Squat Exercises Photo Gallery

How many ways can you do squats? Turns out, more than you may think. Basic squats are excellent for the butt, hips, thighs, and calves but they can get a little boring over time, especially if you need to add a little intensity. This photo gallery shows just how many variations are available from the easiest (chair or assisted squats) to the hardest (one-legged squats). When creating a lower body workout, try new kinds of squats on a regular basis to challenge both your mind and your body.

Chair Squat

Chair squat
Ben Goldstein

The chair squat is a great way to learn proper form while having some support. The chair forces you to keep your knees behind your toes.

The chair squat is a great way to learn proper form while having some support. The chair forces you to keep your knees behind your toes and it's always there if you lose your balance and need to sit down. This is a great choice for beginners but you can make it more difficult by squatting down until you're just above the chair.

Detailed Instructions

Medicine Ball Squat

Visit the 10-Minute Strength Training Workout and scroll down to view this exercise.

Floor Squat

Floor squat.

The floor squat with a ball or chair is another good choice for beginners who want to practice their form without the added intensity of weights.

This Beginner Strength Workout provides details for this exercise.

Assisted Squats

Assisted Squat.

This version of a squat allows you to keep good form as you squat lower, without having to worry about falling over. Make sure the towel or strap is very secure. :-)

Detailed Instructions

Ball Squat

Ball Squat.

The Ball Squat is the perfect choice if you're a beginner, have back problems or just want to try something new. The ball adds support for your back so you can squat a bit lower. Be sure to walk the feet out so that the knees stay behind the toes.

Detailed Instructions

Tiptoe Squat

Tiptoe Squat.

The tiptoe squat is harder than it looks! By staying on your tiptoes and keeping the hands on the floor, you'll really feel this in your quads. This is a great body weight exercise when you don't have any equipment available.

View this exercise in my Travel Workout

Squat with Side Step

Squat with Side Step.

This exercise combines a squat with a side step while holding a resistance tube, which targets the outer thigh as you step out to the side. You can also keep tension in the tube while squatting to add intensity.

Detailed instructions.

Ball Squat with Medicine Ball

Ball Squat with Medicine Ball.

By combining a squat with an inner thigh squeeze, you'll engage every muscle in the lower body for a challenging exercise.

Detailed Instructions

Squat with One Dumbbell

Squat with One Dumbbell.

Holding a weight is one way to add intensity to the basic squat and a bit easier than holding two weights (see the Squat with Dumbbells) or using a barbell. Make sure you keep the abs in and the back straight as you squat down rather than rounding forward.

Detailed Instructions

Squat with Dumbbells

Squat with Dumbbells.

Adding dumbbells is just one more way to add intensity to the move and may be a bit easier than barbell squats, depending on the weight you're using. Holding them just above the shoulders will also challenge the arms, but you can hold them at your sides as well.

.Detailed Instructions

Barbell Squat

Barbell Squat.

The barbell squat is a more advanced exercise, allowing you to use heavier weights to really challenge the legs. Be sure to use a weight you can handle safely or use a spotter or a Smith Machine if you're going very heavy.

Detailed Instructions

Plie Squat on Toes

Plie Squat on Toes.

This version of plie squats not only targets the inner thighs, it also involves the calves for a multi-muscle extravaganza. By staying on the toes, you'll really feel this in your entire lower body.

Plie Squat

Plie Squat.

By taking the legs wide and the toes out, you'll fire more muscle fibers in the inner thighs. Keep the knees in line with the toes to protect the knees and really push through the heels as you push up. Kitty not included.

Detailed Instructions

Plie Squat with Barbell

The plie squat is another version of traditional squats in which you take the legs wide and the toes out to fire the inner thigh muscles. You can hold a medium-weight barbell over the front of the shoulders for added intensity. Be sure to keep the knees in line with the toes.

Visit this informational article that includes effective exercises for the lower body for detailed instructions and more ideas for how to work the lower body.

One-Leg Ball Squat

Ball Squat
Paige Waehner

This is a more advanced version of the ball squat and requires a tremendous amount of balance. By working on one leg, you challenge the working leg as well as the core.

Visit my Quick Fix Lower Body Workout to view instructions for this exercise as well as how you can fit it into a complete total body workout.

One-Legged Front Squat on Step

One-Legged Front Squat on Step.

This front squat is all about quad strength and requires perfect form in order to protect your knees. Make sure you keep the knee behind the toe on the working leg.

Visit my Hips, Butt & Thighs Workout for detailed instructions and ideas for how to fit this exercise into a complete lower body workout.

One-Legged Bent Over Squat with Leg Lift

One-Legged Bent Over Squat with Leg Lift.

This is a great exercise targeting multiple muscle groups without any equipment. In this exercise, you perform a one-legged squat with a leg lift so both legs are working. Because you're bent over, your abs and back will also get involved to help stabilize you. Be sure to keep the hips square throughout the movement.

Visit my No Equipment Travel Workout to view more exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.