Exercise Spotlight: Skater Squat

By Neghar Fonooni

What this works: (i.e. primary muscle groups involved)

Glutes, Quads, Core

 Why we like it:

Because this exercise is so challenging, you really don’t need much else other than your body to perform it. This makes it great for travel workouts and home workouts. Once you’ve mastered the movement, there are a variety of ways to load it to make it challenging, which adds to the versatility of the exercise.

Who this is good for: (beginner, intermediate, etc)


Beginners can perform this with limited range of motion, in order to master the movement. Intermediate lifters can perform the exercise using body weight through a full ROM, and advanced lifters can load the exercise.

Equipment needed:


*Optional equipment: A pad to gauge depth, light weights as a counter balance, heavier weights to load the exercise once you are advanced.

How to perform it:

  • Stand up straight, make sure there is nothing behind you that you might kick or trip on.
  • Inhale as you reach one leg about a foot behind you, keeping both knees bent. Arms should reach out in front as a counter balance, abs engaged. Tap a raised pad or the ground lightly with your back knee.
  • Torso will lean forward at an angle (as if your chest is going towards your front knee) but the back should not round.
  • Exhale as you use the front leg to come back to standing.
  • Repeat 5-10 reps, switch sides.

Common mistakes to avoid:

  • Rounding the back, not keeping a neutral spine
  • Losing the core engagement
  • Letting the front knee cave in and not align with the hip and ankle
  • Going deeper than you're prepared for
  • Allowing the front knee to go too far forward (meaning you aren’t reaching back far enough with the back knee)

Helpful cues:

  • Inhale as you go down and exhale as you come up in order to maximize tension and control.
  • Push the front foot through the ground as you come up.
  • Consider using a very light (no more than 5 pound) counterbalance to make the exercise more manageable.

Where this would fit in a program:

  • Beginner - As part of a warm-up, perhaps paired with a TGU or core stability exercise.
  • Intermediate - As part of a bodyweight or travel workout, or in a Metabolic Resistance (MRT) circuit.
  • Advanced - As a strength-based lift.

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About the author:  Neghar Fonooni

Girls Gone Strong co-founder Neghar Fonooni is a fitness and lifestyle coach, writer, entrepreneur, veteran, wife, and mom. Neghar’s mission is to help women all over the world live fit, happy, empowered lives without stress and shame. Learn more about Neghar on her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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