Doing Squats with Weights can
Torch the Calories

Whether you want to get stronger or drop a few pounds, doing squats with weights is one of the fastest and most effective way of getting the job done. When you include free weights like dumbbells, you will activate almost every muscle group through your entire body. 

This added resistance requires intense core stabilization which is needed to maintain good balance through the exercise. This results in a tighter set of ab muscles, and a stronger lower back.

Compound exercises like squats that work multiple muscles at the same time also spike your metabolism to create an "afterburn" that will have your body burning extra calories for hours after your workout is over.

Squats with Weights

Front Squat with Overhead Press

The front squat combines the upper body, midsection core, and lower body in a full body routine that demands strong squat fundamentals and balance control.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start by standing with dumbbells at your sides. Raise the dumbbells to the top of your shoulders and with your abs engaged, squat straight down moving your hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.

  • Squat down to the level of the upper legs being as close to parallel with the ground as is comfortable.

  • Pause briefly and press your body weight to the back of your heels Slowly rise back up to your starting position and continue to raise the dumbbells straight up over your head doing an overhead press.

front squat with overhead press position #1Kim Demonstrating the Front Squat
front squat with overhead press position #2
front squat with overhead press position #3

Sumo Squats

Sumo squats with weights is the perfect exercise for working your entire lower body. The wider the stance the more it tones your butt and thighs.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start out with your feet about 12 inches wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed out.

  • Holding a dumbbell at your waist with both hands lower down slowly as far as possible but staying comfortable. It's important to push your hips back as you are bending your knees.

dumbbell sumo squat position #1
dumbbell sumo squat position #2Kim Demonstrating the Sumo Squat


  • This is a wide-legged squat that targets the butt and inner thigh area. The wider you place your feet apart, the more tension you put on your butt and inner thighs.

Bosu Ball Squats

The Bosu ball is great for developing strength in the core muscles and important when training for balance. When you use the Bosu ball, your body is forced to use random small ab muscles to maintain balance.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start out by slowly placing both feet on the bubble in a wide stance while holding a dumbbell with both hands down in front of your hips.

  • Once you feel yourself set with good balance, raise the dumbbell straight out in front of your chest and slowly descend with your legs until your thighs are almost parallel with the floor. After a 2 count, push yourself back up in a controlled manner and continue your repetitions.

bosu ball squat position #1
bosu ball squat position #2

Benefits of Squats with Weights

  • Leg and Butt Tone. A key benefits of squats is they are the perfect workout routine to lose weight and tone the whole lower body. As you build lean muscle, you are burning more calories, so squats don't target one specific muscle. You tighten and tone every leg and butt muscle when you perform a squat.
  • Full Body Strength. Even though the main focus is on your leg muscles, squats reach out to muscles through your entire body. Squat exercises do a good job of improving the strength of your upper and lower body.
  • Balance & Flexibility - Squats promote  greater balance and flexibility. As well as strengthening your legs, squats have a positive impact on your joints, ligaments, and tendons. This leaves your legs less injury prone. By stretching the joints in your hips, you will enjoy a much greater range of motion.

  • Convenience. You can do squats almost anywhere at any time. You don't need a gym or any equipment. You can take a mini-break at work and do a few squats in your office, or do a few when you're on the road staying at a hotel.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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