Leg-extensions, lying-leg curls, and other similar workout machines seem like a comfortable alternative to the squat rack for women looking to tone their legs and glutes. However, while these machines are great for targeting specific muscle groups, compound exercises like the squat take the cake.
The squat utilizes different muscle groups, allows for emphasis on several parts of the lower body, and requires great amounts of energy to complete. This means a fast heart rate, fat burn, and muscle growth.
Let’s take a look at the best squat workout for women and review some basics. While you’re at it, watch our accompanying video to see Trainer Mike Jackson and Lindsey demonstrate and discuss key points.
The Squat and Its Variations
There are numerous squat exercises, each with varying form to target different parts of the legs and glutes. Here’s a look at the squat variations covered in the “Best Squat Workout for Women” video:
- Bar Squat
- Front Squat
- Plié Squat
- Smith Machine Squat
- Sumo Squat
- Close-Stance Squat
- Frog Squat
- Plyometric Jump Squat
For each squat exercise, it is recommended to squat to parallel. Health professionals indicate squatting deeper than parallel may compromise knee joints and ligaments and runs the risk of injury.
Trainer Mike Jackson recommends doing about 12-20 reps and taking a 90 second rest in between sets.
-  Escamilla RF. “Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise.” Med Sci Sports. Exerc. 2001 Jan;33(1):127-41.
-  Wretenberg P, Feng Y, Arborelius UP. “High- and low-bar squatting techniques during weight-training.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Feb;28(2):218-24.