7 Best Squat Exercises for Women

Squats are one of the very best exercises for Women! Not only do they help you create a nice round booty, they are also one of the top exercises in terms of calorie burn because they use so many of the muscles in your body.

7 Best Squats Exercises Women

If your squat routine has gotten dull it’s time to mix things up with these 7 different variations, all of which you can use from home with only one set of dumbbells.

I am using a pair of 10 lb dumbbells in these photos but you are welcome to use any size weights that you have at home or that fit your strength level if you’re doing these at the gym. If you do not have dumbbells grab a full water bottle or two and get squatting!

Here are the 7 Best Squat exercises you should add to your squat workouts and how to do them:

1) Body Weight Squat

Bodyweight Squat

Body weight squats are the most basic variation of squat but it doesn’t mean they are easy! Before moving on to more advanced squat variations you should make sure you have the form down perfect on these.

Start with a comfortable shoulder width stance.

Your toes should be slightly pointed outward and your knees following the same direction as your toes.

Sit back and down as if you are sitting in a chair, it should feel as though you are sticking your butt out rather than dropping straight down.

Keep your head and chest upright and your spine straight. Do not allow your shoulders to round.

Once your butt reaches the same level as your knees, pause for just a moment, ensure that your weight is shifted back into your heels.

Press down into the ground with your heels to rise back up to standing.

In the standing position flex your butt and legs as you exhale, then repeat, inhaling as you lower back into the squatted position.

I recommend pausing for one second at the bottom and one second at the top of each squat so you can make sure you get low enough and flex your muscles with each rep.

This exercise is most effective when done slowly with maximum control and focus.

Do: 10-15 reps or as many as you can with perfect form.


2) Double Bounce Squat

Double Bounce Squat

As the name implies, with these squats you will be bouncing up from the bottom twice.

Take the same starting position as the regular body weight squat but this time instead of standing up after you reach the bottom, just lift up a few inches, then go back down again before standing all the way up.

By hitting the bottom twice you’re increasing the challenge of the squat and putting more emphasis on the booty muscles.

Do: 8-10 reps, hitting the bottom of each squat twice, but only counting reps when you stand all the way straight up. Two bottoms and one top equals one rep.

3) Jump Squat

Jump Squat

Adding a jump to your squats turns this strength building exercise into a cardiovascular plyometric movement. It also takes the challenge to the next level!

To perform the jump squat, start in the squatted position. Bring your arms in front of your chest.

Jump up and out of the squat at the same time as swinging your arms down and back behind you. Aim to straighten your legs fully in the air as you flex your butt and thigh muscles.

As you’re coming back down you should land softly back into the squat position. Be careful not to land abruptly and then squat.

You want to land back into the squat smoothly and gracefully. By slowing your descent and controlling the eccentric portion of the exercise you’ll be protecting your joints, especially the knees and ankles.

If you are new to jump squats start with very small hops and gradually increase to higher jumps as you get more comfortable with the form and landing softly.

Do: 8 reps, starting with small jumps and building up to higher heights as you get comfortable with the soft landings.

4) Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

This squat variation often gets confused with a lunge because of the way it looks, but indeed it is technically a squat because the motion is simply up and down rather than forward or backward. By working your legs independently you’ll quickly find out if you have any strength imbalances and you’ll have the chance to create better symmetry in your body.

You’ll need a chair or any sort of knee-height platform (a coffee table, a couch, your bed, etc..) to put your back foot on.

Start by standing about 2-3 feet in front of that platform facing away from it.

Lift your back foot up and place your toes onto that platform.

Place your hands on your hips and find your balance.

Bend your front knee to form a 90 degree bend with that leg.

Keep your hips square to the front and focus on feeling a stretch in your butt muscles of that front leg.

Press back up to the starting position and repeat. Do all reps on one side before switching.

Do: 8 reps on one side, then 8 reps on the other. If you already know you have an imbalance make sure to start with the weak side first.

5) Dumbbell Top Squat

Dumbbell Top Squat

Top loaded squats are one of the most challenging weighted squat variations because they require more balance and core strength.

Hold the dumbbells on top of your shoulders with your elbows lifted up. The goal is to rest the weight comfortably on each of your shoulders.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.

Sit back and down just as you would with a bodyweight squat, being extra careful not to lean forward.

Remain upright with your spine straight and your eyes looking straight ahead.

Brace your core muscles as a top loaded squat requires even more core strength and stability.

Do: 12-15 reps or as many as you can do with perfect form.


6) Wide Stance Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Wide Stance Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Wide stance squats are great because they help tone your inner thigh muscles as well as your butt and legs. I love these sumo squats, not just because of the great stretch at the bottom but also because you’ll really feel the toning in your inner thighs.

Start with a very wide stance with your toes pointed slightly outwards.

Grab both dumbbells from one end so that they are hanging from your grip in front of your hips.

Relax your arms and roll your shoulders back and down to relax your upper body.

Sit back and down just like you would in any other squat but in this case open your knees as wide and far apart as possible to maximize the stretch of the inner thighs.

Press back to standing and flex your butt and legs.

Do: 12-15 reps or as many as you can do with perfect form. If this feels easy increase the weights

7) Narrow Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

Narrow Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

Narrow Squats are also a woman’s best friend because they target the outer thighs or “saddle bags” that some women have as a trouble zone.

Start by standing with your feet together and holding a dumbbell with both hands just under your chin.

Sit back and down just as you would in any other squat, but paying close attention that your knees do not knock together or separate apart.

The knees should be the same distance apart in the beginning stance as they are at the bottom of the squat (about 2-3 inches apart).

Check to make sure your weight stays in your heels and your spine does not round.

Do: 12-15 reps or as many as you can do with perfect form. If this feels easy increase the weights

These 7 squat variations are just some of the ways you can change up your squat routine. I recommend mixing these in with other lower body exercises as part of your full body training routine.

The rep counts and set counts should all be based on the goals you are working to achieve and customized to your fitness level and current strength.