A good squat workout will involve performing a series of one-legged and two-legged squats, both with weights in the hands and without. The squat workout is an integral part of any exercise program for athletes and the athletic-minded, from skiers to tennis players, from runners to cyclists. The squat workout works the muscles in the legs as well as in the back, and anyone participating in squat exercises may notice improved balance, core strength, and muscle growth. When planning a squat workout, one should consider using both one legged squats and two legged squats, and one should incorporate dumbbells into the squat routine as the user improves.
A plyometric squat workout will involve doing squat exercises coupled with jumping. One exercise involves doing a two-legged squat, then standing up sharply and continuing the motion into a jump. When the squatter lands from the jump, he or she will immediately go into a squatting motion again without a rest or stop in between. It is important to keep the knees bent during this exercise to prevent injury, particularly when landing from the jump.
Another plyometric squat is the one-legged diagonal jump. This exercise requires that the squatter have exceptional balance. To do this exercise, one should start with both feet on the ground, about hip width apart. Then the squatter will jump forward and to the right, landing only on the right foot. He or she will then squat on the one leg, hold the position, then rise and jump to the left, landing on the left foot only and repeating the process.
Other squats involve simply squatting and holding the position, then releasing. A good one-legged squat for the squat workout is the Bulgarian split squat. To execute this squat, one should stand with two feet on the ground. With a bench or raised platform behind the squatter, he or she will bend the left leg back so the left foot rests on the bench. The squatter will then squat on the right foot, the right leg bent at a ninety degree angle at the knee. Then he or she will rise to the standing position and repeat. Once several repetitions have been done on the right leg, the squatter will switch legs. To enhance this exercise, the squatter should hold dumbbells in each hand.
The simplest and most common squat is the sumo squat. This simply involves standing with the feet slightly farther than hip width apart, then dropping into a squatting position. At the bottom of the squat, the squatter should hold the position, then return to standing, ensuring that the back stays straight the entire time. Moving the feet farther apart will work different leg muscles, as will bringing the legs closer together.