Different Types Squats

Jacob Exercises, Legs, News 4 Comments

There is more than one way to perform a squat. In fact there are many. If you are unsure how to perform a squat, please see how to do a proper squat HERE. Looking at the different types squats have to offer. We find that each variation distributes the work load amongst various muscle groups, thus enabling you to activate targeted muscle growth on isolated muscles in the legs.

Before the types of squats are given, you must first be aware that these techniques are more complex than the standard squat. You may not be comfortable executing repartitions at full weight, you could perhaps start off with a much lower weight in order to build up your confidence in lifting.

hack squathack squat 2

Hack Squat – Similar to the dead lift, a hack squat starts with the barbell on the floor, the  hack squat puts less pressure on your spinal column because you are forced to maintain a straight back at all times. Stand with the barbell behind your heels. Keeping a straight back, squat down and grab the barbell with an overhand grip. Extending the legs, stand up straight.

split squat

Split Squat – Set up a bench horizontally behind you, by lifting one of your legs behind you, rest your foot on the bench so your toes are making contact. With your lead foot, now squat down. You will find it much harder to perform this with a barbell so be sure to start off light and build yourself up. The key benefit to this form of unilateral training is that you build balance and stability in each leg, of course it will take twice as long to workout, although benefits you reap will definitely give you a superior advantage.

overhead squat2overhead squat

Overhead Squat – The maximum amount of weight you can squat executing this exercise is governed by the amount you can press with your shoulders. The main focus of this exercise is to not only train your legs but also build on balance and mobility, lifting a lot is not the main priority.

pistol squat

Pistol Squat – Essentially a pistol squat is just a one legged squat. It is not simple to just perform this squat, it’s something that you could challenge yourself in the long term. Practising and training a one legged squat will bring upon great balance and impressive body weight strength. To build up to it, squat down to a bench and lower it over time as you deem fit. Holding a weight out in front of you can act as a good counter measure to help you balance.

Do you know of any other squats? Let us know,drop a comment!

Comments 4

  1. I spend a lot of time sitting on the computer and I get lower back pains. Since the hack squat is similar to a deadlift, what is the difference and which one would be better at strengthening my back? Can you help me? Thanks in advance for writing this informative post.

    1. Post

      Hi Raz,

      Sorry to hear about your back pains. I used to work a telephone sales job, I was sat at a desk for long periods of time. After work I would go to the gym, I found dangling from a pull up bar and allowing my spine to straighten out fully really helped.

      Performing a deadlift or hack squat will not assist in straightening you back. If anything it could make it worse, because both of these lifts are very heavy. I would advise switching deadlifts for back extensions, also see our post under the Exercises > Back section. Here we have listed and explained some body weight back exercises. Try switching squats of any variety out for the leg press. This exercise does not put any strain on your back. I would advise on working on these and also stretching your back each day in order to gradually build strength and mobility.

      I hope this helped. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi,

    I just do regular squats, but now I know that there are many more varities. I will start to do them to grow my legs since they are not that big.

    I like how the pistol squats look and I will for sure do them in my training.

    How do you progress in pistol squats in you cannot even do one?

    1. Post

      Hi Emmanuel,

      The pistol squat should be aspired as a long term project, my girlfriend can actually do these, I cannot, I am fairly jealous of this, haha. To build up to them takes time, make sure you work on each leg independantly. With a bench/ Sofa/ Chair near, lower yourself down on one leg, try to stand up when you are pretty much sitting down, if you can’t do this try it with something a bit taller. When it becomes easy lower the height in which you are dropping to. Eventually you will find you CAN do it 🙂

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