If strong, sculpted legs are what you're after, you've got to become one with the squat. The basic exercise targets glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core, so incorporating it into your strength-training workouts is definitely worth your while. Here are some ways to get more bang for your butt — er, I mean buck — when doing squats.
- Focus on your heels: When doing a squat, make sure to shift your weight back onto your heels and lower the body as if you're about to sit in a chair. This proper form helps to put even more focus on the glutes and hamstrings and takes pressure off the knees. It also offers a stable surface that enables you to get low to the ground, which is what makes the move so effective.
- Try variations: Target lower body muscles differently by changing the position of your feet. Squat with your big toes together, feet out wide, and try one heel or both heels lifted, or even one leg lifted (to get legs like Cameron Diaz). Step on a Bosu ball and squat on a wobbly surface to work your core, and try twisting variations for even more of a challenge. Check out this list of different squat variations.
Keep reading for more ways to make squats more effective.