Many people struggle with getting more depth in their squats.
For those with tight hips — which, at this point, is almost everyone thanks to sitting so much — the frog squat may be the answer, according to Aaron Leventhal, CSCS, former professional soccer player and owner of Minneapolis-based Fit Studio.
“A frog squat rotates [thigh] So that you get more room in the hips,” he says. “Because of this, you can go deeper in your squat more often, and it will help you train for more depth in other squat variations.”
Frog Squat: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and your hands on your hips. Turn your legs outward more than 45 degrees. This is different from a sumo squat position, as your legs are more turned out, almost like a ballet position.
- Keeping your back flat, chest up and core engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as possible while keeping your chest up and maintaining a neutral spine. When viewed from the side, your torso and shins should form a parallel line (ie, your chest should not lean forward).
- Come back halfway rather than all the way to maintain muscle tension.
How to make the frog squat easier
If you find it challenging to get a lot of depth in your squat:
- Slow down the movement and sit halfway down. This can often act as a dynamic warm-up, so you can do less on subsequent sets.
- Another option is to hold onto something like a railing or countertop for stability.
How to Make the Frog Squat Stronger
If you’re able to do a lot of frog squats (say, 10 or more) with proper form and good depth, the best way to progress the move is to load it up, says Leventhal.
- Perform this move in a back squat position, holding a barbell over your shoulders, behind your neck.
- Hold a dumbbell at one end with both hands in front of your waist or in goblet position.
What muscles does the frog squat target?
With a frog squat, you get the benefits of a more standard squat, but with more emphasis on the glutes.
- Glutes: You will tighten your gluteal region to extend your hips (push yourself up) and maintain stability.
- Hamstrings: As you rise back up, these muscles in the back of your thighs will assist in hip extension.
- Quads: As you return from the squat position, these muscles in the front of your thighs extend your knee joints.
- Original: Also working to stabilize you—especially if you add weight—is your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles.
- Hip adductors: These are the inner thigh muscles that hold your legs together. In the frog squat, they assist in hip extension.