T Nation

Development Without Full Squat

I’m having knee issues and am supposed to not squat even to parallel. Can I get any good development this way? I can lift WAY more weight, but it’s not the same…

Also, how can I improve the area where the glutes meet the hamstrings (besides of course deads…I seem to do deads but that area does not grow…any ideas on how to change form to really hit that area?)

Thanks!

Who told you not to squat?

Do RDLs for your glutes and hamstrings. This will also help you recruit your glutes for conventional deadlift. Another tip is to angle your feet out when deadlifting to aid glute recruitment.

Also I would suggest doing a lot of single leg work. Check out Mike Robertson’s recent article.

Depending on who told him not to squat, if he can squat, then that would solve his glutes problem.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
Depending on who told him not to squat, if he can squat, then that would solve his glutes problem.[/quote]

Umm, I think someone with the screenname Sarah1 is probably a she.

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
I’m having knee issues and am supposed to not squat even to parallel. Can I get any good development this way? I can lift WAY more weight, but it’s not the same…

Also, how can I improve the area where the glutes meet the hamstrings (besides of course deads…I seem to do deads but that area does not grow…any ideas on how to change form to really hit that area?)

Thanks![/quote]

What exercises have you tried which don’t aggravate your knees? Perhaps if you post a typical leg workout we could make some suggestions.

For the glutes and hamstrings in addition to the RDL’s you could also try good mornings and glute-ham raises.

Thanks for the replies. I’m just kind of screwed on lower body…I have a nagging torn/strained glute on the right side (going on 6 months and it’s still not healed) which prevents deads and now the knees are bugging me so everything just hurts. :frowning:

I’ve been trying to do squats going down part way. I don’t know if ham curls put strain on the knee, but they aren’t that great I find anyway. I so desperately need to grow my legs and glutes but I can’t seem to do anything anymore. :frowning:

I have a very bad left knee, that has been bothering me for the last 20 years, so obviously my leg development has always been lagging.
However I have always been somewhat suspicious about the “don?t squat” tales from a lot of people.

I think the best advise I ever had was from a doctor telling me that “if it hurts bad don?t continue, if it hurts good by all means continue”
Recently I have changed leg training after reading esp. Mike Boyles articles.

So for now it is mostly front squats (atg) and single leg work such as step ups.

Getting soft tissue work and glute-activation work has also helped tremendously, and my therapist told me that my bad knees were probably partly caused from bad mobility in ankle and hip, plus a weak posterior chain.
So for the last 6 months I have been doing these “off” exercises.

Eg. a 225 lb front squat is really a big thing for me, but a bit of humble pie never hurt anybody (yeah right!!)
Still I?d recommend front sq, rd and single leg work.

Good luck

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
I’m having knee issues and am supposed to not squat even to parallel. Can I get any good development this way? I can lift WAY more weight, but it’s not the same…

Also, how can I improve the area where the glutes meet the hamstrings (besides of course deads…I seem to do deads but that area does not grow…any ideas on how to change form to really hit that area?)

Thanks![/quote]

A possible solution is good mornings. They work the posterior chain very hard, so that takes care of your glutes and hamstrings. And they should increase your squat without needing to squat

[quote]sharetrader wrote:
Fulmen wrote:
Depending on who told him not to squat, if he can squat, then that would solve his glutes problem.

Umm, I think someone with the screenname Sarah1 is probably a she.[/quote]

That Fulmen is not very observant! Wake up!

does the leg press movement bother you at all? try this, load a very low amount of weight just to try it out…take position but are only gonna do one leg at a time, take that leg and set as high up and wide on the lifting platform as possible…while doing reps i usually go down so my quads are full on my chest, but obviously you wanna see how far down is comfortable for you…this are for sure my favorites as far as hamstring and glute training go…

i also find that when someone says they have knee issues with squating, if you take the weight away you also take most of those issues…grab 2 ten pund plates and set them on the ground with flat side up about shoulder width…grab another one and hold it to your chest, now put your heels on the plates laying on the ground and squat as far down as you can, on the way up flex your glutes together…go for high reps…

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
I have a nagging torn/strained glute on the right side (going on 6 months and it’s still not healed)
[/quote]

Who diagnosed your tear? Why hasn’t anything been done?

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
Who diagnosed your tear? Why hasn’t anything been done?[/quote]

The analogy many doctors use to explain what can be done about a muscle tear is “Have you ever tried to sew a bowl of spaghetti together?” The only thing that can be done, usually, is wait for it to heal on it’s own.

As for exercises, can you do step-ups? Lunges? These two exercises have an enormous amount of variations you can try.

I never do full back squats regularly because they take so much out of my lower back, but I don’t think my legs have missed it. I do Bulgarian squats, lunges of all types, SLDL’s, good mornings, and front and zercher squats instead, and my legs are pretty good.

If you wrap your knees tightly, can you squat?

If I squat without knee wraps, I’d be disabled the very next day. But if I wrap the knees, I can squat as much as the muscles can handle, and there’s no problem with the knees.

[quote]florin wrote:
If you wrap your knees tightly, can you squat?

If I squat without knee wraps, I’d be disabled the very next day. But if I wrap the knees, I can squat as much as the muscles can handle, and there’s no problem with the knees.[/quote]

Well, the PT gave me some tape. Sometimes it seems to help, sometimes not. What do you mean by wrap? What do you use?

Also, unrelated…when I do GMs I only ever feel it in my back. Am I doing something wrong with them?

Sarah,

Try the ‘lumberjack squat’ from Thib’s toolbox. It may be what you are looking for.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=07-058-training

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Sarah,

Try the ‘lumberjack squat’ from Thib’s toolbox. It may be what you are looking for.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=07-058-training[/quote]

That is an awesome link! Thanks so much! I think I’ll try some of the other exercises too!

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Also, unrelated…when I do GMs I only ever feel it in my back. Am I doing something wrong with them?[/quote]
Try single-leg good mornings with just a light bar, pipe or broomstick. Like a normal good morning, just lift one leg off the ground slightly. Squeeze the glutes hard when coming up. That should help you feel how to use your leg muscles when doing conventional good mornings. And it’s good warmup.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
Who told you not to squat?[/quote]

allow me to bump your question fulmen. there are way too many things wrong with this thread. First of all Sarah, you haven’t answered Fulmen’s question. Who told you not to squat and why? This is an important question because based on the limited info you give, it sounds to me like you’re doing your exercises incorrectly and that may be what’s contributing to your problems. Doing partial squats isn’t going to help your knees.

Single leg work is good advice but I would try returning to a full range squat. If you truly have a torn glute (which seems hard to believe that you wouldn’t have seen a doctor and gotten an mri for this yet) then good mornings aren’t the way to go. Just squat holding a medicine ball. Then progress to full range front squat and then eventually to a full range back squat.

If you can tackle these over the next few weeks with no pain then try and incorporate some light deadlifts or Romanian deads. Personally though, I would recommend seeing an orthopedist and make sure everything is ship shape from the waist down before you go any further. An orthopedist will be able to catch things your personal trainer and chiropractor cant.