Squats can be challenging, but they’re they’re one of the most effective exercises around for building a strong, firm backside. We all know the benefits of basic squat, but there are many variations that will challenge your glutes and work the muscles in unique ways.
Squats are dynamic, compound movements that engage hamstrings, the glutes and quad muscles, as well as your back and the core.
Before you start with these variations, make sure your basic squat form is correct.
Stand in front of a mirror and check that your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your feet pointed slightly outwards. This gives you excellent support. Make sure that your heels stay grounded and that your knees never go past your toes as you squat.
As you lower your butt down into the squat position, push your hips back and down, continuing to ‘drop’ the glutes until they are parallel to the floor. It’s important to perfect your form before you try out any of the squat variations, because incorrect technique can result in wasted effort and injury.
Think of squatting like sitting in an invisible chair. You want to make sure you get low, while contracting your abs and keeping your chest proud to protect your lower back. As you stand back up, think of digging your heels into the ground. Then shift your focus to squeezing your glutes as you return to the standing position.
Through your squat, look straight. With the correct form, you are now ready to move on to these incredible squat variations that will seriously transform your butt.
1. Back Squats
These are great for strengthening your back muscles and for building up definition. The heavier the weight and the more reps you do, the greater the strain on your glutes and the bigger butt you’ll build. Start by keeping a barbell across your back. The barbell must be placed securely, remember the load you put on your spine, makes your glutes and hamstrings do all the work.
Now descend into the squat with the correct posture that you have just mastered. This variation will also help sculpt your arms and shoulders, which is a sweet bonus.
2. Plié Squat
With this squat comes many benefits, along with enhancing the look of your inner thighs. This variation mostly targets inner thighs, quads, and glutes. You can also do these to target your hips and strengthen your lower body overalk.
You have to take a wide stance to do this variation, so start with your legs wide apart and your feet pointing out at a 45-degree angle from your body. Lower your body as you move into a squat position. You can use a kettlebell which can be held tightly by both hands between your legs to achieve more out of this exercise.
3. Dumbbell Squat
This is a basic move and can be done with two dumbbells held in your hands. As you descend into a squat position, try to get as low as possible. Ideally, your elbows should touch your knees. Again, a weighted squat will make the move more challenging while firing up the muscles in your shoulders and arms.
4. Split Squat
This is a terrific way to build leg strength and improve hip mobility. For this squat, you have to stand in a lunge position and hold dumbbells in both your hands on either side of the body (optional). Let the weights hang at the sides.
Move your right leg forward. Flex your back leg and drop the knee down to the ground. Hold the ‘lunge’ position, squeeze your glutes for two to three seconds, and then return to the starting position. Switch to the other leg.
This variation, as stated earlier is a miracle for improving body coordination and balance. It will engage your glutes for stabilization that will help you in all physical activities, both inside and outside of the gym.
5. Jump Squat
These are great for getting your heart pumping and your leg muscles burning. Start with a regular squat and then instead of slowly pushing yourself back up, jump up with explosive power.
This is a simple and fun variation that allows you to sculpt your legs without any weights. Jump squats train your quads exceptionally and strengthen your joints. Make sure that you’re using your whole feet to jump and not just your toes. Also, keep your shoulders back and your chest proud when you’re jumping to avoid straining your back.