Sat. Sep 21st, 2019

This 30-Day Squat Challenge Will Transform Your Butt in 4 Weeks

Squats are one of the best exercises you can do. Period. But banging them out one after the other can get boring—fast. So we’ve pulled together 18 variations to help keep you and your lower body engaged, working everything from your glutes to your calves. What’s more, we’ve thrown in some plyometric moves to ramp up the fun factor. Translation: This challenge will help boost your strength, power, flexibility, and balance—all while spiking your heart rate.

Happy squatting!

RELATED: 11 Celebrity-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

Basic squat

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest high, abs tight, and hands clasped in front of chest. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower down, bringing hips to just below parallel. Push into heels to rise to standing. This is one rep.

Squat pulse

Lower into a basic squat and hold. Now, pulse the lower body up a couple of inches and down a couple of inches. This is one rep.

Squat jump

Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out, arms at sides. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower down as you bring arms forward. At the bottom of the squat, jump up explosively, swinging arms back; land softly. This is one rep. Immediately sit back down into your squat and repeat.

Plié squat

Start in a wide stance with toes turned out and hands on hips. Sink into hips, lowering body until thighs are parallel to floor. Pause, then push into heels to slowly rise back up. This is one rep.

Heels elevated/toes out squat

Stand with heels together and resting on an elevated platform such as a weight plate; clasp hands in front of chest. Bend knees, lowering as far down as possible. Push back up to start. This is one rep.

Squat with 5-second isometric hold

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest high, abs tight, and hands clasped in front of chest. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower down, bringing hips to just below parallel. Pause at the bottom for a count of five, then push into heels and slowly rise to standing. This is one rep.

Single-leg squat

Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward and arms in front of you. Bend left knee and lift left foot up. Keeping hips even, push hips back, bend right knee, and slowly lower down as far as you can while keeping good form. Push back up to standing, keeping left foot lifted. After desired reps, repeat on the opposite side.

Side-step squat

Stand tall with feet together; take a giant step out to the right with right foot, push hips back, and lower down into a squat. As you rise back up to standing, step right foot back in. Repeat on the left side. This is one rep.

Squat jack

Stand tall with feet together, hands clasped at chest. Jump feet out as you simultaneously bend knees and push hips back to land lightly in a wide squat; keep chest up. Jump feet back in to start. This is one rep. Continue jumping out and in.

Split squat

Start in a staggered stance with the left foot in front of the right and slightly to the left. Keeping chest up, lower down until back knee touches floor. Drive through left heel to stand. This is one rep. After desired reps, repeat on the opposite side.

Figure 4 squat

Stand on left leg and cross right ankle over left thigh with right knee open out to the side. Push hips back, bend left knee, and lower into a squat, reaching arms forward or clasping hands at chest for balance. Press into left heel to rise back up to standing. This is one rep.

Drop squat

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart; arms at sides. Jump feet out to a wide stance as you lower into a squat. Simultaneously, swing left arm in front of your body and touch the ground with left fingertips while right arm swings back. Jump feet back in to start. This is one rep. On the next rep, swing the right arm forward and the left arm back; alternate arms each rep.

Squat kickback

Lower into a basic squat. Lift left leg up and back, keeping hips square. Lower left leg to return to squat and repeat motion on right leg. This is one rep.

Yogi squats (malasana) with 3-second isometric hold

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing out slightly. Slowly lower down into a low squat with palms together at heart’s center and chest lifted. Use elbows to gently push knees out. Hold here for three seconds, and then push into heels to slowly rise back up to standing. This is one rep.

Frogger

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing out slightly. Lower into a squat and place palms on floor; arms should be inside of legs. Jump feet out, coming into a high plank with shoulders over wrists and abs tight. Immediately jump feet back in to the outside of hands. Staying low, lift hands up in front of chest, coming into a deep squat. This is one rep.

Prisoner squat walk

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and place hands lightly behind head. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower into a half squat. Maintaining this position, walk eight steps to the right, then eight steps back to the left.

Pro tip: Place a mini resistance band just above the knees to help maintain position and to make this more challenging.

Prisoner squat to kneel

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and place hands lightly behind head. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower down into a squat; keep chest up. Maintaining this position, lower the left knee to the ground, followed by the right. To rise, step up with the left foot, followed by the right. This is one rep. On the next rep, lower the opposite knee first; continue alternating.

180-degree squat jump turn

Lower into a basic squat. Jump up explosively while turning 180 degrees to the left and swinging arms back. Land softly back into squat as you swing arms forward. This is one rep. Repeat move, turning 180 degrees to the right. Continue alternating.

Make it easier: Decrease jumping range to a quarter turn, jumping 90 degrees.

RELATED: This 30-Day Plank Challenge Will Transform Your Core in 4 Weeks

Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health senior fitness editor, is a NASM certified personal trainer.

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