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Prisoner Squat

Prisoner Squat

The Prisoner Squat is a highly effective lower body exercise that primarily targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This bodyweight exercise can be done anywhere, requiring no equipment, making it a great choice for those looking to build strength and tone their lower body at home or while traveling. To perform the Prisoner Squat, assume a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands placed behind your head, interlocking your fingers. Engage your core muscles by bracing your abs and maintaining an upright posture throughout the exercise. From here, lower your body by bending at the hips and knees, as if you were sitting back into an imaginary chair. Keep your weight on your heels and descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as your flexibility allows. Once you reach the desired depth, push through your heels and extend your hips and knees, returning to the starting position. Avoid locking out your knees at the top of the movement and maintain control throughout the entire range of motion. To maximize the benefits of the Prisoner Squat, focus on proper form, ensuring your knees don't extend past your toes and maintaining a slight inward curve in your lower back. Start with a lower number of repetitions and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the exercise. Remember to incorporate the Prisoner Squat into a well-rounded workout routine that includes a combination of strength, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility training for optimal results. And as always, listen to your body, progress at your own pace, and consult with a fitness professional if you have any specific concerns or limitations.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands placed behind your head, interlocking your fingers.
  • Keeping your chest lifted and your core engaged, lower your hips back and down, as if sitting on an imaginary chair.
  • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or as low as you comfortably can.
  • From the bottom position, push through your heels and engage your glutes to rise back up to the starting position.
  • Remember to keep your knees tracking over your toes and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control throughout.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on proper form and technique to maximize the benefits of the exercise.
  • Increase the depth of your squat slowly over time to challenge your muscles.
  • Engage your core throughout the entire exercise to maintain stability and balance.
  • Use a mirror or video recording to check your form and make any necessary adjustments.
  • To add an extra challenge, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest level while performing the squat.
  • Start with bodyweight squats and gradually increase the resistance as you get stronger.
  • Include prisoner squats in your lower body workout routine at least twice a week for optimal results.
  • Don't rush through the exercise; focus on controlled and deliberate movements.
  • Combine prisoner squats with other compound exercises like lunges or deadlifts for a complete lower body workout.
  • Remember to warm up before performing prisoner squats to prevent injuries.

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