This 20-Minute Squat Workout Will Take Everything Your Glutes Have Got

Doing a workout of exclusively squats will definitely burn out your lower-body muscles.
Image Credit: agrobacter/iStock/GettyImages

Ever wonder how many squats you can do until you just can't finish one more rep? Well, this workout just might get you there.

This all-squat workout will truly put your glutes to the test. Built by Carolina Araujo, CPT, a New York-based personal trainer, this routine consists of two circuits that will challenge your lower-body strength and endurance. Prepare to be a little stiff the next morning!

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Try This 20-Minute Squat Circuit Workout

Working out in circuits is an efficient way to work your glutes in a short amount of time. This squat circuit workout targets all three muscles of your glutes: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, as well as your inner thighs.

Circuit 1

Do:​ all of the listed exercises for the given number of reps, repeating the circuit for 3 total sets. Pause for 60 seconds between sets and shake your legs out, Araujo says.

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Move 1: Body-Weight Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 15
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your arms back to your sides.
  5. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Move 2: Pulse Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 20
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom of your squat and make small pulses up and down.
  5. Then, press through your heels to stand back up. This is 1 rep.
  6. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Move 3: Jump Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 25
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. On an exhale, quickly reverse the motion and jump up into the air, swinging your arms back for momentum.
  5. Land softly back into a squat and get into your next rep as quickly as possible.
  6. Do 3 sets of 25 reps.

Move 4: Squat Hold

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Sets 3
Time 30 Sec
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. Hold the bottom of the squat for 30 seconds.
  5. Do 3 sets.

Move 5: Body-Weight Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 10
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your arms back to your sides.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Circuit 2

Do:​ all of the exercises in this sequence for 3 total sets, taking about a 60-second rest between sets.

Move 1: Sumo Squat

Sets 3
Reps 15
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your feet turned out at 45 degrees.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you at chest height or keep them at your sides.
  3. Bend your knees to lower yourself down into a squat. Keep your chest up, back flat and knees in line with your toes.
  4. Press through your heels to return to standing.
  5. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Tip

For an added challenge, you can hold a single dumbbell with both hands between your legs as you perform your sumo squats, Araujo says.

Move 2: Sumo Squat With Calf Raise

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Sets 3
Reps 15
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, feet turned out at 45 degrees.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you at chest height or keep them at your sides.
  3. Bend your knees to lower yourself down into a squat. Keep your chest up, back flat and knees in line with your toes.
  4. As you press through your heels and come to standing, raise up onto the balls of your feet (tiptoes), squeezing the calves.
  5. Bring your heels back to the ground and return to a sumo squat. This is 1 rep.
  6. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Move 3: Pop Jump Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 15
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, feet turned out at 45 degrees.
  2. Bend your knees and lower into a squat, keeping your chest up and back flat.
  3. Press through your heels and jump up into the air.
  4. Land with your feet together.
  5. Rebound quickly and jump back up, landing with your feet wider than hip-width distance, feet turned out at 45 degrees. This is 1 rep.
  6. Go right into the squat for your next rep, continuing to alternate between feet together and feet wide with each jump.
  7. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Move 4: Eccentric Body-Weight Squat With Hold

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Sets 3
Reps 15
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you at chest height and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Lower down for a 4-second count until your thighs are parallel with the floor (or as far as your mobility will allow).
  4. Pause to hold the bottom of the squat.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing for a 1-second count.
  6. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Tip

To make this exercise even more challenging, you can add a pulse after your bottom one-second hold, coming back up a few inches before lowering back down, then finally returning to standing.

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