10 Squat Alternatives To Work All Your Lower Body Muscles | good + good (2023)

AAs beneficial as squats are, some people don't enjoy doing them or don't have the range of motion to do them safely and effectively.

In this regard,stripesfounding professoramanda jennyThe 10 Best Squat Alternatives give you the power you need to make leg day the best workout of your week.

10 squat alternatives to train your lower body

1. Hip bridge

You know those people who lie down and seem to limp in the gym? They demonstrate one of the best squat alternatives: hip bridges! According to Jenny, this move is great for working your glutes and hamstrings.

To properly perform a hip bridge, he says, you need to lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. "Extend your arms out to the sides and you'll be able to brush the back of your heels," she says. "Lift your hips in the air as high as you can, ribs locked and core tight, drive your hips back down to the mat." Make as many as you feel comfortable for your body. However, three sets of up to 12 repetitions are ideal.

How to make a bridge correctly:

2. Single leg bridge

Once you've mastered the hip bridge, it's time to make it more challenging. And according to Jenny, a one-legged bridge is the perfect next step.

To perform the move, follow the same instructions as for a regular hip bridge, except this time you'll do it with one leg lifted in the air instead of the foot on the ground. "Press in the landing heel and lift your hips as high as you can," instructs Jenny, reminding us to keep our core engaged throughout the entire process.

3. Lateral leg raise

Here we have a movement that is a relic of the 80s, but is absolutely current. Despite its retro character, it has modern advantages. Jenny says it strengthens the adductors, including the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

"Lie on your side with your spine parallel to the long edge of the mat," says Jenny. “Extend your legs forward toward the top corner of the mat. Raise the top leg to hip level. Go up a few inches and then down to waist level.

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To make it more difficult, he says to wrap a resistance band around your thighs, just a few inches above your knees.

4. Shells

Here we have another squat alternative that has been around for decades. Like a lying leg lift, shells work your adductors.

“Lie on your side with your spine parallel to the long edge of the mat,” instructs Jenny. “Bend your knees and kick your heels lightly towards your buttocks. Squeeze the heels together. Raise and lower your upper leg without losing connection with your feet.

To enhance the movement, he recommends placing a resistance band around your thighs that puts more pressure on your glutes as you open up.

5. Reverse lunges

Looking to target more than just your glutes? Jenny says reverse lunges are a great alternative to squats because they work your butt, hamstrings, core, and quads so hard.

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart,” she says. “Go back and bend both knees until both legs are at a 90 degree angle. Step through the front heel and return to the starting position."

You can do this movement for repetitions or for time. Either way, this will give you the loot burn you've been looking for.

How to do a reverse lunge:

6. Lateral lunge

Taking a different tack, Jenny says side lunges are another solid alternative to squats for working your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and, as a bonus, your inner thighs.

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Again, he says to start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. "Step to the side and bend the leg you're stepping on," she says. “Straighten the opposite leg and keep most of your weight on the bent leg. Push off the lead foot and return to the starting position.

When performing this move, be sure to push your hips back to evenly distribute your weight, which will help take pressure off your knees.

7. Deadlift

You can perform this squat alternative with a barbell or dumbbells in each hand. For accessibility, Jenny shares how to perform the move with free weights.

"Hold a weight in each hand and place your arms in front of your thighs with your palms facing you," she says. “Drop your knees and drive your hips back into space as you bend at the waist and reach the dumbbells toward the floor. Engage your glutes as you come back to your feet.

Performing this move strengthens your hamstrings, glutes, hips, core, and back. This way, it's not just an alternative to squats, but a great full-body workout.

8. One leg deadlift

If you want to focus on improving your balance, consider the single leg deadlift.

Jenny says you should start the same way as a traditional deadlift, except lift one leg before you start.

"Bend and lift one leg so your knee is in front of your belly button and you balance on the other leg," he instructs. “Start by leaning your torso forward as you extend your lifted leg back and lower the weights to the floor. He stops when his head and heel are in a horizontal line. Drive with heel up and return to balance position."

The beauty of this lift is that, in addition to all the deadlift benefits mentioned above, working on one leg also helps you target your calves.

Learn one leg deadlift:

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9. Kicks like weights

Some squat alternatives can even work your upper body. case study? Weighted kicks. According to Jenny, these side raises help not only work your core, hamstrings, and glutes, but your upper body as well.

"Get on all fours," he begins. “Put your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Place a weight behind your knee and kick your heel toward your pelvis to lock the weight in place. Lift your thigh off the floor while activating your core. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then control your leg back to starting position.

10. About

This barbell-inspired move is deadly for your core and glutes.

To do this, Jenny instructs him to place his hands (palm to palm) on a sturdy stool or chair, then rest his head in his hands. "Throw your legs back until your head is in line with your hips," she says. “Lift one leg back and give way to the supporting leg. Lower your back leg until your toe touches the ground, then lift it to the highest point where you'll feel your glutes locked in place. When performing this move, it's imperative to keep your core engaged and pull back. People often hyperextend their lower back to lift their leg, but this movement should only focus on the glutes.

And there you have it, 10 squat alternatives you can do from virtually anywhere. Whatever moves you decide to incorporate into your routine, Jenny says you can safely do them every day or whenever works best for your body.

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