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A 5-minute squat routine to work your glutes from every angle

The basic squat is only scratching the surface. Try these variations for an even better lower-body workout.
Squats work the glutes, quads, hips, calves and core.
Squats work the glutes, quads, hips, calves and core.TODAY Illustration / Stephanie Mansour

Squats are the go-to glute and leg exercise. The more you integrate them into your workout, the easier everyday activities like walking up the stairs and bending down to pick things up become. Squats activate the hip muscles as well, improving stability and balance in addition to toning your glutes.

More good news: Squats work the largest muscles in the body. The bigger the muscles, the more the body works and therefore the more calories the body burns — and you keep burning calories even after the workout is done.

But the standard squat is only one of many variations of the exercise. Performing several variations of the squat will help ensure that you’re hitting every angle of your glutes while simultaneously working your quads, hips, calves and abs.

I’ve created a five-move series that will work your butt from every angle. Perform these squats as a standalone glute workout or pick one or two to add to your current workout routine.

Basic squat

Stand with your feet hips-width apart and your toes pointed forward. Squeeze your abs as you move your weight into your heels. Slowly sit back into a squat position with your chest up, your shoulders back and abs in. Make sure that your knees are not pushing past your toes and are as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Squeeze your glutes and press into your heels to stand back up. Perform 10 repetitions.

Wide leg open toe squat

With your feet wider than your shoulders and your toes turned out, squeeze your core and shift your weight onto your heels. Bring your palms together in front of your chest in prayer position for balance. Bend the knees out to the sides and keep the spine straight as you lower down into the squat with your back and butt in a straight line. Don’t lean forward. Then, push your weight into your heels and squeeze your glutes as you return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions

Wall squat

Lean against a wall with your back straight and your feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides as you slide down the wall, bending at the knees. Bend until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (Your feet should be far enough from the wall that you form a 90-degree angle at the knee joint at the bottom of the squat.) Squeeze your abs and glutes before sliding your back up the wall to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.

Single leg squat

Stand on your right foot with your left leg lifted out in front of you a few inches off the ground. Keep your arms at your sides or in front of you for balance. Bend your right knee, pushing your hips back into a sitting position. Squeeze your abs and glutes as your weight shifts into your right heel. This is a difficult move, so only lower as far as you are able to maintain proper form. Keep your left leg straight out in front of you as you squeeze the right glute to return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions and then switch to the left leg.

Jump squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Perform a regular squat, bending at the knees and sitting back into a squat position. Then, push off your toes and jump up explosively. Bring your arms up straight into the air as your feet lift from the ground. Try to keep a controlled movement, landing softly and in control before exploding into the air again. Perform 10 repetitions.