Get great legs and your best butt ever with our 30-day squat challenge.
This squat challenge is simple and easy to follow for any lifter, from beginner to advanced.
This program does not take a lot of time. Each day you’ll dedicate 10-15 minutes to the exercise(s) on the calendar day in addition to your normal workout routine.
The squat is a compound exercise that works all the muscles in the lower body, including your butt muscles, quadriceps, hips, and hamstring tendons.
When done in the proper form, the squat exercise is one of the best moves for shaping the gluteus maximus which makes up a large portion of your booty.
Before we jump into the 30-day squat challenge, let’s go over the target muscles, benefits, and correct form.
Once you master the regular squat with your body weight, you can challenge yourself with lighter weights. You can work yourself up to a heavier load, like a heavy barbell or kettlebell.
As your leg muscles, tendons, and glutes become stronger, you can move on to heavy load squat variations such as barbell squat, kettlebell squat, and dumbbell squats.
I would also add that the back squat, front squat, box squat, and snatch squat are amongst the most advanced variations.
If it’s your first time performing these moves or using weight for a heavy squat, be sure to ask a strength coach or a personal trainer to watch your squat form and answer common questions you may have. You can also use a smith machine to assist.
Dumbbell squats or ones with kettlebells or medicine balls are much easier, to begin with.
The standard squat is a strength exercise that targets large muscle groups in the lower body. Its primary target muscles include:
- hip flexors
But those body parts in the lower region aren’t the only ones the squat exercise trains. Its secondary target muscles include the torso, core, and erector spinae in the upper body.
What’s more, in this squat challenge, we included an array of different kinds of squats to challenge the primary muscles from different angles and different muscles throughout the body.
For example, a sumo squat on Day 6 is a great way to work those inner thighs. On Day 7, after you master the body weight basic squat, as a lifter, you can add a side kick to help develop core strength, activate the glutes, tendons, muscle fibers, and improve agility and balance.
The different exercises in this 30-day challenge are a great way to add challenge, fun, and more strength to the different muscle groups each move activates.
Take into account your level of fitness prior to adding additional weight.
Benefits of Squats
There are so many benefits of squats!
First off, squats can increase your overall strength. The hypertrophy in your quads will reduce cellulite and ignite fat burn for weight loss.
When increasing muscle size, you need to target the specific body part the right way with a focus on proper form and knee position to protect your tendons.
They increase your hip mobility by creating a stronger hip joint and larger range of motion. Ankle mobility is strengthened through flexion. They can reduce your body fat and build muscle.
Squats are a great workout to warm up the lower body before a long run or any type of exercise, really. It can also improve posture.
How to Do This Squat Challenge
Follow the calendar each day and commit to performing the exercise listed in the squat challenge.
If you have an already established workout routine, whether it’s cardio, other resistance training, or powerlifter training session, don’t stop! Simply add these to your current workout.
Remember, this isn’t a competition! Take your time and focus on form.
Step 1: Learn the proper squat form and master it.
Be sure to check out the common mistakes on the bottom of this page.
If you are a beginner squatter, try using a smith machine or adding a resistance band above your knees. This is a good way to learn the proper squat form. The band can help your knees from caving in.
Step 2: Follow the calendar and commit.
When starting any new training program, the first day is always the hardest. To stay motivated, add these exercises to your already established routine. Get started now and the next day will get a little bit easier!
On a single day, you’ll have 1-3 booty lifter squat exercises to perform. Except on Day 30, you’ll get 4! Take an extra rest day or lower the number of reps as needed to avoid overexertion or stiffness.
If you are looking for more of a challenge or more advanced exercises, add a bare barbell bar (or even a loaded barbell) to the basic squat.
For the exercises with kicks, try adding 3 lb. ankle weights as long as your ankle and joints aren’t being strained by the added weight. For an even bigger challenge, try 5 lbs!
Step 3: Enjoy the stronger booty!
Looking to turn this into a full training session that works your entire body?
The best way is to add other functional and effective exercises like lunges, deadlifts, bench press, leg press, planks, and crunches.
- Stand tall with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Stack your hips over the knees and point your toes forward, slightly turned out. Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears. Keep your pelvis, lower back, and lumbar spine neutral. This is the standard standing position.
- Brace your core and push your hips back. Bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Bottom Position: Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Tip: Keep your abdominal muscles engaged from the beginning to the end as you follow each anatomical cue.
Want to amp it up? A different way is to turn this into a front squat. To make this into a front squat, add a barbell across the front of your shoulders.
- Start standing. Hinge at the hips, lowering through the standard squat with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width.
- As you stand, shift your bodyweight into your right leg, kick back with the left foot.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Tip: Inhale as you lower and exhale as you shift your weight into a single leg.
Sumo Squat with Heel Raise
- Start with your feet slightly wider than your hips, turn your feet out into an external rotation. Lift your left heel.
- Engage your core and with control, lower down. Keep your knees behind your toes. Pause, then rise.
- Repeat, lifting your right heel. This is one repetition.
Tip: Press through your opposite heel to rise.
Squat with a Side Kick
- Start in the standard standing position. Lower.
- As you rise, shift your weight into your right leg. Lift your left leg out to the side. Return to a squat.
- Repeat on the left side. This is 1 repetition.
Tip: Exhale as you shift your weight into your standing leg.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. With your left leg, step back and across to the right.
- Squat until your right quad is parallel with the ground. Return to the starting position.
Tip: Keep your hands on your hips for stability.
- Start in a wide stance, hands behind your head, elbows wide. Squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
- As you stand, lift your right knee to your right elbow, crunching to the side.
- Straighten your spine as you squat back down. This is 1 rep.
Tip: Warm up your obliques with side bend stretches or side plank variations at the beginning of your training session!
- Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance, hands clasped at your chest. In one motion, lower and twist to the right, hands coming to the outside of your right knee.
- Exhale, untwist, bringing your hands over your head, pivoting onto your right toes.
- Repeat on the left side. This is 1 rep.
Tip: Add a dumbbell or curls for an added challenge!
Bulgarian Split Squat
- Stand approximately 2 feet in front of a bench or chair, facing forward. Keeping your feet roughly hip-width distance, lift your right foot and place it on the bench or chair behind you.
- Bend your left knee as you keep your body weight evenly across your left foot. Lower into a single leg squat.
- Exhale as you lift back up. Replace your right foot to the ground.
Tip: Keep your spine straight, torso lifted, and gaze forward for stability.
- Perform the basic bodyweight squat.
- At the bottom of the squat, press through both legs, jumping off the ground. As you land, lower back down. Practice landing with control as silently as possible. This is 1 rep.
Tip: When reps are performed in succession, this can be an endurance-building cardio workout, perfect for your cardiovascular health! You can raise your heart rate and metabolism.
- Start with your feet together and parallel. Extend your right leg in front of you, heel off the ground, leg straight.
- Lower into a deep squat while raising your right leg to stay parallel to the ground.
- Straighten your left leg back to standing. This is 1 pistol squat. Repeat on the other side.
Tip: Keep your arms extended in front of you to help keep your balance in this single-leg squat.
In and Out Squat Jump
- Standing upright with a straight spine, feet together. Bending at the knees, jump your legs wider than shoulder-width distance.
- Lower into a squat. Press through your feet and jump your feet back to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
Tip: Exhale on your jumps!
Side Step Bodyweight Squat
- Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Step your right foot to the side, lower into a squat position. Stand, stepping your right foot to meet the left.
- Repeat on the left side. This is 1 repetition.
Tip: Take your time ensuring you’re keeping proper form on both sides.
- Start in the standard squat with a barbell resting on your shoulders. Bend at the knees as your straighten your arms, bringing the barbell overhead.
- With your arms overhead, lower into a squat. Exhale to stand. Return the barbell to your shoulders. This is 1 repetition.
Tips: Keep your chest up and gaze straight ahead to assist in keeping your balance.
Want to take it up a notch? Add a deadlift!
Too intense? Perform in front of a squat rack or try the front squat instead.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
The most important thing when performing this 30-day challenge is proper form. Learning the perfect form brings better results and a lower risk of injury. Regardless of the type of squat you perform, be sure to avoid these common mistakes many people make.
This can be not squatting deep enough or too deep. The correct position at the bottom of a squat is when the knees are at a 90-degree angle.
When a trainee is leaning forward too much, it’s common to see the knees cross over the toes.
When initiating the movement, always perform a hip hinge. From there, lower your hips slowly. Relying on your knees to perform this can strain your quads, tendons, and knee joint, rather than activating the muscles of the glutes.
Muscle stiffness, especially your erector spinae and leg tendons, can prevent you from performing a squat exercise with good form. Be sure to lengthen the leg and glute muscles with lower body stretches prior to your training session. It’s a good idea to target your biceps and triceps when adding a barbell. Try a plank!
Throughout the movement, your erector spinae should be kept straight and steady. At no point, should your back be rounded.
Use of an object with heavy weight like a barbell should come only after you master the proper squat form.
There you have it, congratulations on completing our 30-day squat challenge!
I know it wasn’t easy but you did it, great job! You made 0 excuses! Your squat strength, muscle size, and hip mobility will go up with practice, meaning you now can do barbell squats with even more weight.
But don’t stop there! Next time try the exercises with a harder adaptation or take one of our other 30-day fitness challenges. They are a great way to burn lots of calories, get in better shape, and hit your weight loss goal. Almost all of our workout and fitness challenges use only bodyweight exercises so they can be done anywhere, at home, or outside in the parks.
Squat exercises and their variations are a great functional movement that targets different body parts and helps strength train your body. But that’s not to say it’s the best exercise for everybody.
This squat challenge is provided only for informational purposes.
As with any strength training program, be sure to seek medical advice from health and fitness experts in your area to see if this is right for your fitness goals and medical conditions before starting.
Check out our other 30 – day challenges to transform your body!