6 Ways to Upgrade a Basic Squat
Fitness experts agree that squats are one of the best moves you can do for your body. "Squats are the king of all exercises," says Los Angeles celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson. "They help chisel your core because, metabolically, they're your best friend. And don't get me started on what they do for your butt!" If you've already mastered the basic squat, try one of these upgraded moves to maximize your calorie-torching potential.
Build on a classic squat
A: Sit nice and deep, bringing hips to just below parallel.
B: Push into heels to rise to standing.
Do 3 to 5 sets of 12 to 20 reps; aim to squat it out 2 or 3 times a week.
A: Keep chest up and knees out as you lower down as far as possible.
B: Pause, then rise back to start.
To make it harder, try this move on your toes to target your calves. Read: no more cankles!
A: Lower down until back knee touches floor.
B: Drive off heel of left foot to stand. Do half of set on left side, then switch.
To make it harder, place your rear foot on a box to add a balance and stability challenge.
A: Once hips are slightly below parallel, jump up explosively, swinging arms behind you.
B: When you land, immediately lower back down.
To make it harder, add a knee tuck to the jump to engage your core more.
A: As you rise, drive right knee high while coming onto ball of left foot.
B: Do half of set on right side, then switch.
To make it harder, use a higher box; you'll have to squat lower to touch the floor.
A: Push hips back and sink into heels until thighs are just below parallel.
B: Push back up.
To make it harder, increase weight for more resistance, or do a shoulder press (upper body move!) after you rise back to standing.