Feel like a weighted sissy squat is almost impossible to master? Here’s everything fitness buffs need to know about performing sissy squats and what the common variations are for this strength-boosting exercise!
In this article:
- What Is a Sissy Squat?
- How to Do Sissy Squats with Weights
- Weighted Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises
How to Do a Perfect Weighted Sissy Squat Without Being a Sissy
What Is a Sissy Squat?
Sissy squats are bodyweight exercises that isolate the quadriceps. Except for the calves, they relax every other muscle group in the lower body.
Don’t be fooled by its name. It’s a hardcore strength training exercise that boosts lower body power.
The sissy squat also involves a lot of core strength, joint flexibility, and overall balance. In fact, fitness buffs with nothing but raw strength might find it difficult to do this at first.
Note: This exercise is a bit strenuous on the knees so people with knee complications might want to try other leg exercises and workouts.
How to Do Sissy Squats with Weights
Step 1: Start with Stretching Exercises
To perform a sissy squat, fitness buffs need to loosen their lower body muscles and joints. Doing even a few reps of these without a proper warm-up exercise is a terrible idea and might lead to some serious injuries.
So to start things off, perform some leg stretching exercises that help improve flexibility. Afterward, a few sets of HIIT exercises like burpees or high knees further stimulate blood circulation.
Tip: Try not to do more than 10 to 12 reps per HIIT exercise. Doing any more just tires out the muscles too quickly.
Step 2: Grab a Plate
After warming up the body, it’s time to grab a plate. At first, fitness buffs should start with something a bit light that’s easy to lift up and down.
After the body gets used to doing the weighted sissy squat, one can start exploring heavier plates.
Step 3: Get into Position
Grab the plate with one hand and press it against the chest. Next, use the other hand to grab onto a squat rack or pole for balance and the stand on the balls of the feet.
Fully extend the legs, keep the eyes locked forward, maintain a shoulder-width apart foot stance, and straighten the back. This is the starting position.
Step 4: Do the Sissy Squat
After balancing the body on the balls of the feet, it’s time to do a sissy squat. While grabbing the pole for balance and using one hand to lean a plate against the body, slowly squat down by bending the knees.
The goal here is to lower the body down by driving the knees forward while leaning backward as one squats down. Continue squatting until the calves are parallel to the floor.
Hold this position for one count before driving the balls of the feet through the ground to push the body back up. This is one rep.
Do 10 to 15 reps for around three to four sets. If one is training for muscle mass, he or she can increase the weight and perform fewer reps per set.
RELATED: How To Properly Execute Air Squats
Weighted Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises
Here are some sissy squat alternatives for bodybuilders and fitness buffs who’re looking for something different:
1. Bodyweight Sissy Squat
Bodyweight Sissy Squat GIF by Giphy
The bodyweight sissy squats are perfect for beginners. By ditching the plate and using only one’s body weight, the exercise becomes a whole lot easier.
Of course, the actual exercise itself is still quite challenging so do not underestimate it.
- Stand upright with one arm across the chest and the other grabbing onto a pole or squat rack for balance.
- Position the feet about shoulder-width apart from each other and then balance the body on the balls of the feet.
- Next, squat down by bending the knees forward and leaning the body back.
- Continue squatting down until the calves are parallel to the floor.
- Hold this position for a second and then push the body back up by driving the balls of the feet through the ground. This is one rep.
- Do three to four sets of 10 to 15 reps.
2. Hands-Free Sissy Squats
Hands-Free Sissy Squats GIF by Giphy
This sissy squat variation is ideal for athletes who want to focus on lower body balance and strength rather than muscle growth.
To prevent leg injuries, make sure to clear any weights, dumbbells, or barbells on the floor. Otherwise, you can accidentally lose balance and hit your back on something that hard.
- Stand upright with the arms raised straight in front and parallel to the ground.
- Assume a shoulder-width apart foot stance and then balance the body on the balls of the feet.
- Take a deep breath and then squat down by bending the knees forward and leaning the body back a bit. Remember to keep the arms straight in front for balance.
- Once the calves are almost parallel to the floor, pause for one count, exhale, and then push the body back up by driving the balls of the feet through the ground. This is one rep.
- Do three to four sets of as many reps as possible.
3. Elevated Sissy Squat
Elevated Sissy Squat GIF by Giphy
If the hands-free sissy squats aren’t challenging enough, then try the elevated sissy squat. A deeper range of motion further challenges the strength and balance of both the legs and core.
- Stand on top of a small platform about a few inches high.
- Assume a shoulder-width apart foot stance, balance the body on the balls of the feet, straighten the back out, and raise the arms straight in front. This is the starting position.
- Next, slowly lower the body down by bending the knees forward and leaning backward. Use the arms for balance.
- Continue squatting down until the knees gently touch the ground.
- Pause for one count then push the body back up by driving the balls of the feet through the platform. Be careful not to press the knees against the floor when going back up or it can injure you.
- Do three to four sets of as many reps as possible.
Overall, the sissy squat is a great exercise that improves lower body strength, muscle mass, and balance. It might be a bit difficult at first, but just like any other exercise, all it takes is some perseverance and practice to master it.
Watch this video to learn how to do sissy squat correctly courtesy of ScottHermanFitness:
But if you feel like you lack the mental strength and willpower to commit to your training program, don’t worry! A lot of fitness buffs feel the same way. To compensate, try eating strength-boosting foods high in minerals and explore supplements that boost brain power, focus, and athletic performance!
What’s your favorite sissy squat variation? Post your answers in the comments section below!