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How To Squat (Four Variations)

How To Squat

Four Variations

By Michael Hauber


At Elite Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy us Physical Therapists often get a lot of clients that ask about when they're training at the gym what they should start with in the first place. They know that squatting is important but are not sure how to start squatting. So today we're going to talk about a quick self-assessment that you can do to figure out what would be the best version of a squat exercise for you to start with.

Please refer to the video above for a demo of the following exercises.

Squat #1: Air Squat With Arms Out in Front
With an air squat, your arms are going to be straight out in front of you. You go down as far as you are comfortable. Then you come back up. Be sure that when you are in the squatted position you keep your knees over your toes. If you feel pain at any point, stop just before you feel pain or discomfort. If an air squat is pretty darn easy, you're going to move onto the next squat...

Squat #2: Air Squat With Arms Crossed

Simply cross your arms across your chest, resting each hand on the opposite shoulder. Then, same thing as Squat #1 -- go down as far as you are comfortable, and then stand back up. Still no problem? Move onto the next option...

Squat #3: Air Squat With Hands Behind Your Neck

Place each hand on the back of your neck, go down as far as you are comfortable, and then come back up. 

Squat #4: Air Squat With Arms Above Your Head

If you are an over-achiever, you are going to bring your arms straight up next to your ears then squat down as far as you are comfortable, and then come back up.

Be sure to be safe while performing these exercises, whether you are at home or at the gym. None of these squat variations should cause any sort of pain. If they do you should consider checking in with your Physical Therapist to see how you can improve your mobility to decrease pain and chance for injury.

Sample