Put your hand on the heart. Nobody wants to be the type in the gym, who presents his mighty torso in a stylish style in the stringer, in return, however, carries an incredibly wide-cut sweatpants to hide his dry stork legs. Of course you can not see the legs in the nightclub, but that's no reason not to train your legs or to think that a little bit of football would be enough to do a leg workout. A strong lower body not only belongs to an aesthetic body, but also has several other advantages. Of course, this includes increasing performance in various other sports, including football, because every chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Now, however, the question arises, how to train the legs most effectively, because exercises are like sand on the sea. The answer is simple: squats. And not just the classic squat, but five different variants of the squat, which load your lower body and the trunk in every conceivable way and thus optimally promote both muscle development and functional strength.

Variation 1 - Back Squats

The classical squat belongs to the deadlift and the bench press to the three kings exercises of strength sports. For this reason alone, the exercise should not be missed on any exercise plan and run at least once a week as part of a few sets. There is a good reason for this too, because with classic squats you can train a very large part of your skeletal muscles. In addition, the inclusion of multiple joints results in seamless collaboration between different muscle groups, improving your functional strength as your muscles learn to work together more effectively. Apart from that, you can leave the target muscles in the classic squat with the highest training weight, as the barbell is on your trapezius and thus an ideal focus is given. In order to be able to use the Back Squats effectively and safely, the mastery of the technology is an absolute prerequisite. In addition, it should be noted that not everyone is anatomically created to perform the squat over the full range of motion while maintaining a perfect technique. If this is the case, the exercise should be performed in a shortened sequence of movements, but still with the correct technique. Alternatively, of course, other variations of the squat are also available.

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Variation 2 - Front Squats

While classic squats actually focus on the butt muscles, with the help of the front squats, you can shift the load focus and strain the quadriceps. The reason is simply the fact that the barbell bar is placed not on the neck, but in front of the head on the shoulder and chest muscles. The challenge with the Front Squats is especially in learning the safe grip. If the classic grip is difficult due to anatomical features such as particularly long arms or reduced mobility in the wrist, you can also use the so-called cross handle, in which the bar does not rest on the fingertips, but is enclosed by the crossed arms. However, in contrast to the classic squat alternating load focus also has the consequence that you have to reduce your training weight significantly. The reason for this is on the one hand the fact that the gluteus helps significantly less, and on the other hand, that the shift of the center of gravity to the front, significantly burden your core muscles with stabilization work. All in all, the Front Squats are an ideal complement to conventional squats. In order to perform the exercise as safely as possible and with the highest possible training weight, it is also advisable to use a power rack.

Variation 3 - Goblet Squat

Unlike many people, goblet squats are anything but a beginner's exercise, even though they may seem like it at first sight due to the fact that they are performed with just a dumbbell. The fact that the legs of the Goblet Squat, however, spread a little further apart and the dumbbell is in a central position in front of the chest or under the chin, allows the flexion depth regulate very well. Thus, the Goblet Squat has a decisive advantage over the classic squat and the front squat. Because keeping your balance with a dumbbell in front of the chest is easier than using a heavily loaded bar in front of or behind the head, you can not only bend lower, but also direct the load more precisely into the target muscles through minimal movement adjustments. Numerous muscle strands in the legs and trunk, which are busy in other squat variants with heavy stabilization work, are finally charged significantly less. If you position the dumbbell on an elevation so that you can take it at about chest height, the beginner's exercise argument is also passé. That way, you can use the heavy dumbbells available in your studio. Sure, the exercise on top of that, especially since you can just drop the dumbbell in case you lose your balance. Of course, this is not so easy with squats with the barbell.

Variation 4 - Box squat

Achieving the right flexing depth with squats is the real challenge as it requires not only strength, but also body control, balance and a clean technique. This is especially true for beginners or strength athletes who have an injury behind them. For those athletes, the Box Squats are ideal as they provide added security while signaling when the right depth of flexion has been reached. In practice, you take a bank or a box to hand and put them in the squat rack. Now you pick up the dumbbell for either the Front Squat or the Back Squat and perform the exercise slowly. As soon as you touch the box with the buttocks, you hold the position for 2-3 seconds and press back to the starting position. To maintain the tension in the muscles, you should urgently avoid sitting on the pits. Once you get along well with the current bowing depth, you can reduce the height of the box or bank and try to bend even deeper. Another advantage of the exercise is the increased safety, because you can just sit in an emergency on the box and not tip over backwards. The Box Squats are a very good exercise if you want to get on the squats or if you already have injury problems.

Variation 5 - Bulgarian Split Squat

If there is a squat variant that will make your quadriceps really burn, then it's the Bulgarian Split Squat, because it's one-legged, so you can concentrate fully on the muscle. All you need to do it are two heavy dumbbells and a training bench. At the beginning you pick up the dumbbells and let them hang down in the neutral hammer grip on the side of your upper body. Then step forward in front of the bench and angle your left leg so you can put your foot down on the bench. Now do 8-12 squats with your right leg. Bend it so deeply until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Once you have completed the appropriate number of repetitions with your right leg, you change the leg. By isolating one leg, the Bulgarian Split Squats are excellently suited as a second or even third squat variation in the context of leg training, since weak points can thus be very specifically removed and coordination and balance are trained.

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