Bodyweight Squats for a Full Body Workout

Bodyweight Squats Exercise

Bodyweight Squats are at the core of any bodyweight workout plan. They will torch your legs, but also work other major muscle groups when done correctly:

  • Thighs
  • Hips/Butt
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Abs
  • Upper and lower back
  • Core Strength

They can be done anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need any type of equipment to do them. And once you master this most basic squat, you can take on some more advanced squats that go to a whole new level with one-legged squats:

  • Pistol squats – free leg forward
  • Lunge squats – free leg to the rear
  • Hindu squats – a variation of the regular movement.

One of the great benefits of this exercise is that when you hit early middle age (35 and over), you have to be very careful with workout injuries. 

These types of squats are very safe, which is important as well. They look easy, but your legs will really burn and your thighs will be very sore the next day after the first time you do them. As you begin to include this bodyweight exercise on a regular basis you will not be as sore, and you’ll start to love them! ❤️

Bodyweight Squats

Benefits of this Exercise

There are a number of benefits to performing this exercise:

  • Perform them anywhere, anytime
  • Build strength in your legs and core
  • Good cardio workout if you do high reps at a good clip
  • Will improve your balance and mobility (your sense of body control)

Performing Bodyweight Squats

First, before doing any resistance training or bodyweight exercise, always do a proper warm-up:

  • A few minutes of light cardio (jog in place) to warm the muscles
  • A few minutes of dynamic stretching to loosen the muscles

Bodyweight squats are a very simple movement, but they are a technical movement and really should be done in perfect form to receive maximum benefit.

How to Perform Bodyweight Squats

  1. Stand tall with very good posture.  Your feet should be shoulder width with your toes pointed out slightly – about 15 to 30 degrees. Arms at your sides with your palms facing to the rear.
  2. To start the squat, bend slightly forward at the waist keeping your back straight, and at the same time bend your knees so that you lower your butt down and to the rear. Your knees will move out in the direction of your feet.
  3. As you move your body down, your arms will swing out until they are straight in front of you when you are in the down position.
  4. Keeping your back straight, lower your body until your upper legs (thighs) are parallel to the ground. Inhale on the way down.
  5. Push through on your heels to return to the start position.  Exhale on the way up.

They are a very effective bodyweight exercise for building strength, and also getting in a light cardio workout.

Perform as many reps as you are comfortable with. If you are new to this exercise, it will only be 10-15 reps and you will totally fatigue. As you build these muscles and improve your stamina, you can shoot for 100 in quick succession and that is a very good workout. And quite a smoker!

Bodyweight exercises should be a staple of any well-rounded, consistent fitness routine. They can be done anywhere, anytime which is the real value of these exercises. Life is busy! You won’t always have time to perform exercise under perfect gym conditions. That is why having some great bodyweight workouts in your wheelhouse is a huge advantage. (1)

Click for more bodyweight exercises, and check out our full body exercise videos.

David Williams

David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. HuffPost. (2017, December 7). 13 reasons to start bodyweight training today. HuffPost.

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