Bodyweight Squat Exercise Guide
Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Printable version
Squats are designed to build strength using gravity as resistance. This exercise engages your quads, glutes and core, particularly building strength in the legs. Squats can be made more difficult by performing them with weights, either held close to the chest, by your sides or resting on your shoulders or back.
How to do Bodyweight Squat
Stand with weapons stretched forward.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart on a flat level surface. This will be your starting position. Begin the movement by sitting your hips back, bending your knees and push them out to the sides a little, whilst keeping you head looking forwards at eye height and your chest up. Your heels should stay in contact with the floor and your weight should be centered, mid-foot. Continue down until your hips are level with your knees and your thighs are parallel (or as low to this as your mobility will allow). At the same time, raise your arms out straight in front of you to shoulder height. This helps offset the weight of your hips sitting back behind you. This is the bottom of the squat, and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. As you squat, keep your head and chest up and push your knees out.
When you grow more familiar with the squat type, practice the squats with a weight such as a dumbbell, kettlebell or medicine ring.
When you're only practicing the squat form, reduce the breadth in the exercise. When you can't do repetitive squats, consider performing a squat hold âĢĶ drop as far as you can and then keep it for as long as you can.
Keep head facing forward, back straight, chest high, and feet flat on surface; equal distribution of weight through forefoot and heel. Knees should point same direction as feet throughout movement. Arms positioned forward allow torso to be positioned more upright.
Avoid letting knees slide past toes when descending.
Learn how to do bodyweight squat from this step-by-step illustrations:
The muscles used for bodyweight squat may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for bodyweight squat are:
- Spinal Erectors
- Hip Adductors
Frequently Asked Questions
Training, Progressions and Regressions
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Bodyweight Squat Training and Progressions
Standards and Averages
Wonder how do others perform in Bodyweight Squat and how should you?
Bodyweight Squat Standards and Averages
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Wonder how to make Bodyweight Squat either easier or more challenging?
|Type(s)||Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength, Compound|
|Muscles Worked||Gastrocnemius, Biceps Femoris, Quadriceps, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Soleus, Hip Abductors|
|Difficulty Level(s)||Basic, Easy, Simple|
|Location||At Gym, At Home, Outdoor|
|Target muscle(s)||Calves, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Glutes, Spinal Erectors|
|Synergyst muscle(s)||Soleus, Hip Adductors|