Tiptoe Squats: How To Do, Benefits,…

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Regular squats are great but you can switch them up for different results. Find out how to do tiptoe squats and whether they are good.

As the name implies, tiptoe squats are a variation of regular squats where you stand on your toes instead of flat feet.

This modification makes the exercise work your calf and quadricep (front thigh) muscles and balance more than regular squats.

Tiptoe squats may sound decent at first but the balance aspect typically interferes with your resistance training too much.

You will also likely not be able to do tiptoe squats with a lot of weight which is typically needed to see results when training the strong leg muscles.

In simpler words, tiptoe squats will often be more of a balance exercise with some amount of muscle endurance training for your calves and quadriceps.

Some individuals will like this but many people will prefer other compound leg exercises.

How to do a tiptoe squat

It can be smart to do your first few tiptoe squats next to a sturdy object in case you need to hold something for balance.

That aside, take the following steps to do a tiptoe squat:

  1. Stand upright with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Raise your heels off the ground so you stand on your toes.
  3. Slowly lower your body as far as comfortable by folding your legs. Keep your thighs above your feet and your spine more or less straight.
  4. Raise your body again in a controlled motion until you are back in the position of step 2.
  5. Complete your set and lower your heels back to the ground.
How to do a tiptoe squat

How far you will be able to go down with tiptoe squats depends on details like your knee health and balance skills.

You can play it safe and start by only lowering your body a small amount.

Over time, you can then safely push your limits in this area.

Muscles worked with tiptoe squats

The main muscles you work with tiptoe squats are your quadriceps (front thighs) and calves.

You also still work your glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), and erector spinae (lower back) to some extent.

That being said, you need to keep in mind that you need to pressure your muscles with enough weight and repetitions to grow and strengthen them.

Since tiptoe squats are a lot harder when it comes to balance, it is possible that you are not able to get the required challenge for seeing results.

Especially if you want to do tiptoe squats with weights like a weighted vest, dumbbells, or other leg exercise equipment the balance aspect is likely too much.

Tiptoe squats vs squats

Tiptoe squats will generally focus slightly more on your calves and quadriceps than the regular version.

On the flip side, regular bodyweight squats will also likely work your glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae just a bit more than the tiptoe variation.

Benefits of tiptoe squats

While they will be less effective than regular squats in many areas, tiptoe squats can still offer benefits. A few of these are:

  1. Muscle endurance: Actual muscle growth may not happen but tiptoe squats can still improve quadricep and calf muscle endurance.
  2. Balance and coordination: You can train your balance and coordination by doing things that are challenging in these areas. Tiptoe squats can likely help you with this.
  3. Can reduce injury risk: Getting better muscle endurance in your quadriceps and calves by doing tiptoe squats can help reduce your injury risk around these.

As you can see from these benefits, doing tiptoe squats is often still better than doing nothing.

Tiptoe squat alternatives

Many people will conclude that they want to turn to more effective tiptoe squat alternatives instead. Some examples include:

  • Other squat variations
  • Weighted calf raises
  • Balance board exercises
  • Step-ups
  • Lunges
  • Bulgarian split squats

What fitness components and muscles you want to train will influence what tiptoe squat alternatives you prefer.

Are tiptoe squats a good exercise?

Tiptoe squats can still offer improvements in calf and quadricep muscle endurance and balance.

At the same time, it is hard to really call tiptoe squats a good exercise.

The extra balance requirements make it really challenging to get a good workout.

You will likely not be able to get a lot of muscle growth and strength progress from tiptoe squats because using squat equipment will be too challenging in terms of balance.

Even for the training goals above you can likely find more effective exercise alternatives.

If you really like doing tiptoe squats you could do them every once in a while.

However, you likely also want to implement other exercises that actually help you reach your training goals.

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What do tiptoe squats do?

Tiptoe squats train your balance, calf muscle endurance, and quadricep muscle endurance.

Should you tiptoe when squatting?

You should generally not tiptoe when squatting. This makes the exercise harder in terms of balance and in turn, less safe and more challenging to execute.

Are tiptoe squats good?

Tiptoe squats are not that good for most people. Even if you want to train balance and muscle endurance in your calves and quadriceps, there are better alternatives.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.