No one really likes them but there’s no way you can get a toned lower body without squats. Fitness trainers and experts worldwide recommend them, giving umpteen reasons to add squats to your workout routine.

Squats can help build muscle, burn fat, increase strength and protect against disease. Variations of squat exercises ensure that you work out different muscles.

We all know the basic body weight squat. Doing it is easy. Stand as tall as you can, your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause and slowly push yourself back to the starting position.

After mastering this basic squat, mix up your squat workout with these variations:

  1. Body weight jump squat: 

    Put your fingers on the back of your head. Pull back your elbows till they’re in line with your body. Dip your knees and then jump as high as you can. Squat and jump again.Body weight jump squat

  2. Dumbbell split squat: 

    Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing each other. Stand in a staggered stance. Your left foot must be in front of the right. Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as you can. Switch legs and repeat.

  3. Braced squat: 

    Hold a weight plate in front of your chest with both hands. Keep your hands absolutely straight. Perform a squat, holding the weight in place.Braced squat

  4. Pistol squat: 

    Stand with arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level.Raise your right leg off the floor and hold. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.

  5. Yoga Squat: 

    Stand with your feet touching. Rise on your toes. Bend your knees and lower yourself until your glutes touch the back of your heels and then stand back up. Stay balanced on your toes for the entire squat. Pair this with other yoga poses that help tone the thighs for the best results.Yoga squat

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Written by Shaik Moyeenuddin

Shaik Moyeenuddin

A fitness enthusiast from a young age, Shaik Moyeenuddin was so inspired by workouts that the former MBA decided that crunches had to become his career. An ACE-certified fitness specialist, he is also a Body Transformation Specialist certified by Physique Elite and regular contributor to publications like Stayfit, Fitness Guru, Pulse and He believes his productivity has gone up along with his push-up count, and says he feels “younger, smarter and more confident” than ever at this stage in his life. Calling himself more a coach than trainer, his goal is to inspire HealthifyMe users to appreciate how fitness can be a transforming experience. Trainer to CEOs and politicians today, Shaik evaluates fitness levels based on a client’s approach to life, lifestyle and strength, for which he tests their muscle endurance, core strength, agility, speed, cardio-vascular strength and balance. His advice to fitness buffs? Eat healthy and don’t tie yourself to targets, enjoy your workout instead.

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