3 Squat Exercises That Work Your Butt and Thighs

It’s common for people to only focus on their upper body when working out. Who doesn’t want nice abs and strong biceps? It seems to be a trend to completely forget about our lower body, men and women alike. We are all guilty of spending one too many days on crunches and arm curls and not enough on squats and a nice leg press regimen. So lets put a stop to it! It’s time to kick the excuses and indulge in the benefits of the squat; here are three that you must try.

1. Basic squat

A woman performing a basic squat

A woman performing a basic squat | iStock.com

The basic squat is exactly where you can start to reap the benefits and feel the burn. Try doing three sets of 12 to 15. Greatist notes the proper form to get the most out of each squat.

To start, stand in the beginning squat position and have you feet hip-width apart with your toes pointing forward, your neck straight, and abs tight. Put your arms out in front of you slightly bent at the elbows. Whatever you do, do not put your hands on your legs! Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself down while pushing your butt backward as if you were sitting and until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then return to standing. Repeat.

2. Sumo squat with a medicine ball

A woman doing a sumo squat

A woman doing a sumo squat. | iStock.com

Now to get a little creative. The sumo squat is also a great squat for your inner thighs. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Women’s Health & Fitness Australia highlights the best form for the most optimal squat. Feel free to use a different weight besides the medicine ball.

Stand with you feet a little beyond shoulder width a part (this really helps to target the inner thigh) and your toes turned out. Once you are set in position, hold the medicine ball in front of your body and let your arms hang freely. Slowly squat down until your legs are parallel and be sure to keep your abdominals engaged.

Exhale as you stand up. As you are exhaling, you should be raising the medicine ball above your heard while keeping your shoulders relaxed; squeeze your butt as the ball goes above your head, then pause, and lower to starting position. Repeat.

3. Jump squat

woman doing Jump squats

A jumps squat | iStock.com

The jump squat is just about as explosive as it gets. Known to be more effective at increasing strength than weight training programs alone. The jump squat will get your heart rate going and ensure you have a sensational workout. Life by Daily Burn gives the details on how to best complete a jump squat. Try doing 12 to 15 reps for three sets; if it gets difficult you can always pan back.

This starts off really simple: You want to start in your regular squat position (as mentioned above). Remember to keep your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointing forward and your arms out in front slightly bent at the elbows. As you lower yourself keep your hips back and butt down, as your feel the tension in your hamstring and glutes, release it by driving your hips forward and your arms up toward the sky as you jump off the ground. Land gracefully and let your momentum sink you back into a squat and come back up slowly. Repeat.