I’ve come to believe that there is a squat variation to suit most people.
You may have been injured; have poor movement; or just find it awkward to squat – but with the right coach you should be able to find a squat variation that advances your fitness goals.
A compound movement, like a squat, is not just a ‘legs’ exercise – but rather when it is executed correctly, a squat (depending on the variation) will recruit a number of muscle groups.
The bigger the muscle group that you work – the more calories you burn in the session.
So, if fat loss is your goal – compound exercises are a great place to start. Think deadlifts, squats, chin ups – anything that requires a number of muscle groups to work together.
So, let’s get back to SQUATS! Here are a few of the variations that I would use a lot, depending on goals, injuries and movement abilities:
Barbell back squat – the old reliable – and for good reason. A firm favourite among all in PFP whether your goal is fat loss, strength, hypertrophy.
Counter-balance squat – this is usually the starting point for anyone who joins PFP. This squat movement allows you to really hone your squat technique before moving on to any of the more advanced variations.
Safety bar squat – If you have a shoulder injury or restriction – then a safety bar can work for you.
Belt squat – A very quad dominant variation of a squat and recruits no shoulder and very minimal (if any) lower back when performed correctly.
Front Squat – a barbell squat with the load to your front. A challenging movement that features strongly in our programs in PFP.
Kettlebell squats – we use a variety of challenging squat movements using kettlebells in our classes, programs and in personal training – everything from squat to press and double racked squats, to goblet squats and squat holds. I recently put a video up on facebook detailing how to make an exercise harder without increasing the weight which is a strategy that would be worth trying out with the various kettlebell squats.
As you can probably tell – I’m a fan of squats!! And what’s not to love … a challenging exercise that generates results.
My only point of caution would be to ensure that you get proper coaching from the beginning as it’s vital that your technique is correct in order to prevent injury and to see progress.
As always, please get in touch if you have any questions.