.
The move: If you are like most people and can not perform a good one-legged squat you should start by using a TRX, squatting up onto a high box, and or holding onto something while you are trying the one-legged squat.
This is another touch squat variation as it puts a lot of pressure on your core and back as the bar will pull you forward during the squat. This movement will really test your core strength and mental capacity.
The move:Start with the barbell in the crooks of your elbows and as you squat back focus on keeping your chest out, your head high and maintaining an upright position. Push through your heels as you squat back up.
If you’re still learning proper squat technique, this is one of the best squat variations. You’ll need a kettlebell or dumbbell for resistance, but you don’t need to go too heavy. The weight helps you lean back as you squat down, making the movement easier.
The move: You can do this squat holding a kettlebell or a dumbbell. Holding the weight on your chest, as you squat down keep your chest up and remain in an upright position, try not to let the weight pull you forward.
Dumbbell Front Squat
If you are looking to get your heart rate at all time highs, give this exercise a try. Working almost every muscle in your body, you will quickly realise how unfit you are!
The move: With a dumbbell in each hand resting on your shoulders, squat down as you usually would for a squat, pause at the bottom and as you push through your heel explode up and use the momentum of your upward phase of your squat to then push the dumbbells over your head.
Now this variation is great for developing your core strength and balance, but you want in increase your weight and try to go heavy.
The move: Just like a normal squat, with your chest out and head up, you squat down with a dumbbell in one hand. Ensure you keep your shoulders and hips straight.
Seated Dumbbell Squat
Now this seems like a normal dumbbel squat, but this is a great opportunity to increase the weights and go heavy. Use this exercise to increase explosive power from the bottom of your squat.
The move: Hold two dumbbells at your side and sit down on a bench, chair or box. Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees. Shift your weight forward and push through your heels as you squat back to a standing poition.
Often we do a squat with a constant movement, but using a longer pause at the bottom of your squat will really test your lower squat strength and your muscular endurance.
The move: Simply do a normal squat but hold the bottom position for at least 2 seconds.
Now this variation incorporated some more upper body muscles, putting alot of strain on your shopulders and arms, and testing your back and core by shifting your center of gravity.
The move: It is the same as the Goblet Squat but when you are at the bottom of your squat press the kettlebell straight in front of you until your elbows are locked out. As you press it forward, you can lean back into your heels and sink deeper into the squat. Then, bring the bell back into your chest before standing up.
Man doing a Heartbeat Squat