Bored Of Squats? Mix Up Your Routine With These Variations

Trainers say if you want to strengthen your butt and legs, you should do squats — lots and lots of them. But no exercise is perfect, and bobbing up and down can get monotonous, so you've got to figure out some way to make squats more interesting. Enter, the squat variation. Making simple tweaks to the classic move (like adding a weight, turning your feet out, or lifting a leg) might not seem like much, but they could make squats a little more fun. Or, at the very least, these moves will hold your attention until the end of your workout playlist.
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Need a quick refresher on how to do a basic bodyweight squat? Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hips-width distance apart, with your toes turned out slightly. You can lift your arms in front of you for balance, or keep them clasped in front of your chest. Keeping your chest and back lifted, lower your butt to the floor, as if you're sitting in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor, and make sure your knees don't go past your feet. Return to stand by pushing through all four corners of your feet and squeezing your glutes. That's a squat!
After you've mastered that move, ahead are some squat variations you might want to try next, according to Morit Summers, a NSCA certified personal trainer. Some of these variations make squats harder, and some of them are just a twist on the basic move. If you find these variations to be too hard, the good news is that you can always go back to basics. That's how goals are built, fam.
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Lateral Squat

How to: Start with your feet hips-width apart, arms down by your sides. Keeping your left foot firmly on the floor, take a big step to your right, planting your right foot about three feet away from your left foot. Shift your weight into your right foot, bending your right knee and pushing your hips back as you reach your arms forward. Keep your chest lifted as you bring your right foot back to your left to stand. That's one rep; repeat to the other side.
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Bulgarian Split Squat

How to: Start standing with your feet hips-width apart, then place the top of your right foot on a bench or box behind you. Bring your arms down by your sides. Keep your body upright as you bend your left knee, sweeping your arms up by your ears. Stop when your left thigh is parallel with the floor, then press through your left foot to return to standing. That's one rep; repeat on the other side.
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Jump Squat

How to: Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart, and bend your knees into a squat with your hands in front of your chest. Pause briefly at the bottom of the squat, and then jump up as high as you can, swinging your arms back behind you. Land softly in a squat.
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Curtsy Squat

How to: Start with your feet hips-width distance apart, arms stretched out in front of you at shoulder height. Shift your weight into your left foot, then slowly step your right foot a few feet behind your left foot, so your legs are crossed. Drop your weight into a "curtsy," and lower until your left thigh is parallel with the ground. Press through your left foot to stand, bringing your right foot to meet your left. That's one rep; repeat on the other side.
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Goblet Squat

How to: Stand with your feet shoulders-width distance apart, with your toes turned out slightly. Hold an 8- to 10-pound kettlebell by the handle at chest height, and keep your chest lifted. (If you don't have a kettlebell, you can hold one end of a dumbbell.) Push your hips back into a squat, keeping your elbows in front of your knees. Press through your heels and straighten your legs to stand.
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