Squats are one of the classic moves that you can do when it comes to toning and strengthening your body. They are perfect for tightening your core and making your leg muscles stronger and more flexible. Bodyweight squat, sumo squat, and the like are among the more popular squats but there are other variations that can be quite challenging to your muscles. Here are five squat variations that will give you that extra kick using this timeless exercise.

Prisoner squats. This is a variation of the bodyweight squat is more challenging because you won’t be able to use your arms as a counterweight. To start this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands behind your head. Go down into a squat while keeping your back straight and your thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure that you engage your core throughout this exercise.

Pistol squat. Here is another squat variation that can increase the intensity of your workout. Stand straight with your arms held in front of you. Raise your right leg off from the floor and hold the pose as is. Push hips backward and bend your right knee to lower yourself into a squat. The right leg should not touch the floor as you go into a squat. Go back to first position and repeat 10 to 12 times before switching to the other leg.

Jump squat. Give your squat that extra push by adding a jump to it. You will need to go into a squat position with your feet at hip-width apart and hands at your sides. As you lower yourself into a squat, bring hands out in front of you. From the squat, jump up as high as you can explosively as you drive your hands down and toward your back. Land on a low squat and repeat. Do as many as you can within 30 seconds.

Barbell siff squat. If you are looking for an extra challenge when it comes to your squats, try the barbell siff squat. As the name suggests, you will need a barbell to complete this exercise. Stand straight with the barbell placed across your back and with hands holding the bar with an overhand grip. Raise your heels as high as you can manage then go into a squat. Keep your heels raised as you push yourself back up to complete one rep. Do as many as you can within 30 seconds and without losing your form.

Single leg squat. This might sound easy at first but you’ll probably find your core, thighs, and calves burning after a few reps. Place hands on your hips as you raise one foot off the floor. Push your hips back as you lower yourself into a squat without allowing the raised foot to touch the floor. Do 10 reps before switching to the other foot.

As you can see, there are different types of squats that you can do that will give you that extra challenge that you are looking for. The best part is that these exercises are guaranteed to activate even those muscles that you are not aware of.

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