3 Exercises to Improve Bodyweight Squat

3 Exercises to Improve Bodyweight Squat

I recommend stepping back and Improving the bodyweight squat, so I suggest doing these three exercises and improving the bodyweight squat.

A common question that I often get asked is…

It’s painful for me to do the Squat. What can I do for it to be pain-free?”

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1. Knee Range of Motion

Work on the range of motion in the knee. Creating a full, pain-free range of motion in the knee is a great foundation for moving to the bodyweight squat. Lie down on the mat and go through a knee range of motion exercise. I had Donnalee demonstrate.

Knee Range of Motion Exercise

Knee Range of Motion

Lie on your back and bend both knees. Bring one knee to your chest. Go to the point before pain and then straighten out. Work on that range of motion in your knee; straighten and lower your leg back down.

I recommend doing  5 to 20 repetitions of this exercise, and your range of motion will increase over time. If you go to the point just before pain, it might be a little uncomfortable, but that’s fine. You don’t want sharp, jabbing pain. Work on that range of motion.

2. Single Leg Tubing

You can use a resistive band to work on the strength around your knee. Grab the tubing and place it under your foot. Straighten out your leg, press into the tubing, and then return.

Single Leg Tubing Exercise

Single-Leg Tubing

We are working on strengthening around that knee with the resistive band. You can adjust your resistance level to what is right for you with resistive bands. Go through 5 to 20 repetitions.

3. Wall Sit

Stand up,  rest up against a wall, and move your feet away from the wall. Squat down to whatever level you can comfortably hold. Hold that position and then rise back up.

Wall Sit Exercise

Wall Sit

We are working on isometrically strengthening the knee, and the hip with the wall sit exercise. We are working on strengthening different ranges of motion in the hip and the knee.

You can slowly keep working further down in your wall sit. Hold for 2 to 5 seconds, then progress to 20 or 30 seconds. I recommend playing around with different motions in the hips and the knees because we are isometrically strengthening the muscle. Isometric contraction is a safe contraction for a joint that has been injured.


These three different exercises lay a good foundation for doing the bodyweight squat. The first exercise works on that range of motion in the knee. The second works on the strength of the knee joint. The third works on the isometric strength in the hip and knee to progress to the bodyweight squat. Give those exercises a go and work your way to doing the bodyweight squat pain-free.

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Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you want to improve the activation, endurance, and strength of your gluteus maximus, click here to check out the Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises program.

Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises