PT Kyle Dobbs reveals four genius ways to make the most of this bread-and-butter exercise, whatever goal you’re aiming to hit.
YOU WANT: TO RUN FASTER
Build power with heavy front squats (75 per cent of max weight), three to five sets of three to five reps. On other days, do Bulgarian split squats (a lunge in which your back leg is bent, foot on a bench), three sets of 10 per side.
YOU WANT: TO SHAPE YOUR BOOTY
Back-loaded squats better challenge your posterior chain. Two or three times per week, perform three to five sets of six to 10 reps, at 60 to 70 per cent of your max weight. Avoid bouncing and using momentum for best results.
YOU WANT: TO REDUCE BACK PAIN
As long as it’s cool with your doc, try slow and controlled front or box squats, three to five sets of five reps. Focus on stabilising your hips and bracing your abs for each rep – they’re key to strengthening the muscles in your back.
YOU WANT: TO LOSE WEIGHT
You need high volume to amp the muscle-building, fatburning effect. Once or twice a week, perform six sets of five reps of a loaded squat (goblet or back) at 50 to 60 per cent of max weight. (Choose a load that feels challenging by the third rep of each set.)