The cannonball squat is a variation on the basic squat that targets the quads and requires some balance and coordination. This is a great exercise for athletes that are looking to add some variety to their leg training without the need for specialized equipment like plyo boxes or weighted vests. This exercise is also ideal for those who have some knee issues that would prevent them from doing a regular squat with good form.
To perform a cannonball squat stand in front of a stable box (not one with a lot of height). Slowly lower into a basic squat by pushing down with the feet and then push up to standing. Keep your back more or less straight throughout the movement to target the quads as much as possible. Start off with a low box and work up to progressively higher ones as you get stronger and confident.
Some studies have shown that cannonball squats are slightly more quad-dominant than regular squats. However, this is not necessarily true for everyone as it depends on various factors including knee health and whether you use other leg exercises as well.
If you aren’t ready for a full cannonball squat just yet you can still train the same muscles by doing some other build-up exercises. For example, the hack squat machine has a low platform that forces the feet to stay closer together so this is a pretty quad-dominant version of the basic squat. You can also try doing VMO dips by standing with the support foot on an elevated surface and lowering down until your hips are slightly below your knees and then pushing back up to standing.