Squats are not only great because they sculpt the lower body and keep your glutes looking tight and lifted…but also they are great because they burn a ton of calories and rev up our metabolism. Some of our largest muscles are located in our lower body (glutes, quads, hamstrings), so by working those large muscles…you burn more calories than if you were just going to target small muscle groups or just one muscle by itself. Try my workout below to boost your metabolism, burn fat and give your backside a lift!
Squat ‘Till You DropÂ HIIT Workout
Do 1 minute of the squat variations below. Then, mix in 1 minute of medium/high intensity cardio (run stairs, run around the block, jumprope, high knees, etc). Do 2 sets of each type of squat like this: (Squat 1min +cardio 1min) x 2 and you can rest 60 seconds in between sets if you need to. To make this harder, hold a set of dumbbells, a sandbag or other weight. Workout time = approx. 30 minutes.
1. Squat With Leg Abduction:
Perform a squat and as you stand up, kick your right leg out to the side (flex your foot). Repeat on the left and alternate sides.
2. In and Out Squat Jumps:
Hold a low squat with feet wider than hips. Jump your feet in together and then back out again to squat position. Stay low the whole time and repeat in and out.
3. Plie’ Squats:
Start standing with toes pointing slightly out (you can add an optional weight as pictured). Lower your body down in a straight line keeping your hips tucked under (not sticking out) and your knees on top of ankles. Press your heels into the ground and return to standing. Repeat.
4. Squats With Kickbacks:
Perform a regular squat and when you stand up, kick your right leg back behind you. Lead with your heel and be sure not to arch your back (don’t kick your leg up too high). Return to squat position and then next time kick left leg back. Repeat and keep alternating legs.
5. Low Squat Pulses Left and Right:Â
Start in a narrow squat with feet right under hips. Step your right leg out to the side and come to a regular squat (feet wider than hips), then step your right foot back in and return to a narrow squat. Alternate stepping out with the right then left. Stay low the whole time (don’t stand up) and you can use an optional band (pictured) to make it more challenging.
6. Squat With Front Kick:
Start in regular squat position. When you stand up to the top, release your right leg and kick out to the front keeping your abs engaged. Only kick your leg out to about hip height so that you don’t lose your balance or lean back. Return to the squat and next time stand up and kick with the left. Repeat and alternate kicks.