38 Different Types of Bodyweight Squats: The Ultimate Guide | Yuri Elkaim

38 Different Types of Bodyweight Squats: The Ultimate Guide

38 Different Types of Bodyweight Squats

You’ve been squatting since the day you learned to walk – it’s one of the most important and functional of all human movements.

But did you know there’s more than one type of squat?

In fact, there are so many different types of squats you could literally do them every day for an entire month and never do the same kind twice.

Why You Need to Squat

Squats are one of the best exercises for building lower body strength and sculpting tight glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

They help improve pain-free mobility and flexibility by encouraging full extension and contraction throughout the hips.

And, importantly, they build foundational strength for almost every movement you do on a daily basis.

As anyone who has ever done squats knows, they’re also pretty intense. It’s that intensity that makes them an excellent fat-burning exercise, because of their ability to stimulate the release of growth hormone and testosterone (1).

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Squats can also improve your ability to run faster, jump higher, and perform any movement that involves lifting and bending. This is because they  develop some of your body’s largest muscles, while also helping improve balance by strengthening the stability muscles that help keep you upright.

All of these factors are especially true when you start to consider all of the different types of squats I’ll be showing you below.

Each focuses on improving overall lower body strength and mobility, while also targeting different areas of the glutes and legs to help you build your ideal physique.

38 Different Types of Squats (Bodyweight Only)

One thing is for sure: with all of these bodyweight squat variations, you’re not short on options and you definitely won’t be bored with squats after checking out this list.

Before we get started, keep in mind that you always want to maintain proper form while squatting. Throughout each movement, be sure to keep your chest lifted and spine neutral (no rounding forward), your weight in your heels and your glutes pushed back.

If you have a tendency to lean forward during your squats, you might benefit from using weight plates under your heels until your flexibility improves. If you find yourself feeling unstable or falling forward during any type of squat, try this technique out, which is demonstrated here.

For these exercises, aim to get anywhere from 8 to 20 reps and 2 to 3 sets of each, depending upon your workout schedule and how much time you have available.

1. Regular Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner

The standard squat sets the foundation for all of the squat variations you’ll see here. It’s also one of the most basic functional movements humans use on a daily basis for sitting and picking things up.

This tutorial shows you proper squat form and gets you comfortable with the movement.

2. Wall Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner

The wall squat combines an isometric hold against a wall with the regular squat, which is an excellent option to work on your leg strength while still going easy on your knees.

3. Narrow Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Narrow squats shorten your stance to put more emphasis on your quadricep muscles as you squat down. It’s a great variation to add to your regular squat routine to hit a different area of the leg.

4. Pulse Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner-advanced

Pulse squats are an amazing way to take regular squats to the next level.

They might not look as difficult as regular squats, but the small pulses add up to a killer burn for your entire lower body. This is because when you stay in a squat and pulse, you keep your lower body muscles under constant tension without rest.

5. Eccentric Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Eccentric squats focus on going slow and controlled during the lowering, or negative, portion of the squat.

This type of training increases strength and stability not only in the glutes but also in the various ligaments and tendons throughout your lower body. This equals better balance and increased power during other workouts.

6. Squat Walk

Level of difficulty: Beginner

The squat walk takes the burn of the wall squat hold to a new level. By staying low in a squat as you shuffle side-to-side, you strengthen and tone your entire lower body while also getting a deep burn in those glutes.

7. Lateral Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Lateral squats help increase flexibility through your groin muscles while simultaneously strengthening your adductors and core. This will help improve your mobility during day-to-day movements while sculpting lean legs.

This video also has two options: a slower, more beginner version of the lateral squat and a more intense version that gets your heart rate up to burn fat.

8. Sumo Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Sumo squats are excellent for targeting your inner and outer thighs, which, especially in women, tend to hold on to excess fat.

While it’s true you can’t reduce fat in one location, these squats will definitely help get your heart rate up to burn fat while you sculpt lean stems beneath.

9. Curtsy Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Curtsy squats shift focus to your inner and outer thighs, while also targeting your glute medius muscle that help give your bum that coveted lift.

In this video, you’ll see how to do a curtsy squat correctly, and even how to combine it with a side lunge to get your heart rate up for some extra burn.

10. Squat with Leg Raise

Level of difficulty: Beginner

This squat variation is a triple threat that lifts and tones your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, sculpts your outer thighs, and gets your heart rate elevated to help burn off stubborn fat.

11. Prisoner Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Prisoner squats are unique in that they not only work your entire lower body, but also help improve your posture by lengthening your spine and strengthening your core.

The positioning of this exercise also helps you work on your stability as you sculpt and tone your glutes, making it a great two-benefits-in-one exercise. Just be sure to focus on keeping your elbows back and shoulder blades together throughout the movement so you keep your spine safe.

12. Plie Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Plie squats aren’t just for ballerinas. These squats will give you an intense inner thigh burn due to their wide stance, while also thoroughly engaging and lifting your glutes.

Be sure to watch your knee alignment during these to get the full benefit.

13. Plie Squat Pulse

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Ready to take the burn of plie squats up a notch? Add in plie pulses. They may not look that difficult, but the burn throughout your thighs and glutes is intense. Plus, they’ll get your heart pumping, which will increase your fat burn.

14. Box Squats

Bodyweight Box Squat via Men's Health

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Box squats place more emphasis on the posterior, or backside, of the body, especially the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. This is because you’re fully lowering onto the box and briefly touching it, which takes away the momentum you might use in a regular squat to “spring” back to standing.

The result is a tighter backside, better balance, and better squat form.

15. Hindu Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Hindu squats look a bit different than other squat variations. They will challenge your balance while also working the muscles on the front side of your legs and core. Additionally, the relatively fast movement combined with a specific breathing pattern will give you some extra fat burn.

This video will walk you through proper form and technique, so don’t be afraid to give these a go.

16. Frog Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

The wide and low stance of the frog squat is perfect for working deep into your glute muscles for a firm lift, while also working the inner thighs and hamstrings. They’re also great for improving your flexibility.

17. Skater Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Skater squats are excellent for working your entire leg from the glutes down.

By staying on one leg instead of alternating legs during this exercise, you’ll be getting maximum engagement and burn in your thighs and butt, which equals a sleek and lifted lower body.

18. Mini Band Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

If you’re looking to get your glutes in the game, look no further than mini-band squats.

Adding a mini band to your thighs during a squat forces the glutes to activate to their fullest, which is important not only for toning and lifting, but also for preventing low back and knee pain. This is because the glute muscles help support the spine, and unfortunately can get weak over time from excessive sitting.

19. Bear Crawl Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Bear crawl squats are excellent for sculpting your glutes and core, while also teaching you how to perform and maintain correct squat form.

With this video, you’ll use a stick to challenge yourself to maintain control during your squat, which will have you feeling the burn in no time.

20. Squat Jacks

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Squat jacks transform squats into a high-intensity cardio exercise great for sculpting your entire lower body while burning fat. They are also a great beginner alternative to jump squats that will still have you feeling an intense burn.

21. Single-Leg Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

The single-leg squat will help sculpt your quadriceps along with your inner and outer thighs, while also improving your balance and stability.

Single-leg exercises are great for improving strength and evening out muscle imbalances so that you can maintain proper form in every movement you do in and out of the gym.

See the exercise here: Bodybuilding.com

22. Cossack Squat

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Cossack squats help improve hip mobility while also boosting single-leg strength and sculpting your glutes.

When your hips are more mobile, every movement becomes easier and your squat form improves, which leads to better physical results.

23. Eagle Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Inspired by yoga’s eagle pose, the eagle squat is a serious balance challenger and single-leg burner. You’ll sculpt lean stems while improving core strength, and even get in a great outer hip and glute stretch to improve mobility while you’re at it.

24. Sissy Squats

Level of difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

Sissy squats are excellent for focusing on sculpting the quadriceps.

They can also help improve your balance and core strength, since both are required as you lean back during this exercise.

25. Chair Squat On Toes

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Chair squats focus on toning your quadriceps and inner and outer thighs, while holding yourself up on your toes builds strong stability muscles that improve balance and mobility. The control required with this one will definitely have you feeling the burn.

26. Bulgarian Split Squat

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Bulgarian split squats allow you to get low and deep into your squat, which will help sculpt your entire leg and provide serious lift to your bum. Elevating one leg also increases your core strength.

27. Single-Leg Bench Squat

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

This exercise is excellent for building strength throughout your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It also puts your balance to the test by engaging your core to keep you upright.

With this one, feel free to discard the weights and just rely on your bodyweight.

28. Frog Squat to Plank

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Ready to scorch some fat while sculpting your booty and core?

This high-intensity move does exactly that. Frog squats focus on lifting your backside while planks carve out lean abdominal muscles as your heart gets pumping.

29. Supported Pistol Squat

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

The supported pistol squat is a great variation to help you gain the strength and mobility needed to master a full pistol squat. Both will sculpt your legs and bum while also improving your core strength, and this video shows you exactly how to do it, along with various progressions.

30. Pistol Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Pistol squats are not only going to give you sculpted, athletic legs, but they’ll also greatly improve your flexibility and hip mobility. Doing them correctly requires a ton of balance as well, so be prepared to also engage your core.

31. Rolling Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

While these might look pretty easy – and even fun – at first glance, you’ll quickly notice the glute and leg strength it takes to power up into a squat from the bottom of this movement.

Rolling squats will sculpt your booty and get your heart rate up for some extra fat burn. Not to mention, your abs will get in a great workout from all that rolling.

32. Overhead Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Overhead squats are a full-body exercise that requires your glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, lats, shoulders, and even your calves to be properly engaged to perform the movement.

Because they require so many muscles to be engaged at the same time, they’re often used as a movement screen by personal trainers. As a result, they’re great for improving total-body mobility and flexibility.

Not to mention, doing overhead squats regularly will tone your legs while also improving your core strength and strengthening your low back.

33. Rolling Pistol Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Rolling pistol squats give you all of the leg and glute-toning benefits of regular pistol squats, but with a cardio twist. By rolling and quickly switching from one leg to the other, you get a burn throughout your legs, bum, and core while also getting your heart rate up to burn fat.

34. Jump Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

There’s no burn like the burn you experience doing jump squats.

These squats will tone your entire lower body in record time, while also melting fat and building explosive strength. This will improve your power during any movement, while also increasing your metabolic rate to burn more calories even at rest.

35. Bench Jump Squats

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Bench jump squats literally take regular jump squats up a level by having you land on top of a bench or box. This will greatly improve your lower body strength while lifting your glutes, and also makes one heck of a high-intensity cardio exercise to melt fat.

36. Chair Frog Squats

Chair Frog Squats via Men's Health

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

This exercise combines the frog squat with the chair squat to work your inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, and core.

Plus, jumping between the two will help you develop power throughout your lower body and get your heart rate up to torch calories.

See the exercise here: Men’s Health

37. Forward Squat Jumps

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

Forward squat jumps will help develop your backside, increase your explosive strength and power, and improve your balance and agility. As a bonus, they’ll also burn calories and have your legs burning after only a couple leaps.

38. Squat Tuck Jumps

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-advanced

This exercise will blast your entire lower body, lifting your glutes and sculpting your thighs while developing a solid core. Not to mention, the power required to move from a squat to a tuck jump will burn major calories to melt away fat.

Bodyweight Squat Workouts

Do these workouts 2 to 3 times a week for best results. You can either use them as standalone workouts by doing more sets, or add them into your regular routine as finishers for an extra burn.

Squat HIIT Workout

Warm up with a 5- to 10-minute dynamic warm up.

Repeat each circuit 1 to 2 times through, with no more than a 30-second rest between exercises to keep the intensity (and fat burning) up.

For example, go through circuit 1, rest for 60 seconds, go through circuit 2, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat.

Circuit 1:

  • Squat jacks, 10 to 15 reps
  • Bulgarian split squat, 10 to 12 reps each leg
  • Pushups, 10 reps
  • Hindu squats, 10 to 15 reps
  • Overhead squat, 10 to 15 reps
  • 60 second rest

Circuit 2:

  • Sumo squat, 10 to 15 reps
  • Supported pistol squat, 10 reps each leg
  • Plank T–stabs, 8-10 reps
  • Plie squat pulse, 30 seconds
  • High knees, 30 seconds
  • 60 second rest

Squat Finisher Workout

Add this workout to the end of your regular lower body workouts 2 to 3 times a week for an extra burn.

Go through the circuit 2 to 3 times, with minimal rest between exercises.

  • Box squats, 30 seconds
  • Frog squats with plank, 30 seconds
  • Jump squats, 30 seconds

Mix Up Your Squats

As you can see, it’s almost impossible to get bored with squats when you have so many options available.

Again, don’t be afraid to switch up squat variations during your workouts and to keep challenging yourself with more advanced versions as you progress.

Your backside will love you for it.

No-Equipment-Needed Workout!

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get a body-sculpting, fat-burning workout. Let me show you how.

Download my 6-exercise Bodyweight Circuit Workout. It’s a $29 value … but you can get it for FREE!

This 20-minute workout includes an instructional video, workout tracker, and follow-along audio.

Just click the image below to download it right now!

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