Avoid caving knees toward midline or flaring out to the sides. Whether you're using dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell, doing squats with weights also offers a way to increase your strength and work toward muscle-building goals. Squats are one of the most functional exercises for toning your lower body, and there's no shortage of variations to make them more challenging. Be sure to stack the weight over wrists with elbows pointing down. Learn more about how to do a barbell front squat. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in front of chest with both hands, elbows pointing down. ", Sure, adding more reps can challenge your muscles, but increasing the rep range when doing bodyweight squats isn't going to give the same caloric burn and muscle exhaustion for hypertrophy (aka muscle growth) as increasing the weight, explains Hammond. Muscles worked: Quads, calves, glutes, abs, arms and grip strength. If landmine squats with no weight are too difficult, he recommends doing partial squats or dumbbell front squats instead. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms by your sides, or you can hold one heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in front of chest with both hands, elbows pointing down. But doing butt exercises with weights lets you increase the intensity, challenges your body further, ... Brace your core and bend your knees to lower down into a split squat. C. Keeping core tight and spine tall, slowly lower down, bending the knee of the standing leg while keeping the other leg extended forward. No shade on bodyweight training — you absolutely can get strong and build muscle just using your own body, but if you have any equipment available, adding weight to your squats can only benefit you. Avoid allowing knees to cave in toward the midline. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. A goblet squat can be performed using a kettlebell or dumbbell, holding the weight at chest height with both hands. A. Please select the topics you're interested in: Would you like to turn on POPSUGAR desktop notifications to get breaking news ASAP? Make sure hips stay under the bar. That said, Hammond and Feliciano offer up 10 variations of squats with weights to change up your workouts and help you reach your fitness goals. D. Lower the dumbbells to shoulders to return to start. Hold a dumbbell in each hand just in front of shoulders, resting one end of the dumbbell on top of each shoulder. The pistol squat is a pretty advanced exercise, so make sure to move slowly and nail down the body-weight version before adding weight. As a compound exercise, the front squat accesses multiple muscle groups and joints, including your front delts (the front of your shoulders) and core. Hold the end of the barbell with both hands at chest height. https://www.wikihow.com/Work-Out-at-Home-Using-Hand-Weights Shape may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on While squats primarily works your quads and glutes, doing a weighted squat has the added benefit of working your core as well, depending on your stance and the way you're loading weight. "If you're looking to make the squat more of a glute exercise, then do 3 to 4 sets of a glute activation exercise, like banded lateral walks, and then do a sumo squat variation. Hold a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height. B. A. Unlike the barbell back squat, the barbell front squat reduces pressure on your spine and puts more emphasis on the quads. Keeping chest proud and spine tall, lower into a squat, pushing hips back and down until thighs are parallel to the ground. (See: Training Volume Basics If You're New to Lifting Weights). 3 days ago, by Nikita Charuza Starcevic/Getty Images. If you want to test your unilateral (aka one-sided) strength, a split squat is an excellent way to ensure you don't have any muscle imbalances. A. Avoid allowing knees to cave in toward midline or flare out to the sides. 10 Things I Learned During My Body Transformation, get strong and build muscle just using your own body, training strategy known as progressive overload, Training Volume Basics If You're New to Lifting Weights, list of the best leg exercises has a great visual.