How To Do A Prisoner Squat

Squats are a main stay in any Fitness program, its how you do them that makes them tricky and interesting. Appropriately named for its visual similarities to a prisoner being arrested, the Prisoner Squat certainly does that job!

Read our ‘How to do a Prisoner Squat’ blog to spice up your HIIT routine today.

The Prisoner Squat

A Prisoner Squat is a lower body exercise that targets the glutes, hips, hamstrings and quadriceps. The calf muscles also works in this exercise. This exercise is great for repetitions as there is no added weight on your spine.

This exercise can be completed using just bodyweight so it can be done anywhere and can easily be included in your HIIT workouts, it also has a number of variations so you can make it harder, the stronger you get.

  • Start Position—Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your fingers on your temples. Pull your elbows back and stick your chest out.  
  • ExecutionPush your hips back and with keeping your knees in line with your toes, drop down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Keep your core tight and your back straight through the whole movement. Pause at the bottom and drive your weight through your heels to stand up.


How to do a Prisoner Squat routine


Making the Prisoner Squat easier

Prisoner Squats are a pretty simple exercise, but if you struggle to gain balance or strength to hold a concrete position, then follow this small variation to help you build perfect form.

Box Prisoner Squat:

Before you attempt to Prisoner Squat, have a chair or some thing strong that will take your weight. Put the item underneath you so when you perform the squat, you actually sit down half way through. From there, drive your body upwards out of the seat, through your heels.

How to do a Prisoner Squat

Prisoner Squat Variations:

Like we said earlier, the Prisoner Squat is a simple body weight exercise designed so you can get the maximum amount of reps out of a set. But, if you want to make this exercise harder, then try our variations out for size.

  • Plyometric Prisoner Squats- This is a simple tweak, Perform the prisoner squat, as your would, at the bottom of the movement, drive upwards though your heels and explode into the air. Land on the balls of your feet and perform the next rep, just the same!
  • Pulse Prisoner Squat- Again, another simple tweak in the original exercise. Perform the Prisoner Squat, as you would, but instead of extending your legs at the end of the rep, stay low, half way up in fact and drop back down. This will create some incredible tension in your quads that will burn!

How to do a Prisoner Squat

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