The cannonball squat is an advanced exercise that adds a new challenge to a classic leg workout. This variation on the squat strengthens your quadriceps and challenges your balance and coordination more than regular bodyweight squats. This can help improve your performance in other exercises, sports, and daily activities by reducing your risk of injury.
In addition to strengthening your legs, the cannonball squat also helps you burn more calories. This is because the exercise requires more energy to perform, and it increases your leg muscle size, which burns more calories even when at rest. In addition, the cannonball squat can improve your mood by stimulating the release of chemicals that make you feel good.
To perform the cannonball squat, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointing outward. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest. Lower into a cannonball squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back like you are sitting on a chair. Continue to squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly below.
If you have limited knee mobility, you can perform a version of the cannonball squat with less ankle impact by elevating your heels on a block or wedge. You can also do a similar exercise, called the prisoner squat, with a bench or box. The prisoner squat requires more upper-body strength, but it can be modified for people with limited mobility by placing your knees on the bench or box and pushing through the front foot to stand back up.