Take a look at our friend up here doing his squats. Looks fun huh? He’s got his knees wrapped so tight that he’s trying to prevent them from combusting into a literal patella shrapnel explosion. At least he’s looking out for his spotters. After all, those pieces of kneecap shards can be pretty dangerous! But seriously, ask yourself this one simple question…”WHAT IS THE POINT?”.
I understand that this guy is a powerlifter and he’s competing. But at what cost? Is he going to regret every second of it when he’s barely able to walk up a flight of stairs because his knees are shot or can’t stand upright because his back has been reduced to a compressed patty of nonfunctional spinal discs? Most likely yes.
Squats ARE Effective But…
But we all know how effective the squat is in producing more muscular, more athletic, and more powerful legs. So what do we do? And I’m not suggesting at all that the exercise should be “pleasant” when you’re doing it, for it to be worthwhile.
As a matter of fact, some of the most unpleasant exercises (i.e. pullups, bent over rows, deadlifts, squats, etc) are often times the most effective when it comes to building muscle. But most people do these exercises wrong and that instantaneously makes these exercises the most potentially damaging instead of beneficial.
So wouldn’t it be great if you could come up with some great squat alternatives that you could mix into your leg workouts that would still allow you to get great results without crippling you in the process? I thought so, so I did.
Now…a recent article that appeared on ASKMEN.COM covered 6 alternatives to squats that gave guys some good solid options for doing this. However I feel they may have missed a couple….actually 3 of my favorite athletic squat alternative exercises that can supercharge your workouts and stimulate your quads, hamstrings and glutes in ways they haven’t quite felt before! And all you need is a your own bodyweight and an optional weighted vest!
So what are these squat alternatives? I thought you’d never ask.
3 Great Squat Alternatives
1. Hill Running (weighted vest or weight plate in a backpack – optional) – One of the greatest exercises of all time bar none! Get yourself to a steep hill (somewhere around a 45 degree incline) and strap on that backpack with a weight plate inside or invest in a weighted vest…or just go au natural (clothed of course but with no weight) and start running sprints as fast as you can up the hill. It should be around 40 yards if possible. Slowly walk back down which will work the eccentric muscles in the quads and you’ll be smoked within just a few trips! Keep trying to increase the number of hills you get to with each subsequent workout.
2. Backwards Hill Running (weighted vest or weight plate in a backpack – optional) – OK, now it just got even harder! Talk about a quad killer. Pushing up the hill backwards is going to zone in on those quads in almost a closed chain version of a leg press. It keeps the knees in a safe position and oh by the way, gets the heart pumping pretty fierce, which is a great two for one benefit and way to get your cardio in at the same time.
3. Box Jumps – Simple I know, but explosively effective! Don’t have a box you say? No problem, find a sturdy rock or stone wall or park bench to be your jumping platform and you’ll get just as good results. The key is in the repetitive power required to pull off say 20 consecutive reps of this bad boy. Throw on a weighted vest or hold two dumbbells while doing this and you’ll turn those quads into jelly faster than you’ll forget who won last years NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. You did forget didn’t you?
So you see…finding good alternatives to squats is not difficult, but it’s important that you’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t sub in a new exercise just for the sake of subbing in something new. Put in an exercise with a purpose and a unique way for challenging your muscles to grow in all new ways.
If you want to get an entire workout system geared at delivering to you completely unique and effective ways to getting your stubborn muscles to grow and to look more like the lean, strong and ripped pro athletes you see on television every day…then you should definitely check out the AthLEAN-X TRAINING SYSTEM to see how you can follow the same 90 day program that All-Star 3rd Baseman David Wright used to get in the elite condition he did for this season.
Til the next post!