The almighty squat is made up of so many workouts for a reason – for many reasons. It is an effective lower body exercise that trains a number of muscles simultaneously, including buttock muscles, quads and the core. You do not need any equipment to perform squats in their most basic form – your body weight and gravity give you all the resistance you need – but you can easily add free weights or resistance bands ] if you want to continue demanding and developing muscle mass and strength. The squat is a very functional exercise that is, it trains a movement pattern you use in everyday life (you should squat if you try to lift something heavy off the ground).
Different squats serve different purposes.
There are many different types of squats that you can perform, which means that there are so many squat variations that you can try to find some that work well for you and your body Aims.
While all squats are lower body exercises, different types of squats target your muscles slightly differently. For example, if your legs are farther apart in a squat position, you will work your inner thighs and glutes slightly more than your quads. If a stocky variation contains upper body movement, such as overhead printing, add some shoulder and arm work to the equation. Squat variations containing a plyometric component of – like a jump – will quickly increase your heart rate and make it suitable for the cardiovascular system in addition to strengthening the lower body.
When it comes to adding equipment, squats are used really versatile. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell or resistance bands to increase the resistance against which you work. It really depends on what you feel most comfortable with and maybe even what is available in your gym.
Let's talk about the good squat form.
There is really no definite right or wrong answer in terms of how far you should squat. How deep you can squat depends on many variables, including your hip and the ankle mobility . As you squat deeper, more muscle is needed than just an inch or two lower. But remember to squat as low as your mobility allows. If the heels lift off the ground or the hull curves forwards, this is a good place to stop. If you can not bring your hips down so far that your thighs are parallel to the ground, that's fine. You're definitely still working on your legs and muscles and torso, and as you get stronger and walk through it more often, you'll probably be able to squat over time until your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground, great. If not, do not force it. It is always better to keep a good shape when you reach a certain depth.
Speaking of good form. When squatting, it is really important to think about how to bend the upper body from the hips forward (referred to as the hip joint) and push the butt to the wall behind you. In this way, you will put a lot of your weight on the heels, which will help to relieve the stress on your knees. If your weight is too far forward, you can finally feel it in your knees, which you do not want. You want to feel it in your glutes and quads. When you pivot forward, you'll keep your core engaging so your back is flat and not curved forward or rounded.
Another important note: Do not allow your knees to hang inward on both the lower and upper part of the squat. That's another great way to get aching knees. If you can, look at a few repetitions in the mirror. Your knees should stay roughly on the line with your second toe on each foot. When your knees collapse, push them out a little as you bend and stretch. If you have trouble keeping your knees in, lower the weights and stick to the body weight squats until you are able to do so.
Here are 17 squats to try on your next workout.  Before we dive into all squat variations below, you should know that this is not an exhaustive list of squats. There are many more squat variations, but these are just a few to get you started. Most of these different types of squats can be done with or without weights, depending on what you feel on a particular day. (Be careful when adding weights to the bouncing squats – you should do this only if you are an advanced athlete, and even then you definitely do not want to carry a heavy load if you are already affecting your joints by jumping.)  Besides, we do not suggest that you do all those squats at once. If you did, you would be pretty ill. The best way to add them to your routine depends on your goals. For example, if you try to add cardio to an otherwise force-oriented workout, perform one of the jumping squat variations between the other moves. If you want to work hard in your lower body, choose the squat that sounds best for you (see each description for a list of muscles targeted for variation) and choose your workout for each type of squat call. If you just want to burn out your buttocks at the end of your workout, combine a non-jumping squat with a jumping squat and do 10-15 reps back to back. Then repeat this two to three times.
Demoing the movements below are Amanda Wheeler a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength an online women's training group serving the LGBTQ community and her allies; Cookie Janee a background investigator and security specialist in the Air Force Reserve; Teresa Hui a native New Yorker who has contested more than 150 road races, including 16 full marathons; Rachel Denis a powerlifter competing with USA Powerlifting and holding several records in the state of New York. Crystal Williams a group coach and trainer who teaches in residential and business centers in New York City; Amanda Gilliam a super heavyweight woman who competes in both open and master Olympic weightlifting and founding of Big Girl Barbell a fat-positive, body-positive space in weightlifting; Rosimer Suarez, a teacher from New York City, lives in Oklahoma City and loves strength training and HIIT training to feel strong and have control of her thyroid. and Alyssa Marsh a senior club manager at Blink Fitness, Flywheel Sports Instructor and USA Boxing Amateur Fighter in Philadelphia.