Want to strengthen your muscles? Do squats. Want to work out your lower body? Do squats. Want to shape up your body? Do squats. In short, squats are everywhere if you look for any fitness-related solution. Some like to keep things simple while some like to challenge their limits of squat routine. That’s when they decide to lift the weight while squatting down their body. But you just can’t get up one day and decide to lift those heavy weights; you’ll end up injured. There is a right technique for everything and basic preparation that should be done beforehand.
In this article, you’ll find the right technique that you have to master to become a pro in weighted squats. So, let’s dive in.
What are squats?
Squats are the physical exercise that tones up your lower body muscles while burning calories. It also helps in shaping your buttocks and makes your body flexible. There is a right position to perform squats, and if you fail to do so, you are looking at a serious spine or knee injury.
So, wondering how to perform a basic weighted squat? Here are the steps.
Step 1: Stand with your both feet shoulder-width apart, with a straight back and knees pointing forward.
Step 2: Settle yourself in the above position while holding weights (precisely dumbbells in this case) in both of your hands and start bringing your knees down to a 90-degree angle.
Step 3: When you feel the tension in your glutes and thigh muscles, take a pause and then return to the starting position.
If you are a pro in squats, you must be familiar with your weight limit. If you are a beginner, start by holding low-weight dumbbells or barbells, then keep adding on with the passage of time. Only jump to next level weighted squats, which usually require gym equipment, when you feel your body is ready for it. You can add many variations to your weighted squats, which will benefit you even more. Here we suggest a few of these variations that can lighten up your typical squat routine and can burn more calories as well.
1. Goblet squat
A great variation of weighted squats strengthens both your quads and core muscles. To perform these squats:
- Stand straight; toes pointed out at like 5-10 degrees, and feet should be placed wider than shoulder-width.
- Hold your dumbbell/kettlebell at chest level. Keeping your core tight, start moving your body slowly down into a squat position, moving your hips outwards, while your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Put your body weight on your heels while standing back to your initial position.
2. Split squat
Do you want to improve the balance and mobility of your body, while strengthening lower body muscles? Then this kind of weighted squats is a good fit for you.
- Stand ahead of a bench, and place the top of one of your feet on the edge of the bench.
- Now move your other leg in the forward direction and hold your dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands.
- Start bending your forward leg while keeping your core muscles uptight, until your thigh becomes parallel with the ground.
- Keep your feet balanced and strongly on the ground and return to your original position to repeat.
3. Dumbbell Thruster
It is known to be a total body exercise. It strengthens the muscles of your shoulder, triceps, hamstring, core, glutes, and quadriceps.
- After setting yourself in a standard squat position, hold your dumbbells in both your hands right above your shoulders.
- Now start bending down to perform squats while keeping your hands with dumbbells in the same position.
- Now get your body back to a straight standing position, but move your hands upwards until you feel resistance in your shoulder muscles.
- Repeat and take a rest after every set.
4. Sumo squat
Strengthening your lower body muscles in a go is a piece of cake with this exercise. Quadriceps, hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and lower-back muscles; all these muscles get worked out during this variation of squats.
- Stand straight while keeping your feet way wider than your hip width, that your toes should be pointing outwards.
- Hold dumbbells or kettlebells in front of your chest, in close proximity.
- Lower down your hips deeply by bending your knees and putting all your weight on your heels.
- Rise up. Straighten your body before going for another repeat.
5. Landmine squats
This kind of squat is highly recommended for heavy weightlifters. It works your glutes, quads, core, and upper back muscles, simultaneously.
- Position yourself in a way that your feet are hip-width apart and you are facing toward the landmine.
- Hold the end of the landmine containing specific weights with your both hands and bring the landmine in level with your chest.
- Keep fingers of both hands interlocked on the end of the landmine.
- Keep your chest upright and back straight, and lower down your body into a typical squat position.
- Press your heels firmly to the ground while returning back to the initial position.
6. Barbell back/front squat
As the name suggests, it works your back muscles of the lower body along with hamstrings and glute muscles.
- Add the number of weights you feel comfortable carrying on the racked bar and place those barbells right above your shoulders.
- Move a few steps forward, so that your body can have room to perform a squat but your arms can also be able to hold those barbells.
- Now lean down in a squat position, taking those barbells down with you.
- Get back up and repeat.
- For the front barbell squat, you just have to move backward from the racked bar, a few steps and then perform all the above steps.
Few safety tips
You must now be familiar with all of the variations you can add up in your weighted squats routine; but there are few safety tips that you should always follow.
- Always warm up your body before doing squats
- Keep your heels firmly on the ground; your toes shouldn’t be the one taking up the whole weight of your body
- Keep your feet and knees aligned
- Keep your back and head straight
- Take a break after every set
- Eat healthily and keep yourself hydrated
Squats, whether basic or weighted ones, work quite well for your body muscles. But, it is an undeniable fact, “The more the merrier”. So, adding weights to your squats can really level up your fitness routine. And with such variety, you’ll never get tired of squats. Just be careful about your form, weight choices, and possible injuries. If you are cautious about certain things, you are good to go, mate.
I look up to fitness as a lifestyle and love to pen down about it. I have 2 years of experience in content writing and I am here to share my research and knowledge on health and fitness.