How to do a Body Squat

What is a Body Squat?

Leg day. Sigh. Admittedly, I used to skip leg day back in college and instead do distance runs of 4-6 miles. Yeah, that’s right. I literally used to run away from leg day and preferred putting in 4-6 miles over doing leg exercises in the gym. 

However, these days my preferences have changed. I have a select group of leg exercises that I actually enjoy doing, and a body squat is one of those exercises. A body squat is probably the most basic and fundamental leg strengthening exercises in any bodyweight library. The movement mimics sitting down in a chair, and it works most the muscles in your legs. It does require flexibility in your hips, lower back and legs to perform, but with practice anyone can learn and master the body squat.

The following muscle group is engaged by the Body Squat:

  • Legs

How to Do a Body Squat (Instructions):

Start in a standing position, with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees until they are about 90 degrees, keeping your back straight, with your arms bent at the elbows and in front of you. Stand up back to the starting position. Repeat.

Trainer Tips for the Body Squat:  

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Perform the movement on top of an unstable surface, like a pool chair (yes I’ve done this), balance beam, couch (yes I’ve done this too), etc… 
    • Pause for 2 seconds at the bottom of the movement.
    • Perform the movement slowly. Count to 4 on your way down and count to 2 on your way up. 
    • Perform the movement using only one leg, while holding onto a chair, table or other elevated surface.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the movement while holding onto a chair, table or other raised surface. 
  • Application:
    • Do one Tabata with the body squat.
      • A Tabata is a 4 minute workout, made up of 8 intervals. Each interval is 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest. There are a lot of free apps for your smartphone that provide an automatic timer for the Tabata workout. I utilize the Tabata Stopwatch Pro
      • For the Body Squat Tabata, perform 20 seconds of body squats followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat until you reach the 4 minute mark.
Body Squats are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here