Squats don't need to be spooky, and they definitely don't need to be boring! Squats are some of the best exercises we can do to work our legs (quads, glutes, hamstrings, etc.), and with some variations in how we squat, we can work other areas of our body, too! Some fun variations of squats are:
Plie Squat + Heel Raises
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outward. Squat down nice and low. Lift your right heel up and down, and then your left heel. Now, push through the heels to come back up to start. Give the booty an extra squeeze at the top.
Begin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Perform a squat and as you come up, kick your right leg back like you’re trying to push open a door behind you. As always, be sure to keep that core engaged for balance and control. Bring the right leg down as you lower back down into a squat position. Now, perform a kickback on the left side.
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outward. Squat down nice and low until your fingertips touch the ground while maintaining a flat black. Then reach your arms up overhead and jump up towards the sky. Land with soft knees in a loaded squat position, fingers touching the ground. Note: if your fingertips cannot reach down to the floor without an excessive forward lean, don’t go all the way to the floor. Work within your limits and just reach down as far as you can!
Squat with Side Leg Lift
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes parallel or slightly outward. Perform a squat and as you come up, lift your left leg up to the side and make sure to squeeze the outer part of your glutes. As you step back lower yourself into a squat again. Repeat with the right leg. If you want to make it even more dynamic, do a side kick instead of a lift!
Side Step Squat
Begin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Keep your chest up and core engaged. Now take a step with the right foot to the side. Make sure to keep your thighs parallel and don’t break your squat form. Now step with the left leg towards you so that you are back in a squat. You can switch sides or do 3 steps in one direction and then 3 in the other.
The best part about these exercises is that they can be done without equipment and in virtually any setting! To make these squats more challenging, try adding resistance bands or holding dumbbells in each hand. You may want to incorporate a few of these different squat alternatives in your current workout, or do a combination of the variations above for a circuit-training approach. Performing 10-20 repetitions of each exercise for 2-3 rounds will set you up for a great squat session.