Alternatives to Squats


alternatives to squats

Are There Alternatives To Squats?

As I mentioned in my previous post,  squats are a great leg exercise for a multitude of reasons.  I also mentioned that not everyone is capable of doing them correctly and thus would be tempting fate to try it. Thankfully, there are alternatives to squats.

There are alternatives such as the leg press. The leg press is much less of a compound movement than squats, but it certainly has it’s merits.

Where your  feet are placed on the carriage during the exercise will determine which leg muscles you are going to be working.  For example,  a high wide placement will work hamstrings, gluteals, abductors, etc. A lower narrow placement will focus more on the quads and abductors.

Since the leg press is not a vertical press and obviously it’s not putting the weight across your trapezius, you can use much more weight than if you were squatting. People tend to be very focused on the poundage, but that is not what gets the muscles built. Proper form and range of motion is where one’s focus needs to be. You should always press through your heels and never have your feet positioned so low as to allow the knees to cross over the  plane of the toes, as that can easily result in injury to the patella tendons, etc.

As a long time Austin personal trainer, 1 of the 3 biggest mistakes I see constantly is people not using a full range of motion, especially on exercises like the leg press which are some of the best alternatives to squats. So many people load up the sled with heavy weight and then move it one third of the way, if that. Take off some weight and lower the sled down to 90 degrees before pushing it back up.  Another thing to avoid is what I call jackrabbit reps. These are very shallow yet fast reps with lighter weights that people often do when doing a high volume set. Neither if the aforementioned techniques will yield results other than the delusional stroking of one’s ego.  The third mistake I see very often is people bracing their knees with their hands. They always claim to not be pushing with them, but they always are. Placing your hands there as opposed to on the handles beside your hips results in not using your abductor or abductor muscles to anywhere near the degree required to stimulate growth and strength.

As with any exercise, start with light weight, develop good form, and good habits. Shortcuts dilute results, and you may as well spend your time doing something else.

Ready to Get Started?

The following two tabs change content below.
Andy
My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Summary
Alternatives To Squats
Article Name
Alternatives To Squats
Description
Not everyone should be doing squats to build leg muscles. Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey offers some alternatives to squats which are beneficial, and may be safer for you.
Author
Publisher Name
Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
Publisher Logo

Comments are closed.

Contact Us

Complete Fitness Design
Complete Fitness Design
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin, TX 78748
512-484-2270
[email protected]

About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270