Squat Variations Part 1: Foot Positions

Squats are one of my favorite exercises to work the lower body. You need to be able to get up from a chair (or toilet) your entire life. This makes it a functional exercise that should be incorporated into any fitness routine.

One of the top complaints I hear about squats is “They hurt my knees!”.  Well, they do hurt your knees if you do them wrong.  Do them right, they will actually help strengthen the muscles around your knees.

*The key is to start simple and modify the squat.

Modified Squat:  Keep your hips back behind your toes and use your arms for counter balance.

Full Squat:  When you feel successful with the modified squat, take it down more.   Only go down as far as you can without losing form, this is about it for me when my feet are shoulder width.

Wide Squat:  Feet wider than shoulder width will focus on inner thighs more.

Closed Squats:  Focus on outer thigh more.  Don’t let your knees go over your toes.

Staggered Squat:  Take a half step forward with one foot.  One side is always easier.  Do a few more repetitions on the weaker side.

You want to do as many as you can with good form. You should always feel “the burn” when you are done.  Don’t be afraid to add resistance or change the tempo of the exercise.

In part 2, I will show you how to incorporate balance and movement into your squats.

*Consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.

Hope you are having a nice weekend!


6 thoughts on “Squat Variations Part 1: Foot Positions

  1. Hi! Can you please explain to me what functional training can do for me? By the way, I like these exercise! Will they be helpful for people with left hip pain? I’ve been having them this week and pain meds aren’t helping yet…unless I have to take them for one week? I know, see the doctor.

    • Yes, see a doctor. 🙂 If you are ok’d, then start with the modified squat. You can do modified wide, and closed squat too. Functional training is specific strengthening for the things, activities, sports, etc. that you do.

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