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Y Squat Exercise & Workout 2023

Y Squat Exercise
Y Squat Exercise

The Y Squat is a type of squat that involves raising your arms above your head in the shape of a “Y” as you perform the squat.

  • The Y Squat exercise is an advanced variation of the traditional squat exercise.
  • The ‘Y’ refers to the position of your arms, extended overhead in a ‘Y’ shape as you perform the squat.
  • This posture engages your lower body and incorporates your upper body, particularly your shoulders and core.

The beauty of the Y Squat lies in its complexity. When performed correctly, it targets various muscles, from your quadriceps and glutes to your abdominal muscles and deltoids.

This makes it an incredibly efficient exercise for those looking to maximize their workout time.

Army PRT Y Squats Conditioning Drill Exercise

Y Squats
Y Squats

The Y squat is the first exercise in Conditioning Drill 3 (CD3).

There are nine more exercises in Army CD3:


  • This exercise combines upper and lower body squatting strength, mobility, and endurance.

Here is a breakdown of the exercise as it would be conducted in a formation at a slow cadence.

Starting Position

  • Straddle stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, arms overhead in the Y position, and shoulders pulled back.


  • SLOW


  1. On Count One: Squat with arms overhead (forming a “Y”) without allowing the back to round. The heels remain on the ground throughout the movement.
  2. On Count Two: Return to the starting position by tightening the buttocks and driving upward.
  3. On Count Three: Repeat Count 1.
  4. On Count Four: Return to the starting position.


  • Build up to ten repetitions. After the final repetition, return to the starting position.

Check Points

  • During count 1, lower the body as far as possible without rounding the back, keeping the shoulders drawn rearward, arms forming a “Y” overhead.
  • Tighten the buttocks and drive the trunk upward to return to the starting position.
  • Heels remain on the ground throughout the exercise.

Precaution: N/A

How to do a Proper Y Squat at Home

 I will talk about how to do a proper Y squat exercise workout:

Find Your Stance

Position your feet right underneath your hip bones. 

  • I want you to put your feet right underneath your hip bones, right where those hip bones are.

Engage Your Core

Draw in your core before initiating the movement. 

  • When you have found your natural stance, I want you to draw in your core and start to sit back into a chair.

Begin the Squat

Start sitting back as if sitting in a chair, ensuring your knees align directly above your feet as you do this, and your hips will slide back into a seated position.

  • As you do that, you are drawing in and pulling those knees right over the top of your feet, and as you do that, your hips slide back into that seated position.

Ground Yourself

Your heels are your foundation and anchor. To lift yourself back up, push through your heels.

  • To come back out, you will push through your heels; that is your ground, your foundation, and your anchor.

Rise Up

Stand up nice and strong.

  • As you begin to push through those heels, begin to stand up nice and strong.

That is how you do a proper squat.

What Muscles are Worked by the Y Squat Exercise?

The Y Squat exercise primarily targets the following muscle groups:

  • Quadriceps (front of the thigh)
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings (back of the thigh)
  • Calves
  • Lower Back
  • Upper Back
  • Shoulders
  • Core muscles (abdominal and oblique muscles)

Y Squats Exercise Benefits

Including Y Squats in your regular workout routine can yield significant benefits.

  • This exercise simultaneously engages various muscle groups, promoting more balanced muscle development and enhancing overall strength.
  • Y Squats workouts enhance your posture by strengthening your core and improving your balance and flexibility.
  • This exercise boosts the metabolic rate, helping you burn calories even when not working out.
  • Y Squat exercises can improve your athletic performance by enhancing your core, which is important if you are a runner, a cyclist, or a football player.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Y Squats

  1. Dropping Arms: It’s crucial to keep your arms extended in a ‘Y’ shape throughout the movement. Lowering your arms reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.
  2. Arching the Back: If you find yourself arching your back, it might indicate a weak core. Focus on engaging your body throughout the exercise to maintain a neutral spine.
  3. Not Going Low Enough: To reap the full benefits of the Y Squat, aim to get your thighs parallel to the ground during each repetition.
  4. Lifting Heels: Keep your feet flat on the ground throughout the exercise. Lifting your heels can lead to instability and potential injury.

Remember, it’s better to perform fewer repetitions with correct form than more in poor condition. Always prioritize quality over quantity in your workouts.

George N.