I’m a big fan of skater squats, but they are a very difficult exercise that many people struggle to do at first. Most people can’t just jump into a full unassisted skater squat without working up to it.
With that in mind, here are three great teaching progressions for building up to an unassisted skater squat that have worked particularly well for me.
I order them in a way that I believe to be easiest to hardest, but everyone is different so I recommend trying all three to find which one works best for you based on your own personal strengths and weaknesses.
For all the variations below, I highly recommend holding 5-10 pound dumbbells to serve as counterbalance. Start with the dumbbells at your sides and raise them up like you’re doing a front raise as you lower down into the squat.
Ok, here are the exercises.
1. Sliding Skater Squats
This is just a skater squat with the rear leg on a Valside slide pad. It’s actually almost identical to a Valslide reverse lunge with just a touch more forward lean at the torso.
The key here is to put as little weight as possible on the rear leg to help work on balance as much as possible. To help facilitate that, focus on keeping your weight on the heel of the working leg.
2. Eccentric Only Skater Squats
Here you’re just lowering down on one leg and standing back up on two.
The key here is to control the eccentric and not just free fall to the floor. I highly recommend putting a pad behind you in case you do fall a little too fast, but imagine you’re squatting down onto a hard surface so you’ll be more inclined to stay under control.
3. “Bottoms Up” Skater Squats
This is just the opposite of the previous exercise. Stand up on one leg and lower down on two.
The key here is to make sure you aren’t pushing with the foot of the working leg, so make sure to pick it up off the floor before coming up.
I find these to be harder than the eccentric only version, but some people find them to be easier, so try both and see what you like better.
I’m in the process of putting together a mammoth article showcasing the skater squat from soup to nuts, from beginner variations like these all the way to very advanced progressions.
In the meantime, I hope these exercises get you well on your way to crushing full skater squats in no time!
Good luck, and remember to subscribe to my You Tube page for more updates.
Also remember to check out this weekend’s Good Reads post.