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🦵🦵Fun Squats to shake up your routine for all skill levels

Working out with squats is undeniable a core foundation for building strength, mobility, balance, and muscle for your lower body.

But most of the time, we skip this part since it isn’t any fun. It feels like a chore.

But it shouldn’t be that way!

Here are 7 squat variations to develop your quads, glutes, and hamstrings strength, muscles and mobility at the comforts of your own home:

  • ✅ Shoulder Stand Squat
  • ✅ Assisted Squat
  • ✅ Box Squat
  • ✅ Close Squat
  • ✅ Split Squat
  • ✅ Bulgarian Split Squat
  • ✅ Negative Pistol Squat

Choose the squat variation appropriate to your skill level and work on 3 – 4 sets of the exercise. Aim to do 1 – 2 rep short of failure to induce muscle and strength growth.

Don’t forget to tag a friend and challenge them to a squat progression!

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🤜 Shoulder Stand Squat

For those starting out with their leg training and not comfortable with regular squats yet, this variation teaches you the motion with just the right amount of resistance. With the entire weight on the shoulders and the trapezius muscles, this exercise strengthens the quadriceps as the knees are straightened using gravity as the main resistance. They also work balance and core strength which you will eventually need to perform the other squat variations.

👍How to perform:

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet touching the floor and hands by your side.
  2. Lift your buttocks with your hands till you come to a shoulder stand position. Head, neck and shoulders rest on the floor.
  3. Slowly straighten your legs upwards till your hips, knees and ankle are in straight line.
  4. Then bend your knees again to 90 degrees.
  5. Repeat per specified repetitions.

🤜 Assisted Squats

When you’re comfortable with the squatting motion, you can move towards the assisted squats. With this exercise, you’re already working with body weight as resistance but you will be assisted with your upper body to complete the motion.

In the meantime, your upper body will also be bearing some of your weight while your legs are still getting stronger.

👍How to perform:

  1. Hold on to a stable object (without wheels) like a rack or the back of a chair, placed at arm’s length for minimal support.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Stand straight with eyes, knees, and toes pointing straight ahead.
  4. Bend your hips and knees to lower your body as if attempting to sit.
  5. Go down as low as you can without curving your back. Eventually, you want to go until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  6. Come back slowly to the starting position.
  7. Repeat per specified repetitions.

🤜 Box Squat

You don’t necessarily need a specific box exercise for this exercise. All you need is a couch or chair with just enough height to help move through the motion of the box squat.

Box squat helps you progress by adjusting the range of motion you can move through with your squat. While you’re still building strength for a regular squat, you can use this exercise to bridge the strength and mobility required for the exercise. 

👍How to perform:

  1. Stand with a wide stance with a knee height box behind you.
  2. Attempt to sit on the box by bending your knees.
  3. Go lower till the thighs are almost parallel to the floor and hips are pointing down and back.
  4. Simultaneously move both hands forward to maintain balance.
  5. Come back up while keeping your spine straight.
  6. Repeat the last three steps.

🤜 Close Squat

Interested to shift a bit of your focus to your quads, then this would be the exercise for you. The motion is similar to the regular squat with the apparent difference in the stance. This would position will focus more on your quads compared to your glutes. It will also improve your hip and ankle mobility which has skill transfer for the pistol squats.

👍How to perform:

  1. Stand straight with eyes, knees, and toes pointing ahead.
  2. Place your feet close together.
  3. Clasp your hands in front of your chest to maintain balance.
  4. Bend at the hips and knees till thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. Push through the heels and come back up slowly.
  6. Repeat the last two steps.

🤜 Split Squat

A great unilateral exercise to spice up your squat game. With split squats, you’ll be able to work on weaknesses on your non-dominant leg. Let’s be real, we’ll also have a dominant part. We need to strengthen the non-dominant one to create balance and avoid any muscle imbalances.

👍How to perform:

  1. Stand with one foot in front of the other.
  2. Stand straight with eyes, knees and toes pointing straight ahead.
  3. Heel of back foot is off the floor.
  4. Clasp your hands in front of the chest to maintain balance.
  5. Bend the front hip and knee to lower the body till front knee is in line with the toes.
  6. Back knee touches the floor.
  7. Come up by extending the front hip and knee.
  8. Repeat the last three steps with other leg in front.

🤜 Bulgarian Squat

Bulgarian Split Squats are an effective lower body strengthening exercise for those who find regular squats too strenuous for their back. This movement primarily targets the quadriceps of the weight-bearing leg. Compared to split squats, this exercise puts a heavier load since the other leg would be only assisting for balance. Flexibility of the hip and ankle joint is a must for doing this exercise correctly.

👍How to perform:

  1. Stand straight with a knee height box placed about one and half feet behind you.
  2. Looking ahead with hands clasped in front of your chest, place one foot on the box behind you.
  3. Bend the front knee till it’s over the toes and the back knee is just above the floor.
  4. Tilt chest forward while going down.
  5. Come up slowly by straightening the front knee.
  6. Repeat the last three steps with the other leg.

🤜 Negative Pistol Squat

You think squats are still easy? Try Negative pistol squats. This is a great mix of strength and mobility enhancement in a single exercise. Starting out with negatives allows you to recruit the involved muscles as well as train your balance while the full concentric portion of pistol squats is still difficult.

👍How to perform:

  1. Stand on one leg, with arms wide open for balance.
  2. The other leg is straight in front.
  3. Bend the knee of the standing leg to come into full squat position.
  4. Come up by pushing through both feet and straightening the knees.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.


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