Bodyweight squats can get boring for your campers really fast.
Luckily, other than just adding weight, there is a lot of variations you can use to keep your bootcamps fun and interesting.
How to come up with ideas
Try to get creative by adding things like:
- a rep of another exercise between each squat rep
- jumping – on the spot, forwards, backwards, side to side
- a second person
- equipment – bands, tyres, dumbbells, kettlebells
Scale your exercises
Don’t be lazy though and dish out over-complicated squats to clients who aren’t ready for it. Always scale your exercises so everyone can do them.
It may seem like fun to get your clients doing all sorts of crazy exercises but it won’t be so fun when half your bootcamp is missing due to injuries.
For example a Tuck Jump is tough exercise. If you lack power in your legs you just end up stomping your feet into the ground each rep. Instead, if you were to plan Tuck Jump Squats (see below) into your routine you could just have the advanced clients do that, the intermediates do regular Squat Jumps and the beginners do squats.
Learn more about scaling workouts here.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Great for teaching clients what a low squat feels like while also mobilising them.
Side to Side Squats
Another great mobiliser. Start with small movements and then move into full ROM.
Band Goblet Squats
When you don’t have dumbbells or kettlebells handy.
Tyre Bear Hug Squats
Burpee Double Squat
Figure 8 Squats
Use a dumbbell or kettlebell.
Lunge Squat Lunge
Surfer Jump Squats
Touch the ground on each squat. Alternate hands each jump.
Squat Tuck Jumps
A version of tuck jumps that forces clients to bend their knees and land softly.
4 Direction Squat Jumps
Starting in the middle, pretend you are creating a plus sign (+) on the ground.
What squat movement do you love to give your bootcampers?
Share with us in the comments below.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.
deep wide squat to a frog stand then rock back to squat and not coming up. Arms can go from a basketball guard position to the frog
Kyle Wood says
Nice mobility action Adrienne.
Rachel Soper says
Narrow based squats and plié squats and sumo squats
Rob Gaskell says
I like the lunge squat lunge but with a variation squat square to the front jump up, turn 45 degrees to the right and side lunge. Jump back the center and squat. Repeat to the left side
Gabe Gaskins says
Deck squats, Stagger squats(toe of back foot in line with the arch of the front foot), Ski squats(swing arms up out front as you go down, swing back on way up), Scap raise squats(holds arms out like scap raise- squeeze upper back hard), Squats with a big forward lean(keep a stretch in hamstrings during whole rep if you can), flowing from Squat to Lunge variations, Static holds in Squats, Starting Strength Squats(4 second pause at bottom, then, jump hard) U-Dips(boxers turning and rolling under punches…it can be a squat trust me), Slow Squats(3 seconds down, 3 up x10 reps = 1 minute), Sotts press(overhead press 2 light dumbells at bottom of ATGsquat…not easy), Squats + Duck walks.
Kyle Wood says
Awesome list Gabe!
At the end of a leg workout (after everyone’s already tired), I will add in a “rocket” squat: takes 3 counts to lower into a full squat–each count lowers your incrementally–and then you hop up at the end but do not land in a squat, just in starting position. A little easier than a jump squat but still giving the legs an extra little work. Thanks for the additional squat ideas!
Terri Jenkins says
I like to use the Sumo squat and split squat with my groups.
Gina Gallino Cole says
I do one variation I call “Over the Fence, Under the Fence.” Start off to the RIGHT. Raise right leg high as if you were stepping over a fence, then bring left leg “over the fence.” Step right again and squat to go under the fence. I usually go over 10 “fences” and then back to the left over and under 10 “fences.”