It is true that air squats are always going to be the key part of any kind of workout regime, but if you are especially keen to work hard and maximize those glute gains then you will need to vary the workouts you do for your lower-body strengthening.
That’s right, you can’t be a creature of habit when it comes to working out, you need to push your body and push yourself to try new things and be a bit more daring.
There are a whole host of bodyweight squat variations that you can attempt or you could just switch up your usual squats by adding weights into your exercise routine - but you should really try out the box squat.
This exercise is especially great for boosting your body awareness and this exercise can also be helpful if you are trying to get over an injury.
What Are Box Squats?
Well, box squats are squats where you have to go right down into a box shape.
Okay, let’s be more specific. Box squats require you to squat until your butt taps a box or a bench or even a chair that is situated right behind you. You can do box squats just by using your bodyweight or you can also use weighted equipment when you do a box squat too.
If you are looking to add weighted equipment to your box squat then you will find that they are usually done by using a barbell.
It is important to note that the biggest difference between box squats and box-free squats is that the lowest point of your squat is actually dictated by the height of the box or bench or chair.
When you are performing regular squats you will find that the ideal depth is to have your hips below your knees, although this might vary and this ultimately depends on your strength. Not only that, but your ankle mobility along with your hip mobility and your thoracic spine mobility will also have an influence on this.
How To Do A Box Squat
Before we outline how exactly you should do a box squat, it is important to mention that the height of the box is the most important part of the exercise. It is true that when you do a squat you are wanting to aim to break parallel.
So, if you can, you will want to aim for a box that will let your knees bend into at least a 90-degree angle.
It is also important to mention that if you are suffering from a mobility issue or an injury that stops you from squatting so low then you can opt for a slightly higher box or bench or chair.
Your goal is ultimately to get a box that is just above your form’s limit. Without further ado, let’s get into just how to do a box squat:
- Set up your equipment - first thing’s first, you need to set up your box, chair or bench in order to attempt the box squat.
- Be sure to stand a few inches away from your equipment - you also need to make sure that you are facing away from the box with your feet being hip-width apart, and with your toes pointing straight in front of you, or they can be angled slightly outwards at 15 degrees.
- Keep your chest tall and your core tight - you should do this as you sit down on the box.
- Push your feet into the ground on the way up - you also need to make sure that you squeeze those glutes and that you really drive your hips forward so you can go back to standing. Make sure you exhale on the way into the standing up position.
- Your first rep - make sure that you squeeze your glutes at the top in order to achieve your first rep, but do not thrust your hips forwards.
- If you are squatting with a barbell - make sure that you activate the lats by screwing your pinkies right into the bar. Ensure that your chest is tall and that your core is engaged. Do not forget the importance of taking a big breath, along with hinging at the hips and also bending the knees so you can lower until your butt touches your box, or bench, or chair.
What Are The Benefits Of Box Squats?
In case it was not obvious, box squats are absolutely essential for working the entirety of your lower body. That’s right, box squats are the perfect exercise to try if you are keen to work your hamstrings, and your quads along with your glutes, your calves and also your core.
Additionally, you can boost this by using a weight as this will ensure that you are working your upper body too. Yeah, box squats really build stronger bodies.
Box squats are key in helping you to build stronger hamstrings and also stronger glutes. A lot of people will find that they are pretty quad dominant, and this will mean that their quads will take over and do much more of the work in your leg workouts.
Box squats are key in assisting you with building on the strength of your muscles in the posterior chain and this area includes your glutes and also your hamstrings.
Box squats are also really helpful in improving your general workout form. What do we mean by this? Well, a lot of beginners in the workout world or in the weightlifting world will not have much awareness of exactly how far down they are squatting.
The fact that your box, or your bench or even your chair will mark where you need to stop squatting will really help you to gain an understanding of the correct form that you should adopt when you are squatting. This is especially key when it comes to beginners, because it can really help you to build your confidence in a much more gradual way.
Box squats are an especially key exercise to incorporate into your workout routine, especially if you are keen to improve your form when you are squatting.
They can really help you to build up your confidence especially if you are looking to include weights or a barbell into your workout routine.