For every person who swears by squats, there are at least ten others out there who hate doing them, for whatever reason. If you're one of those people who don’t like to do squats, you’ll be glad to know there are other ways you can get the quads, glutes, and hamstrings you want. You can do your own squat challenge to see if you can get those same results with other exercises. Below you will find information on five different exercises which provide the same results as squats. Try giving yourself a squat challenge where you do other exercise in order to obtain the same results you would get from squats.
Doing lunges is a great exercise to add to your squat challenge. When you do lunges it’s important for you to be sure you are doing them properly. If you don’t do them the right way they you can put unwanted stress on your joints. When you do lunges you want to make sure to keep your upper body straight while your shoulders are back and your chin is pointed straight ahead. You always want to be sure to always engage your core. You will take a step forward with one leg and lower your hips down until your knees are at around 90-degrees. You want your front knee to be directly above your ankle and your other knee should be off the floor. You want to keep the weight in your heels while you push yourself slowly back up to the standing position. Once you feel confident start to add weight for higher resistance and greater gains.
Step ups are like squats, but they are easier on the knees for many. This makes them a good choice to add to your squat challenge. This exercise is a simple one to do and it can be done just about anywhere. You want to start by finding a clear space and position yourself in the center. You want to set a riser in front of you and beginners should start off with just one riser under the step. Stand in front of the step and have your feet about a foot apart. You want to take a deep breath and lift your foot as you exhale. Step up and put your foot on the step, followed by your other foot. Then do the opposite to step down and be sure you are using the muscles in your legs and core each time you step up. This is a simple exercise that can give you results you will be surprised by.
Ball Leg Press
The ball leg press is similar to a supported squat and this makes it easier on your knees. In order to do this exercise you are going to need an exercise ball or a weighted medicine ball. Once you have the ball you are going to lie down with your back flat on the floor. Then, you are going to grab the ball with the inner parts of your lower calves and ankles. Once you have a firm grasp on the ball you want to bring your legs in and extend them to push the ball upwards slowly, similar to if you were pushing weights upwards. Finally, slowly return the ball to the starting position. You will repeat this motion again in the same manner. This is a very simple exercise you can count on to provide you with physical results much like the ones you would see from doing squats.
Leg Press with Resistance Bands
If you have a problem with weight bearing exercises, you will find this one to be a great choice to add to your squat challenge. In order to do this exercise correctly you will lie on the floor with your knees bent. Take a heavy band and wrap it around the bottom part of your right foot. Adjust where you hold the band in order to change the tension. Keep your foot flexed and push your leg up and out, going towards the wall at about a 30 degree angle. Bend your knee and bring it back in. Once you have completed the reps you will do the same thing with the other side. Then try both legs at the same time to finish up and get the most out of your set.
Reverse Leg Press
The reverse leg press will also target the same areas you want to focus on for your squat challenge. You can do a reverse leg press with an exercise ball or with a reverse leg press machine. For the exercise ball you will get in a pushup position with your feet on the top of the ball. Begin by bending one leg in, followed by pushing and fully extending the same leg backwards and upwards into the air. Hold at peak extension for a second, the retract your leg and repeat this motion with your other leg. Continue your set by alternating both legs.
For the reverse leg press machine, you will stand slightly forward with your lower arms resting on the padding, while gripping the hand grips. You will push backwards at a slightly upwards angle with your foot positioned on the pedal and hold that position for a second. Then, slowly lower your leg back to the original position and repeat. You can think of this exercise as one similar to a standing donkey kick with added resistance.
When you are doing a squat challenge you want to be sure you are doing exercises you feel, but which aren’t going to cause you injury. Once you get into a routine you'll begin to see your body transform and be well on your way to accomplishing your fitness goals.