Squats should be a staple of your workout regime as they engage multiple areas of your body at one time. The way you hold the bar or the stance you decide to choose will impact on the area of the body you work. The classic barbell squat will add bulk and trains everything from your glutes, quads, hamstrings and “intestinal fortitude”, but for a whole body workout, you have to be aware of the multiple variations upon the squat theme.
For this, we have enlisted the help of Irish Rugby centre, Robbie Henshaw…
5 squats Robbie recommends when working out from home
1. Front squats
This variation of the squat has become increasingly popular through its use in CrossFit disciplines and because it’s easier to do well than its back-squat brother. The front squat works your quadriceps and upper back more, too, as you lift the barbell across your shoulders in front of you. Make sure you have a clean grip (slightly more than shoulder width) and swing your elbows under the bar so they are pointing forward throughout the movement.
Remember: chest up and out, align your spine, and keep the weight on your heels rather than your toes. The front squat will still give your glutes and hamstrings a workout; it’s just the focus is more on your quads in this variation.
2. Split squats
“My favourite squat is the split squat.”
Robbie’s top tips for good technique: Keep your front knee in line with your toes – make sure your torso is straight and all the movement comes from your back leg. Another good tip is to make sure your pelvis is locked in and your abdominal area is switched on. The movement should be slow and straight up and straight down.
“I would recommend 6 to 8 reps each leg.”
3. Jump Squats
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips to push your butt back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again.
4. Goblet squats
The Goblet Squat is a lower-body exercise in which you hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. It’s the ideal Squat variation to teach young athletes proper squat technique; however it can be used to build strength for everyone.
What can people use in their house to replace the weights if they do not have any in order to do weighted squats?
“You can use refilled water bottles or containers. I have been using 5L water bottles with handles on the top of them.”
5. Lateral squats
The lateral squat is an excellent exercise to promote dynamic flexibility of the adductor musculature. Stand with the feet approximately four feet apart and sit to one side. Keep the weight on the heel as you sit, and keep the knee over the toe.