YOUR BOD’S BEST SQUAT
This humble (but powerful) move should never be marketed as one-size-fits-all. While you should play around with a range of different squats, tweaking your form to accommodate your body’s restrictions, especially the build of your limbs, can max both effi
FRONT SQUAT (or goblet squat) BEST FOR: LONG TORSO
More upper body means you’re more likely to lean forward as you lower down. Holding a weight in front of you forces you to shift your own weight back (so you don’t fall over). Added bonus? It distributes the load equally between your glutes, hamstrings and quads, making it a go-to among pros. Get amongst it!
BANDED SQUAT BEST FOR: KNEE VALGUS
Placing a looped resistance band around your thighs encourages you to assume a more parallel position. As the band pulls your knees in, your brain cues your hip muscles to work harder to counteract the movement.
SUMO SQUAT BEST FOR: TIGHT HIPS
Separating your feet more than shoulder-width apart and turning your toes outward helps isolate the posterior chain and inner-thigh area – and the width opens up room for your pelvis to dip low.
TOES-OUT SQUAT BEST FOR: LONG LEGS
Pointing your toes out to 45 degrees (not as extreme as a sumo stance) can give your hips more space to squat lower, as a lengthy lower half makes it tougher to get close to the ground. (Be sure to keep your knees aligned with your middle toe.)
HEEL-ELEVATED SQUAT BEST FOR: FLAT FEET
The lack of an arch makes throwing your weight into your heels rather difficult. Lifting your heels can help redistribute weight backward, where it belongs, making each rep more effective.
DUMBBELL SQUAT BEST FOR: ASYMMETRY
Holding a weight at each side as you lower into your squat helps you instantly spot and correct any side leaning; if one dumbbell is closer to the ground than the other, something is clearly off. Work on evening out the weights and, in turn, your bod. Easy!
BOX SQUAT BEST FOR: SHORT LEGS
Squatting to sit on the edge of a box or bench can ease you into a deeper stance than your legs will allow, and eliminate any injury fears. (Don’t worry, the bench has got you.)
BACK SQUAT BEST FOR: SHORT TORSO
Holding a bar against your shoulders – particularly for those who are short to average height (5’4”) – better distributes weight to the posterior chain without overstressing your teeny lower back. Win! WH