Bodyweight Squats (Sumo, Cossack, Narrow Stance, Regular)
The bodyweight squat comes in a variety of variations, each offering differences in muscle worked, application to sport, and difficulty. Including these within workout programs can increase functional movement, leg growth, and muscle endurance.
Bulgarian Split Squats
The Bulgarian split squat is a unilateral lower body exercise than can be integrated to increase quadriceps and gluteal muscle activation, correct muscular imbalances, and increase movement patterning for running, sprinting, and sports.
Plyometric Jumps (Squats and Lunges)
Plyometric training, like tuck jumps and split squat jumps, are effective exercises for increasing power and explosiveness. Additionally, these ballistic bodyweight exercises can improve muscular activation and athleticism.
Glute Bridges and Hip Raises (Unilateral and Bilateral)
Glute bridges and hip raises are two glute and hamstring exercises that can be done to increase posterior chain muscle activation and enhance overall lower body strength and hypertrophy. Additionally, these exercises are key movement for targeting the hamstrings and glutes, two muscle groups that may be underdeveloped if only performing squats.
Pistol squats are an advanced unilateral squat variation that can increase unilateral strength and squat stability/coordination. It is imperative that athletes properly progress towards the pistol squat, as failure to exhibit necessary strength, mobility, and end range control can negatively impact knee and ankle health.