Squat workout – do these 6 variations for full body fitness

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Squats are one of the best exercises to work the leg muscles. By adding some variations, you can also include upper body, core and cardio work, which is what this squat workout does. It should only take you about 15 minutes including warm up and stretch (see below). For best results, do 2 complete sets of the exercises and do the workout 2-3 times a week.

Squat workout – the 6 variations

Basic squat

The basic squat works all the leg muscles. Start the routine with 20 of these.

Basic squat

Wide squat

This variation changes the muscle emphasis, so that the inner thigh and hip rotator muscles get worked harder. Do 20 of these.

Wide squat

Jump squats

High intensity jump squats get your heart rate up to bring in a cardio training effect, as well as working all your leg muscles. Do 10 of these.

Squat jump

Side squats

The sideways movement, together with adding in some arms, will keep your heart rate up. The arm movement works your shoulders, back and chest. Do 10 reps to each side.

Side squat
Side squat

Heel raise squats

This one works the calves more and challenges balance, which also makes the core muscles work. You may need to use a chair for support at first, but you should work towards being able to balance on your own. It’s a small movement, but quite challenging. Do 20 of these.

Heels raised squat

Pulse squats

Finally, this one is a very small movement in the basic squat position. You’ll feel your glutes working in this one. As it’s a small movement, do 30 reps.

Pulse squats

 

Before you do the squat workout

Muscles and joints should be warm before exercise. If your muscles are already warm from, for example, walking or household chores, then you can go straight into the basic squats. If you’ve been inactive before your workout, do this short warm up:

Warm up

Please also see these general exercise guidelines.

The workout:

Do the number of reps for each exercise shown, then start again.  Aim for a total of 3 sets.

Squat workout chart

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Squat workout with stickers

More leg workouts to try:

Thigh exercises challenge


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