How to do a Side-to-Side Squat and Swing

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates a Side-to-Side Squat and Swing

Incorporating more squats into your workout routines is never a bad idea. Not only are they one of the most basic exercises for strengthening your lower body, but they’re also functional because you use the movements in a squat throughout your day, such as when you lift something from the floor or sit or get out of a chair. Even better are side squats, which more effectively work the inner and outer thighs than a regular squat. When you add dumbbells to the mix for extra resistance, you have total body workout!

Learning how to do the Side-to-Side Squat and Swing will help you strengthen your chest, glutes, quads and hamstrings. As with the lunge, anytime you squat you are engaging your core for stabilization. Core-strengthening exercises are great for improving posture and balance! We love this exercise because it’s easy to learn quickly and requires only dumbbells to get the job done. When you pick a weight, just be sure it’s appropriate for you strength. Meaning, use it for added resistance and a bit of a challenge, but don’t overdo it—especially for the sake of your lower back!

Before you get started, learn how to do a proper squat with this quick tutorial video from the American Council on Exercise. Once you have that down, here are some tips to help perfect your Side-to-Side Squat and Swing: Keep your abs and glutes engaged, your chest forward and your head up! Keep your feet planted on the ground when you swing your dumbbells.

1) Start with feet slightly wider than hip distance and dumbbell in right hand.

2) Take a step out to the side with your right foot and sit back into a deep squat.

3) Let the dumbbell swing back under the legs then up to chest height while jumping up switch the dumbbell to the other hand, and come into a side squat on the other side.

Targets: chest, glutes, quads, hamstrings




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