What is a squat?
Along with the various strengthening exercises, squats are now popularly getting adopted by people who are focused on strengthening their back, thigh and hip muscles. These exercises also help in making the tendons, bones and ligaments of your lower body strong. To increase the core strength and stability of the abdominal muscles, shoulders, trunk muscles, arms etc., different forms of squat exercises are practiced by fitness trainers.
Types of squat
Although there are many forms of squat currently used, but among them, 10 are the most effective and popular forms.
1. Standard/ bodyweight squat
This is the basic and simplest form of squat. Spread your knees, keep your back straight and without bending your back squat until you achieve 90 degrees bending of your legs. Keep your hands straight and without any support stand up.
2. Jump squat
Bend yourself to the standard squat position and then jump to stand back. It is also one of the excellent cardio workouts (Barker and Mercer,2018).
3. Narrow squat
Stand in the upright position, join both of the knees and then do the basic standard squat procedure. This squat is focused on providing strengths to your bones and ligaments of inner quads thighs and hamstrings.
4. Dumbbell split squat
Hold the dumbbell in both of your hands, keep your hands down. Place one leg backwards and bend the leg that is positioned forwards. The knee of the back leg should touch the ground while bending. The weights of the dumbbell should be taken according to the advice of the trainer.
5. Goblet squat
Set the dumbbell on your chest, hold it with the palms of your hand. Bend the knee and reach to the 90-degree angle with your back straight. Make sure you take the weight of the dumbbell carefully (Christensen et al, 2018).
6. Pistol squat
This is one of the toughest forms of a squat. Keep one leg and both of the hands straight; bend one leg in the form of squat. Repeat it with the other leg. Later, after you master this workout, place both of your hands backwards and with one straight leg perform the squat with another leg. Repeat it with both the legs one by one.
7. Pulse squats
It is almost like the standard squat, the only difference is that while coming up you should only reach about half the distance and then repeat the squat again. This type of squat causes more tension in the muscles.
8. Plyometric squats
In this type of squat as you reach the 90-degree angle, instead of slowly going back to the standing position, you need to jump and land on your toes. This will elevate your heart rate and is good along with cardio exercises.
9. Barbell front squat
The barbell is placed on the shoulders and you have to do the normal squat. Just remember to keep your head up and chest out. This squat is recommended to be done in a gym under the supervision of the proper trainer. The more the weight, the more the toning! (Appleby et al., 2018)
10. Braced squat
Hold the weight plate straight by both of the hands and perform the standard squat. Be careful with the weight of the weight plates. This squat is used for strengthening your back and hip muscles.
Benefits of doing squats
Doing squat exercises will increase the toning and flexibility of your muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. It predominantly benefits hips, thighs, lower back, legs but also helps in strengthening calves, ankles, hamstrings, quad etc.
Squats are considered one of the most appropriate ways of losing weight. More muscles will lead to fast burning of calories that will gradually increase your metabolism an, as a result, will lead to weight loss.
Squats are those functional exercises that increase your anabolism and catabolism which enhance your stamina to deal with routine activities easily. It builds muscles in your body to make you stronger and healthier. It not only prevents injuries to your connecting tissues but also works to build up your body mobility and balance.
Apart from toning of the entire backside, squats have also found to help in removal of toxic wastes from the body and help you run faster and jump higher!
Appleby, B.B., Banyard, H., Cormie, P., Cormack, S.J., and Newton, R.U. (2018). Validity and reliability of methods to determine barbell displacement in heavy back squats: Implications for velocity-based training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002803
Christensen, B. K., Thielen, S. P., Hackney, Kyle, J. and Moen, J. T. (2018). Suspended weight training during squats: Does it improve balance more than traditional squats? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(5), 415. DOI: 10.1249/01.mss.0000536454.87817.15
Barker,L. and Mercer,J. (2018). The influence of load on preferred countermovement depth during jump squats: 1845 board #106 May 31 3. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(5), 438. DOI: 10.1249/01.mss.0000536524.76622.32