T Nation

Alternatives to Squats and Deads?

I’ve finally found a gym out here in Qatar that I can use for a decent workout, luckily enough it happens to be near my route on the way home from work.

The problem is that they have lots of machines, but little in the way of free-weights. It’s all crammed into a fairly small area too. They do have dumbbells up to 65kg though (hey, maybe one day I’ll be able to lift one AND put it back in the rack!).
There’s no squat rack and the only barbell is the one over by the bench, which is generally in use.

I’ve always read that squats and deadlifts should be a staple of your workout, but in this case can anyone recommend an effective alternative?

I’m thinking of dumbbell squats to start with and dumbbell lunges; I can’t go heavy yet because of a damaged knee joint.

You could use the bench to do box squats, not sure how tall you bench is though. Dumbell deadlifts works good. Overhead squats, dumbell squats, one legged dumbell deadlift. You can pretty much do anything you can with a barbell with a dumbell, with few exceptions.

At my old gym, there was no squat/power rack. I always used the bench press to do deadlifts, and if you really wanna do squats then you should be able to do front squats using the bench as well.

Dumbell front squat
Dumbell deadlift

[quote]echelon101 wrote:
Dumbell front squat
[/quote]
Seconded. Goblet Squats are the shit.

Don’t forget that you can do a ton of single leg stuff holding DBs. Including single leg deadlift variations. There’s also things like pull thrus (can be done with the cable cross machine), back extensions and glute ham raises to give your posterior chain some love.

Might be a blessing in disguise for you. I know a lot of people(myself included)who almost never train with DBs when it comes to squats and deads.

I’ll throw in step lunges as my personal favorite DB leg movement.

[quote]analog_kid wrote:
I’ll throw in step lunges as my personal favorite DB leg movement. [/quote]

Seconded. My favorite leg movement period, is overhead walking lunges. You hit pretty much everything, but your legs do all the moving. Start with maybe a 25# plate, work up to a 45# plate. Then maybe try 25# DB’s in each hand, overhead of course. You are not loading the legs as much with the lighter loads, so you will have to walk farther, but its an excellent way to keep your core activated through the entire motion. It also hits the glut med and other stabilizers (due to the overhead carry), which are often weak.

Squats might be a little tricky, but deads should not be a problem, you just need a barbell and a floor.

Single leg squats are going to be your best friend here, you can hold the dumbell to your chest and use a bench to balance for single legs squats.

You do have a barbell for bench right ? I cant imagine a gym not having a flat barbell bench press, its unheard of…

No Smith machine? Many don’t like them, but you can do your squats in one.