3 new ways to squat

Up the challenge with these bodyweight-based variations.

Muscles are masters of adaptation: Once they get used to a movement, they stop getting stronger—and you stop seeing results. To prevent plateaus (and boredom), you need to keep changing your workout. An easy way to do it: Replace one of your go-to exercises with a new version. In this series, trainers share a few of their favorite fresh takes. Sub them into your routine to keep the results coming.


BENEFITS: Perhaps the most ubiquitous lower-body exercise, the squat primarily strengthens the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

NEW MOVES: Single-leg squat; curtsy squat; swing release

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  • Single Leg Squat

    Single Leg Squat

    Stand on box or step with right leg and arms extended straight in front of you, foot flexed. Squat as low as you can without rounding your back, then return to start. Do all of your intended reps, then repeat on opposite side to complete set.

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  • Curtsy Squat

    Curtsy Squat

    Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down in a shoulder-width stance, then step your left foot behind the right leg, squatting until your knee almost touches the ground (as shown). Return to start and squat again, then repeat to the left side. Complete your desired reps. 

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  • Swing Release

    Swing Release

    Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms extended overhead, palms facing. Bending at waist, release arms behind you as you bend knees and jump. Return to start, then squat, keeping arms straight overhead for one rep. Complete your desired reps. 

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The fitness model's workout

Sculpt all over with this 9-move routine from Ally Short.