Writer Ally Seigel wanted to firm up her core and sculpt her butt, but she didn’t know what exercises were right for her body type. Then she learned that squats are amazing for both! Ally shares the different types of squats that helped her achieve her fitness goals.
We all have fitness goals when we start working out and plan out an exercise regime. Some of us want bigger biceps, while others are working for a six-pack. For me, it was always about having a toned butt and firm core, but that’s not always easy to achieve. My natural body shape allows me to have a decent figure and also enough mass to work on it, but I was unsure as to what type of exercise would be ideal for me. The answer was different from what I expected; variations on a single exercise. Multiple types of squats.
After doing a bit of reading, I realized that the popular opinion pointed towards different types of squats as the best form of exercise for the butt and surrounding muscle groups like glutes, quads and hamstrings. Not to mention, strengthening hidden muscles like the calf muscles. Squats can be quite versatile if done right, and there are many variations that one can try out, based upon experience level and lower body strength.
I discovered many types of squats and used my favorites to achieve my fitness goal of a toned butt and firm core. Below are 5 of my favorite squat variations, along with how they’ve helped me achieve a more toned and shaped butt.
Body Weight Squats
This is the simplest and most basic form of squatting that doesn’t require any weights or additional equipment. It’s the form of the exercise that is most important, and it does take some practice to get it right. The key here is to ensure that your back is in a straight line and your knees don’t go ahead of your toes while squatting down. Body weight squats helped me with increasing stability in my lower body, and since they’re simple to do, I was able to squeeze in between 50-100 reps as I progressed.
Sumo squats are a little harder to do because the squat has to be deeper and lower. Again, the knees must stay in line with the toes, and the feet have to keep wider apart than your shoulder width. Sumo squats help with strengthening the quads and hamstrings, and these can be done with body weight in the beginning. After some practice, I introduced a dumbbell, which adds on the toughness of the exercise. 15 X 3 reps of this squat are ideal, and you can always do more with practice.
The front squat is quite overrated, but is an effective exercise. Front squats don’t help with growing the butt, but the glutes are properly conditioned with this exercise. The right form means your hips need to be pushed far out, while you move knee-first into the bend and move your body forward too. Front squats done with weights are most effective, but you can always start off with body weight and then gradually move onto weights. You do have to be mindful not to hurt your back while doing this exercise.
Single Leg Squats
Single leg squats are undoubtedly more challenging, but the results are great. One leg needs to be raised backward, which is easier, or held straight forwards, which is more challenging. The technique puts immense pressure on your hamstrings and calf muscles, and once you understand how to raise yourself back again, you’ve pretty much got it. It took me some time to master single leg squats, but my legs feel stronger.
Pulse squats are exactly as the name suggests. You start by performing a regular body weight squat (or introduce some weights), and instead of raising yourself all the way back up, you must do it halfway and go back into the squat again. The idea is to literally “pulse” your body while squatting, and this does help with burning that fat! Pulsing squats are great for toning the butt muscles and creating more definition too. They are one of my favorite types of squats
There are so many other different types of squats, but these 5 are hands down my favorite. Being a newbie to working out, I found that squats are quite easy to grasp. Simply make sure your technique is spot on, then the results are great! The best way to make squats more challenging is by using dumbbells, weights, or even a kettle bell, depending on how comfortable you are exercising. Don’t be shy about adding in some variety.
My workout routine is usually focused more on lower body strengthening, and hence, squats are ideal. To learn more about different exercise routines, I recommend checking out this guide. It has helped me with my fitness journey already!
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