With less then a month away before summer really begins to show itself pressure is on to have beautiful toned legs before shorts season arrives. Practicing a typical squat can be boring and un-motivating at times however with a couple of different moves this can change. Check out below on how to spice up your squats for summer ready legs!
Single Leg Squats
Challenge your balance (and your lower half) with this one-legged version.
How to do it: Stand tall on your left leg with your right foot lifted slightly off the floor, arms by your sides. Push your hips back and bend your left knee to lower your body into a squat (try to keep your right foot off the floor), reaching your arms in front of you for balance. Press through your left foot to return to standing. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on the right leg, 15 on the left.
Too tough to balance? Try tapping just the ball of your left foot on the ground during the squat until you are able to balance the entire time.
Get ready to feel every muscle in your body working—this hardcore squat is a killer!
How to do it: Stand on your right leg and extend your left leg out as straight as you can in front of you. Reach your arms straight out towards your left foot. Lower into a deep squat on your right leg, going as low to the floor as you can (without lifting your heel off the floor), and then press back up to standing. That’s one rep. Work up to 10 reps on one leg, and then repeat on the other side.
These are much harder than they look, so feel free to hold onto a wall or a chair as you build your strength and balance with this exercise.
There’s a reason ballet dancers have such amazing legs. This squat variation is a super-effective hip- and thigh-toner.
How to do it: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, hands on your hips. Bend your knees over your toes and lower your body into a squat. Hold this position and lift your heels up (without raising your hips) and then press them back down 10 times in a row. Return to standing to complete one rep. Do 5 reps total.
Make sure you keep your abs braced in tight to assist with your balance—and strengthen your core.
This fun squat variation adds an extra core challenge and targets your glutes.
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level. Lower into a squat by pushing your hips back and to the left (imagine you’re standing inside a box and point your hips to the back left corner). Reach your arms out and across your body to the right (as if balancing on a surf board). Staying in your squat position, shift your hips and arms to the opposite side. Continue shifting from side to side 10 times in a row, and then press back up to standing.
Instructions provided by Jessica Smith of Shape.com