The squat is often touted as one of the best exercises you can do for overall fitness. The squat develops upper- and lower-body strength, core strength, endurance, and flexibility. And if you think about it, the movement is something we do on a daily basis, from sitting on a desk chair to getting up from the couch.
But as with any common exercise, squats can get pretty boring after your third set. We turned to John A. Morris of Mint DC to whip up some modifications that will add a little oomph to your everyday squat.
Exercise 1: Kettlebell Deadlift and Squat
Reps: 3 x 15
Stand with feet slightly more than hip-width apart on an elevated surface (such as the last step on your stairs at home). While holding a kettlebell or dumbbell, slowly bend forward, keeping legs straight with a slight bend in the knee. Then lower into a squat. Straighten legs again, return to standing position, and repeat.
Exercise 2: Single-Arm Cable* Reverse Fly With Curtsy Squat*
Reps: 2-3 x 10-15
Stand next to a cable crossover machine, feet slightly more than hip-width apart and opposite hand grasping the cable’s handle. Step your inside leg behind you and squat down while pulling the cable out. Stand slowly to starting position and repeat. After 15 reps, switch sides.
*If you don’t have access to a cable crossover machine, you can still perform the curtsy squat while holding a light dumbbell in your hand.
Exercise 3: Uneven Squat
Reps: 3 x 15
Place one foot on an elevated surface (such as your stairs at home). Stand with feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Squat down—you’ll feel a deeper burn in the quad and hamstring of your elevated leg. Stand and repeat. After 15 reps, switch legs.