Inevitably, our workouts, at home or in the gym, are made up of the same type of exercises over and over again. And with good reason. Primary compound moves like squats, lunges, overhead presses, and push-ups feature in most workouts because they are highly effective.

The issue is, when your workout becomes repetitive, it can lead to both physical and mental plateau. Mixing things up is key to keeping up the challenging and making sure motivation stays high.

This is where variations come into it. Including variations of major compound exercises means you still get all the benefit from them but experience a different kind of challenge to your regular session.

So, we’re listing out 90 different variations of your favourite exercises, so whenever you need some inspiration, you know where to go.


Squat variations


Everyone loves to incorporate a squat. This functional movement is famous for developing glute, hamstring, quad, calf, and core strength. There are so many different squat variations that there’s no reason to get bored with it.

1. Back squat
2. Suitcase squat
3. Goblet squat
4. Surrender squat
5. 1.5 squat
6. Jump squat
7. Sumo squat
8. Split squat
9. Wall squat
10. Cossack squat
11. Pistol squat
12. Bulgarian split squat
13. Squat jacks
14. Side kick-squat
15. Squat kick-back
16. Overhead squat
17. Box jump squat
18. Side crunch squat
19. 180 jump squat
20. Squat side steps

Deadlift variations


The deadlift works wonders for the posterior chain. That means all the muscles that run down the back of the body. The spine, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings are all recruited into this exercise. Perfecting form and practising alternatives are great for the lower body.

21. Stiff leg deadlift
22. Kickstand deadlift
23. Single leg deadlift
24. Single leg slider deadlift
25. Deficit deadlift
26. Sumo deadlift
27. Block deadlift
28. Single dumbbell deadlift
29. Rack pull
30. Trap bar deadlift
31. Off-load deadlift
32. Suitcase deadlift

Lunge variations


Building leg strength is easily done using the lunge, and these multiple variations mean you can practice different loading and movement patterns to work all the different muscle fibres.

33. Jump lunges
34. Reverse lunges
35. Walking lunges
36. Curtsey lunge
37. Slider lunges
38. Lateral lunges
39. Pulsed lunges
40. Reverse lunge to knee drive
41. Overhead lunge
42. Step up lunges
43. Lunge with rotation
44. Clock lunges
45. Reverse lunge with kick
46. Elevated lunge
47. Woodchop lunge

Overhead press variations


On top of developing shoulder strength, the overhead press and all its variations are great for working the upper body and core in general. These exercises always offer a challenge and require lots of stability to achieve.

48. Military press
49. Shoulder press
50. Arnold press
51. Kneeling shoulder press
52. Seated shoulder press
53. Push press
54. Single-arm shoulder press
55. Partial shoulder press
56. Dead-stop shoulder press
57. Tempo shoulder press

Push-up variations


The humble push-up is an incredibly challenging but essential exercise that can be considered full body. It works all the major muscle groups in the upper body, engages the core, and requires a bit of support from the lower body too. Whether you’ve yet to hit your first one or have mastered the traditional version, there are variations for everyone.

58. Decline push-up
59. Incline push-up
60. Wide grip push-up
61. Weighted push-up
62. Diamond push-up
63. Staggered push-up
64. Pike push-up
65. Shoulder tap push-up
66. Single-arm push-up
67. Eccentric push-ups
68. Pop-up push-ups
69. Push-up with clap
70. Medicine ball push-ups
71. Sphinx push-up
72. Spiderman push-up

Plank variations


This isometric exercise is well known to offer a full-body burn at the end of a workout. Mix things up with different variations to increase the intensity and challenge that core.

73. Low plank
74. Plank saw
75. Plank with renegade row
76. Reverse plank
77. Spiderman plank
78. Side plank
79. Shoulder tap plank
80. Single leg plank
81. Side plank crunch
82. Raised leg plank
83. Plank hip dip
84. Plank jacks
85. Bird dog plank
86. Dumbbell drag plank
87. Mountain climbers
88. Walking plank
89. Forearm to high plank
90. Knee to elbow plank