Alternatives to Building Lower Body Strength

A lot of trainers might get mad at me for this but…

Squats are cool, but they aren’t everything.

You heard me. Squats are not everything, and it takes a lot of effort to hold back my eye roll when I hear someone say that you “just need to squat more” in order to get a bigger butt, get strong, build a lower body, or I don’t know…reverse climate change.

So let me say it again. Squats are not everything and they are not for everyone.

Weightlifters and powerlifters need squats in their program because their sport demands it. Healthy athletes who   to squat can continue to do so, but after years of training and coaching, I know with certainty that the average person who wants to improve performance & aesthetics (like me + you) can do fine without barbell squats in their programs.

Want to get strong?

If you’re reading this, then you probably do want to get strong. Squatting is one way to help you develop lower body strength but like I said, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of alternative exercises that can help you achieve the same goal that puts you at less risk (not saying barbell squats are risky but it can be for some people).⠀Other alternatives to building lower body strength include:

  • Landmine squats
  • Reverse and forward lunges
  • Cossack squats
  • Pistol squats
  • Leg press machine
  • Leg extensions machine
  • All variations of step-ups
  • Heavy ass sled pushes
  • Rear foot elevated split squats from the bottom position via @benbrunotraining
  • All the hip thrust and glute bridge variations via @bretcontreas
  • Every deadlift variation known to mankind

Then there are all the tools you can use with any of these exercises – bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, ViPers, chains….that can change the stimulus of the exercise and help you develop strength.

Don’t sell yourself short by adhering to one type of lift and making that the end all be all. Different variations and tools keep things interesting and challenging while safely getting you to your goals.

If you love to squat, keep at it my friends. If you hate it or it bothers your joints, then by all means, find an alternative that works for you.

Comment below: What’s your favorite exercise for lower body strength?

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