4 Squat Variations

Pile Squat

Grab a hold of a single dumbbell and stand on a bench. Your stance should be wide, and you should lower down with the dumbbell hanging between your legs. Go as low as you can without compromising your balance and flexibility, and then come back up quickly.

This exercise helps improve muscles in the inner and outer thighs that wouldn’t normally get such attention from a traditional exercise. This exercise has the advantage of increased range of motion when you elevate yourself on a bench.

Jump Squat
You would be performing one of these if you explode upward or even rise up from the ground during squats. This is a great neurological movement – it will improve explosive and overall strength.

This causes your muscle fibers to go off together, and improves how efficiently your central nervous system can use the muscles in your legs. Those who are in very explosive sports such as track and basketball can greatly benefit from this movement.

Breathing Squats
You can incorporate squats into big sets that will not only enhance muscle growth, but will also burn quite a bit of calories and improve your cardiovascular health. These are called breathing squats. You do about 10 repetitions of these, exhaling when you go up, and inhaling as you go down. After you finish the last rep, you should begin to take extra breaths in between each rep.

After you do these about 5 times, begin taking two breaths in between your reps. Make sure that when you are doing breathing squats you do not do them with a light weight. These are just for when you need to do extra reps. You can actually hyperventilate and pass out if you do not use enough weight with this method!

One Legged King Squats
You begin by taking a natural stance. Next you will extend out one of your legs so that it is close to parallel with the ground. If you can, grab your toe with the arm that is on the same side as your leg. Some people may not have the flexibility to accomplish this.

Eventually, you want to get to the point where you are able to accomplish this move free standing. However, in the beginning you can use the opposite arm to grab something and balance yourself. Use the leg that is planted on the ground and lower yourself as far as possible without the leg that is raised ever touching the ground or losing your balance. This exercise is great if you have a weak side. You just work whatever side is the weakest first, and don’t do more reps on the stronger side. This is also great for improving your overall flexibility and leg strength.

This type of exercise is vital to leg training, and there are enough variations of it to keep things from getting boring. The squat is not just a strength exercise for muscle growth, but also will give you an effective cardio workout at the same time!

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