The squat is one of the most important exercises for your legs, glutes and hip flexors. It’s also a great way to improve your balance and core. But squats aren’t for everyone and you need to know how to perform them correctly and safely. Incorrect execution can lead to lower back tweaks, tightness or dull pain. These problems are usually caused by poor posture or the lack of proper hamstring and quad activation. Fortunately, there are a number of different squat variations you can use to strengthen your body without risking injury or overtraining the wrong muscles.
The cannonball squat is a variation of the front squat that uses a barbell held in front of you, shifting your center of gravity forward and emphasizing the quads. This exercise is best performed in conjunction with other front-focused exercises such as the goblet squat or the prisoner squat. It’s important to start with lighter weights than you would use for traditional barbell squats to avoid knee stress.
Another option is to do a single-leg cannonball squat, which shifts your focus to one leg at a time. This version is challenging but helps you develop better stability and balance. For advanced lifters, you can add weight or resistance bands to increase the challenge. There are also plyometric cannonball squats, which require you to jump up as you rise from the squat position. This version requires more balance and agility than the standard squat but is fun to do and will help you build speed and power.