What are bodyweight squats?
If you work out, chances are that you must have done squats at least once during your workout routine. Squats are an immensely popular exercise that has great health benefits. What’s more, they help you look good too!
So what are bodyweight squats? Simply put, bodyweight squats also known as BW squats are squats done using your body weight as resistance. Doing a body squat workout doesn’t need any equipment and is the most basic form of squats.
How are bodyweight squats done?
If you have never done body squats or want to refresh your posture-related knowledge, here’s how you can perfect this amazing exercise.
Follow these steps for bodyweight squats exercise:
- Stand tall with feet a little wider than the width of your shoulders.
- Rollback your shoulders and straighten your spine. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the bodyweight squat exercise.
- Gently extend your arms out in the front. They should be parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
- Inhale and bring your hips back slightly.
- Keep sending your hips backwards while bending your knees.
- While you are bending your knees, keep your chest and shoulders upright and back straight.
- Keep your thighs parallel or almost parallel to the floor.
- Keep your head stable and gaze ahead.
- Remember, the best squat is the one that goes deep. An optimal BW squat is the one where your hips sink below your knees.
- Now engage your core while putting your body weight in heels, get back to the standing position.
Sets and reps: You can begin by performing 3-4 sets of 15-18 reps of full body squats and gradually increase them.
Which are some variations of bodyweight squats?
While the basic body squat workout is extremely beneficial in itself, there are several great variations of this exercise.
These are some of the best body squat workout variations to try:
- Pistol squat: This bodyweight squat is a single-leg squat that develops your mobility, balance, and strength. This is how this bodyweight squat exercise is done:
- Stand straight with your feet together and stretch out your arms in the front.
- Lift your right leg slowly and squat down on your left.
- Try to lower yourself till your right leg is parallel to the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Frog Squat: This bodyweight squat workout is an interesting variation that builds your lower body strength and helps improve your posture and reduce joint stiffness and pain.
- Get into the basic bodyweight squat pose.
- Place your elbows inside your thighs and clasp your hands together.
- While keeping your back straight and core engaged, lean forward from the hips.
- Stop short of a complete leg extension and keep your knees bent.
- Get back to the starting position.
- Sidekick squat: This variation of bodyweight squats with a lateral kick challenges your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. This also gets your heart rate up and helps burn extra calories.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and lower your hips into a deep squat. Keep the weight in your heels.
- Hold the pose for 8-10 seconds and rise back.
- Straighten your legs and lift the right leg onto the side in a kick.
- Bring your leg back and get into the squat position again.
- Stand up again and do a lateral kick with the left leg.
- Return to the starting position.
- Surrender squat: This is an advanced bodyweight squat variation that makes your cardiac system healthy and improves your balance and functionality.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands behind your head.
- Keep your core engaged and back straight, push back your hips and lower into a squat.
- Kneel with your right knee and then bring your left knee down on the mat.
- Lift your right foot and place it in the front. Follow this by bringing your left foot in the front.
- Return to the squat position.
What are the benefits of bodyweight squats?
Body squats are an excellent strength exercise that has amazing benefits for both your body and mind. It is one of the few exercises that challenge almost all the important muscles in your body. These include your quadriceps, adductor, hip flexors, gluteus maximus, minimus, & medius, and calves.
Here are some of the most important benefits of bodyweight squats:
- Be it walking, sitting, turning, or standing, your core forms the foundation of every movement that you make. Bodyweight squats improve your core strength by activating your muscles. This also helps in maintaining a good posture and reducing posture-related pains.
- Bodyweight squats enhance your mobility, functionality and range of motion. This makes you more active and agile and lets you do your daily activities easily. This adds to the quality of your life.
- An important benefit of bodyweight squats is that it helps you get to your optimum weight by letting your burn more calories. This is an excellent weight loss exercise that not just gives you a toned appearance but also saves you from obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart diseases, and kidney problems.
- By helping you strengthen your lower body muscles, bodyweight squats help prevent accidents and falls. This is especially beneficial for seniors or those who are recovering from an injury or surgery.
- Bodyweight squats are simple exercises that don’t need fancy equipment or too much space. They can be easily integrated in your workout at home.
Which are some common bodyweight squats mistakes to avoid?
Doing full body squats the wrong way can cause injuries and muscle strains, here is how you can get the perfect bodyweight squat form:
- For the best bodyweight squat form, press through your heels and never squat on your tiptoes.
- Keep your knees stable without allowing them to wobble.
- Keep your back straight and engage your core.
Bodyweight squats are a functional exercise that not just add strength but also make doing daily chores a breeze. The key to gaining all these benefits of a bodyweight squat workout is not always to stick to the basics. It is important to try their variations and keep challenging your muscles.
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