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Bodyweight Squats For Cardio And Strength Training
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Bodyweight Squats for Cardio And Strength Training

Are you looking to incorporate bodyweight squats into your cardio or strength training routine? Then you’re headed in the right direction. Not only will bodyweight squats significantly increase strength in your glutes, quads, and core, but it can also be used as an effective cardio technique when combined into a circuit.

Below, I’m going to explain several bodyweight squat variations you can use to improve your training today.

Four Bodyweight Squat Variations

The squat is often performed incorrectly, so I want to explain some very important tips before attempting these variations.

  • Begin the squat by pushing your hips back
  • Keep your weight on the heels
  • Keep your back straight
  • Do not let your knees drift over the top of your feet
  • Do not let your knees buckle inward as you push up.

If you follow these steps, you will have flawless squat form. And if you can’t properly use these tips, then you need to PRACTICE!

1. Traditional Squat

If you’re a beginner then I highly recommend you start out with the traditional squat. Using this variation will help you build a solid foundation for more advanced squats in the future.

  • Place your feet at shoulder width
  • Squat down to 90 degrees and hold for 1-2 seconds
  • Explode back up to the starting position and repeat

2. Deep Squats

If you don’t have an preexisting knee or joint issues, then you should consider using the deep squat. Deep squats accelerate your strength and muscle building progress, but are also much more challenging than the traditional version.

  • Place your feet at shoulder width
  • Squat down below 90 degrees, so that your glutes touch the back of your calves
  • Explosively return to the starting position.

3. Sumo Squats

The sumo squat will target the inner portion of your legs and glutes.

  • Place your feet considerably past shoulder width.
  • Squat down to 90 degrees, hold for 1-2 seconds
  • Explode up and repeat

4. Explosive Squats

These are a personal favorite of mine because of the challenge, and how much it can improve your athleticism. Explosive squats will strengthen the major leg muscle groups, but most importantly, will strengthen your fast twitch muscle fibers. These means you will be able to jump higher and you will undoubtedly feel more athletic.

  • Start with your feet at shoulder width
  • Squat down to 90 degrees or lower
  • Forcefully explode up and launch your body off the ground as high as possible.
  • Land softly and proceed right back into a squat to immediately explode again.
  • There is no rest between each explosion.

If you’re more on the advanced side you can attempt pistol squats or single-leg explosive squats.

Bodyweight squats are a great way to spice up your routine and take your training to another level.


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