Video Demonstration

This article will cover how you perform the Shrimp Squat also commonly known as the knee-tap squat and the airborne lunge.

This exercise is a challenging single leg bodyweight squat. Unlike the pistol squat with this variation your non-squatting leg gets held behind your body instead of in front.

This article will include video, image and a written step by step description on how to do this exercise.

Its difficulty level, the equipment you need to do it. The different muscle groups that get worked when you use this exercise.

The benefits you get when adding it to your training routine. Also, some different training cues to use when you are performing it.

Shrimp Squat How to Guide

Image Example

how to perform the shrimp squat

Step by Step Description


Perform each portion with a slow and controlled movement. You should not use any momentum to help you. To help remove any energy you built up by performing a pause in the bottom squat position.

Focus on keeping your squatting legs hip, knee and ankle all in alignment and keep your entire body tight the entire time.

Step 1: Move to the standing position hold your arms straight and raise inline with your shoulders reaching forwards. Now engage your Triceps, Lats, and Serratus.

Step 2: Step one of your legs back in the short lunge position. Raise the foot of the leg you moved back off of the ground.

Step 3: Inhale and push your hips back and bend the knee, Hinge your upper body forward and lower your body until the back knee comes in contact with the floor.

Step 4: Exhale and Raise back to the standing position by Fully extend the hips and knee.

Difficulty Level

The Shrimp Squat is an advanced calisthenic form of training. You should be able to perform the Bulgarian split squats and reverse lunges before moving to this lift.

To make this movement a little easier to perform reach both of your arms out in front of your body so that they are parallel to the floor.

Now if you are looking for a way to make the exercise more challenging your first option is a weighted vest. However, if you need a way to increase its difficulty without weights place both of your arms behind your body and grab the foot of your non-squatting leg.

Another option to increase the difficulty is to stand on an elevated the surface to expand the range of motion you are performing. Place your squatting foot on the surface. Your other legs knee hangs past the edge of the surface. When you lower your body, your knee will now go below the elevated surface.

Equipment Required

You only need your body to be able to perform this exercise.

A weighted vest is a useful piece of equipment you can use to increase the difficulty of this lift incrementally. The weighted vest works exceptionally well if you also use the method where your arms get placed behind your back.

Muscles Worked

The Primary muscles worked by the Shrimp Squat are your Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, and your Glutes.

The secondary muscles involved are the Hamstrings, Calves, Back and your Core.

Benefits From the Shrimp Squat

When you train each of your legs separately, it lets you find any imbalances between sides and correct them.

In sports your perform most movements in a split stance, or by pushing off one leg from a parallel position. Single leg training replicates these conditions

So training with single leg movements is a useful tool to increase your athletic abilities.

If you are looking for a way to train your legs but do not have access to a gym you are going need to perform single leg lifts like Shrimp Squats.

The balance and hip strength gained with Shrimp Squats has a direct carry over to help you progress to pistol squats if you cannot do them already.

Training Tips

Since this is a reasonably advanced exercise, you need to be comfortable with performing traditional Squats and lunges first. After these lifts, you should progress to using Bulgarian split squats and reverse lunges to prepare your body for this exercise.

These exercises will specifically train your hip flexors and teach you to balance on one leg as you train. Balancing is what makes this squat variation so tricky.

According to T-Nation holding a pair of dumbells(only five to ten pounds) will work as a counterbalance. You just need to hold the weights at waist height and raise them to shoulder height as you lower your body. Doing this will help you to keep good posture and stay upright.

When you are first starting out, you will want to place something soft beneath you in case you lose your balance. Having some type of padding beneath you will prevent your knee slamming into a hard surface.

In Closing

The Shrimp Squat is a challenging calisthenics exercise. You can use a weighted vest or alter the position of your arms to continue progressing with this lift.

If you have never performed single leg training exercises before, you are going need to start with something simpler first. Then you can gradually move up to this movement.



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