T Nation

Exercises to Help Squat


Due to a hip injury playing sport, I haven't been able to back squat or front squat like I usually would. Its my main and only leg exercise as I only care about strength in the lower body.

I am able to do split squats, lunges and pistols (kinda) Of the three, which are most likely to increase or maintain strength for my back squat.


Why not do all 3 ?

I usually do split squats and weighted lunges all on the same day.

I mean Bulgarian split squats are probably "pretty" close to squats for lower body strength, but they just miss out on alot of the other benefits squats offer (ie anabolic effect)


What's wrong with your hip?


When I was playing rugby, I got tackled and landed in the splits position, with knees bent though. It didnt tear any adductor muscles, but it did something in the joint. At least this isolated my hip mobility problem

So I cant do an exercises with too much hip flexion i.e ATG squats. I can still do the above three. Its healing pretty well now, might able to squat in the next 2 weeks.

I'v been doing bulgarian split squats recently though but just wanna know if they are better than the other two

Also why do they not have an anabolic effect??


I personally think BSS are better than the other two.

And its not that they dont have an anabolic effect (basically anything where you lift heavy shit will), its just that the Squat and Deadlift are known to have the greatest anabolic effect of all exercises, which is kind of why theyre staples in pretty much every program


O rly?!!


ya rly


please tell me what this means?


Well anabolic is the process of promoting anabolism. Anabolism is "The synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones together with the storage of energy; constructive metabolism."

Which means making bigger muscles from smaller tissue.

And Squats and Deadlifts likely do a better job of this than all other exercises. (which is why many people call one or the other the king of exercises)

Not to mention guys like Waterbury also suggest that exercises such as the squat and deadlift increase testosterone the most, thus compounding that "anabolic effect"

  • Per Waterbury

So no, I totally wasnt just pulling something out of my ass


^I never thought you were pulling something out of your ass...just goofin' with ya. I just don't think you quite understand the nature of "anabolic effect" and you have taken the writings of one author as dogma. Your statement is EXTREMELY vague and you didn't answer my question. Greatest anabolic effect in what respect?

What if my goal is to optimize growth of my lats? biceps? rear delts? Moreover, does squatting 135 have a greater "anabolic effect" than leg pressing 8 plates? or hack squatting 4 plates? Absolutely not. Does deadlifting 500 for 3 reps have a greater "anabolic effect" then a stiff leg RDL with 225 for 15 reps with slow eccentrics? Again, no. Before you transfer information, understand it in context and avoid broad sweeping statements like this.


I read that these lifts increase testosterone levels more than anything and release growth hormone into the body. So I just assumed that if you did these along with the rest of your program it would benefit your entire body. As for somebody that didn't do these lifts, they wouldn't see as much growth.

I'm not saying that deadlifts increase bicep size, I'm saying that as long as you are still doing bicep exercises, than deadlifts/squats will benefit to some extent


I'm not 100% sure though


name a lift that doesn't increase T levels when performed with outright intensity


Bicep curls and forearm curls don't increase testosterone as much as deads squats or cleans


depends on a lot of factors...again, can't make broad sweeping generalizations.

I'll tell ya what, before this back and forth gets out of hand...Find me some documentation of an online scientific study supporting your claim and then we'll discuss its results and see where it fits into our arguments. Then I can show you what I mean when I say "it depends" and we can actually get somewhere productive. Until then I really have nothing further to discuss here.


Since im lazy,im just gonna dig up the studies that Waterbury referenced, which I quoted above

"Resistance exercise protocols that stress large muscle mass (multi-joint exercises), are high in volume, and moderate to high intensity, tend to produce the greatest hormonal elevations for optimal muscular fitness benefits (Kraemer et al., 2005)."

(ok I cant find the actual study in that article, just the abstract so ill have to see if I can find that tomorrow)

Alright its late and im lazy and really dont feel like dredging through pub med right now, so ill simply ask you this.

As a general rule of thumb, would you say it is safe to say that intensity being equal, that if someone did a total body workout including squats and deads that the hormonal response would more significant, than if that same person went to the gym and had an "arms" day instead ?

Im not talking a guy going to the gym and squatting 10% of his 1rm for 3 sets of 5, but assuming equal intensity and similar set/rep ranges ?

You don't need a study to tell you that stimulating a significantly greater amount of mass for equal intensity should generate a greater response.

Thats common sense.

Ill take a look tomorrow, but I cant imagine finding an unbiased study with a large sample size comparing the hormonal response of major compound lifts to iso lifts.

It really wouldn't make sense for someone to spend the money to do a study like this correctly, since there would be no money to be made off it. So I truly doubt it exists


Well I didn't find something that directly relates to the Squat or the Deadlift and its effects on testosterone, but I did find something that is similar