How to Do Frog Squats

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Like other squat variations, frog squats are a compound body-weight exercise that works the glutes and thighs, including the quadriceps and hamstrings. Starting from a squat position, the butt moves rhythmically up and down. Taken together, the stance, movement pattern and fixed forward-facing gaze are charmingly frog-like. When used regularly and with proper form, frog squats are a safe and effective way to build lower-body strength without free weights or machines.

  • Warm up with three to five minutes of light cardio exercise, such as brisk walking, light prancing or marching in place. When you break a light sweat, do some dynamic stretching -- involving repetitive and continuous movement -- to further stimulate blood flow to your butt and leg muscles and to loosen your hips and knees. Large leg swings to the front and back, butt kicks and traveling lunges are all appropriate.

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes angled outward slightly. Slowly bend your knees into a standard squat position, shifting your hips downward and pushing your buttocks slightly back. Drive your weight into your heels and keep your knees in line with your insteps. When your thighs are roughly parallel with the floor, press your palms together in a prayer position and rest your elbows along the inner sides of your knees. Keeping your head level, your eyes locked forward and your spine straight, raise your hips until your back is parallel to the floor. Lower your hips and butt to the initial position to complete one rep.

  • Repeat the movement, raising and lowering your butt in a smooth and controlled manner. Aim to complete a single set of 20 reps or several sets of eight to 12 reps, resting briefly between sets. If you prefer, perform the exercise as a timed interval, pushing for 30 to 60 seconds.

  • Modify the exercise to lower or boost intensity. If the prayer position is too strenuous, try resting your hands on your thighs for support as you raise and lower your buttocks or extend your arms downward and keep your fingertips on the floor in front of you. To add resistance and increase the challenge, you can wear a weighted vest.

  • Stretch lightly to maintain flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. To stretch your glutes, lie on your back with your knees bent toward the ceiling and the soles of your feet on the floor. Cross your left foot over your right thigh and gently pull your right thigh toward your chest. Hold for up to 30 seconds and switch sides. To stretch your quads, extend your legs and roll onto your left side. Bend your right knee, reach back with your right hand and take hold of your right foot. Keeping your knees together, gently pull your right foot toward your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides. For your hamstrings, come to a sitting position with your legs together and extended in front of you. With a straight spine, gently hinge forward from your hips until you feel light tension along the backs of your thighs. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the exercise causes any pain or pinching in your knees, stop. Check your form, and if knee discomfort persists, avoid the exercise altogether.

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  • Photo Credit ewkazuk/iStock/Getty Images
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