Squats are a staple of leg day. They build strength in your glutes, hamstrings and quads, while also targeting your core stability. Squats can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your goals and equipment available.

Add some variety to your lower body routine and avoid hitting a plateau with these different takes on a classic move.

Goblet Squat (Kettlebell Squat)

The goblet squat will engage the front of your core and your upper body while removing a lot of the spinal pressure associated with barbell back squats. You can work on your strength training with a heavy weight and low reps, or lighten the weight to improve cardio and mobility.

Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and hold it against your chest; if you are using a dumbbell, hold the weight vertically with your hands cupping the top end. Stand with your toes pointed slightly outwards, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your hips and knees and lower your body as close to the ground as possible, keeping your arms close to your chest and elbows pointed down. Pause at the bottom of your squat and stand back up, driving through your glutes, legs and heels.

Pistol Squat

Kick it up a notch and engage your legs, core and coordination with the best bodyweight exercise for your lower body. The pistol squat is a challenging exercise to master, but we’ve broken it down into a simple progression for you.

To execute this move, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. As you descend into your squat, keep your arms extended directly in front of you for balance and extend one leg straight in front of you. To begin, you may want to start with a bodyweight squat and extend one leg once you’ve reached the bottom of your squat.

Prisoner Squat

The positioning of the hands behind the head gives this move its nickname and helps engage the core during the exercise.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on the back of your head. Keeping your elbows back and your chest lifted, slowly lower yourself into a sitting position or lower. Drive through your heels to return to a standing position. The prisoner squat is a perfect warm-up exercise for the entire body.

Sumo/Plie Squat

The foot positioning in the sumo (or plie) squat targets the same muscles as a regular squat – quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves – but also engages the inner thigh adductors.

To perform a sumo squat, move your feet to a position around wider than hip-distance apart and turn your toes out 45 degrees. As you lower yourself through the knees and hips, keep your back straight and your core tight. When you reach the bottom of your squat position, your hands should meet under your chin and your knees should not move past your toes. To increase resistance, you can add a pair of dumbbells – hold them shoulder-width apart with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).

Stability ball wall squats

Wall squats are a great way to increase flexibility, strengthen weaker muscle groups and perfect your technique.

Start by standing with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart with a stability ball in between your lower back and a wall. With your hands on your thighs, lower yourself into a sitting position while allowing the ball to move slightly down the wall. Pause at the bottom of your squat with your thighs parallel to the ground before slowly returning to your starting position. The proper-sized stability ball will allow you to sit on it while keeping your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.