Book a tour

Boost Your Lower Body: Beginner's Squat Guide

Reading Time: 8~10 minutes

15 March 2024

The squat, in its various forms, is crucial for daily movements from sitting and standing to even picking things up off the floor. An essential part of any workout routine, especially for gym newbies, this beginner-friendly squat guide will help you become stronger with each rep.

  Strengthening your lower body benefits your health and fitness by improving posture, balance, and cardio workout effectiveness. Squats work major muscle groups and offer a full-body workout for burning calories and building muscle. They can be done with or without equipment, making them beginner friendly.  

Here are five variations to help you master squats, each with unique benefits for strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Check your posture

Before you start, ensuring your posture is correct before attempting any squat variation is not just beneficial—it’s essential. Here are some pivotal posture-checking points to keep in mind:  

Head and neck:

Keep your gaze forward, your neck neutral, and avoid looking down or up excessively as this might strain your neck.  

Shoulders and chest:

Pull your shoulders slightly back and down, not rounded forward. Keep your chest up and out, proudly, enhancing core activation.  

Back alignment:

Maintain a slight natural curve in your lower back. Avoid rounding or excessively arching your back by engaging your core throughout the squat.  

Feet position:

Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, with toes turned out. This stance ensures stability and balance.  

Knee tracking:

Make sure your knees are aligned with your feet and do not cave inwards or extend out too far over your toes when squatting down. This alignment protects your knee joints.   Now that we’ve set the stage with good posture, let’s dive into squat variations!

Bodyweight Squat

The bodyweight squat is the beginning of every squat journey. It’s the base, serving as the canvas for all squat variations. It engages multiple muscle groups, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.


Stand shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, and extend your arms forward for balance. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.


This is your gateway to understanding the correct movement pattern and is a low-risk option for those worried about overexertion or injury.

Sumo Squat

The Sumo Squat is a powerful variation that not only targets the same muscles as the traditional squat but also pays special attention to the inner thighs and glutes.


Start by standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outward at a 45-degree angle. Engage your core, lift your chest, and keep your back straight. Bend your knees, ensuring they align with your toes until thighs are parallel to the floor. Hips should move back and down. Hold briefly, then push through heels, engaging inner thighs and glutes to return to start.


The Sumo Squat is a powerful exercise that enhances flexibility, balance, and body connection. It helps you to challenge and strengthen muscles, improving stability, strength, and mobility for daily activities and sports to prevent injuries.

Workout tips for beginners squat

Goblet Squat

Before performing this variation, ensure you introduce an external load, typically a kettlebell or dumbbell, held against your chest. This setup subtly changes the movement mechanics, enhancing its impact.


By holding a weight close to your chest with both hands, stand upright. Perform a squat by bending your knees and lowering your hips. Push through your heels to return to the starting position. This exercise targets your core muscles effectively.


Adding weight enhances core engagement and stability, deepening the squat for better flexibility, especially in the hips. It increases metabolic burn by engaging more muscles, making it inclusive for all fitness levels.

Split Squat

The Split Squat, sometimes called the Static Lunge, shifts your weight entirely to one leg, providing a unilateral challenge that helps correct imbalances and enhances stabilisation. This movement primarily engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.



Balancing on one foot, extend your other leg back onto a stable elevated surface. You can hold a weight in one hand for an added challenge. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, engaging your quads and glutes in a stabilising split squat workout.



By focusing on one leg at a time, the split squat allows for a deeper level of awareness, muscle isolation and balance in each for even strength distribution across both lower limbs.

Box Squat

The Box Squat involves using a bench or box that acts as a safety net, restricting the range of motion. This setup helps beginners master form, gain stability, and engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes during the exercise.  

Sturdy box or bench, preferably at a height like the knees. Feet should be slightly wider apart than a regular squat. Maintain core strength when sitting on the chair, ensuring that the weight is evenly distributed on the feet (or heels). Use the explosive power of the thighs to push upwards and return to the starting position. Sit back onto the box, maintain control, and pause for a moment before explosively driving your heels onto the floor to return to the starting position. For a more challenging variation, add resistance bands around your thighs to increase difficulty and strengthen hip stability.

Box Squats help beginners transition to more advanced weighted squats by reinforcing proper squat mechanics and reducing knee strain for a safer training session.

Key Reminders

Always prioritise proper form over added resistance. Ensure your back stays straight, and you’re not letting your knees cave inwards as you squat.

Don’t push through pain. If you experience sharp knee pain with heels elevated while squatting, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance to prevent injury. If something feels off, step back, reassess your technique, and consider seeking professional help.

Focus on controlled movements. Each part of the squat should be deliberate, aiming for smooth transitions and powerful drives as you return to the starting position.

While these principles are universal, remember that everyone’s body is different. Listening to your body and paying attention to how specific movements feel is the best way to tailor your workout for the best results!

Embarking on squats solo is inspiring, yet guidance, especially in the initial stages of your fitness journey, is important. A personal trainer can hone your technique and devise a plan to propel you towards squat mastery.

If you’re ready to unlock the strength within, sign up for a free personal training session by clicking the button below. Whether you’re building endurance, addressing posture, or boosting athletic performance, we’re here to support your fitness journey! Let’s unlock the squat’s power and redefine lower body strength together!