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Front Squats and What Else for Total Leg Development?


Im looking for some suggestions on what people think the best exercise is to do along with Front Squats. Ideally 1 exercise as im mostly on a full body minimalist routine.
I WAS doing conventional deadlifts, and I messed around with sumo one day training with a friend. Worked up to 200kg for a single and back popped. Dunno what happened but it was pretty bad. It got better after a week or two and got back into training. Started doing conventional again but with a belt and bam…back went again. So I think those are out of the question atleast for a while. So is there anything else?? Cheers


Deep pause squats … Descend into the hole, STAY TIGHT AND HOLD YOUR AIR, count to 2 or 3, then explode up. I do them for sets of 3-5 and they destroy my quads


High bar back squats and barbell reverse lunges both work well for me.

I would personally add in some posterior work (2-4 sets) if you are not deadlifting, such as RDLs or GHRs.


Would the Front Squat and RDL pretty much cover all my bases?


what are your goals?


Those are great exercises, but for total leg development, you’re still missing anything for below the knee.

What if I told you… you can train with full body workouts while using different exercises each day? Because, that works pretty well.


I have gone many weeks with just front squats and RDLs and have had great results. In my opinion, when training like this, you need to obviously make your training count when you’re in there. So squatting volume would be fairly high and intense.

If I am squatting only two days per week I write my training by using “Prilepin’s Table.” If you’re interested, Google “Intensity Number of Lifts” formula. It works pretty well in predicting good training stimulus in someone who has at least a couple years of training under their belt.


One GREAT tool for adding strength and size to your quads should be step ups. I’m a big fan of Poliquin and stole the idea from him but get a box at knee height or slightly lower try controlling the eccentric (lowering) portion of the move and also do them so the box is on either side of you and you are using one leg at a time I.E keep the box under your right foot and allow your left foot to hang next to the side of the box. once you’ve mastered this start trying them with the box in front of you and switching feet every rep. play with different heights to get full development but remember the taller the box the more hip and glute you’ll be using. Knee height is usually best.These, Front Squats and Duck leg press (heels together toes out feet low on platform) with full stretch, in my opinion are the best ways to add size and detail to the outer quad (makes you look thicker). Hope you find this useful

"We all just want to look like action figures"


I would make sure that your hip hinging properly before jumping into something like romanian deadlifts. I just left wondering if that’s an issue because of your back issues when deadlifting.

If it’s a general hip hinge issue, you might what to pick something more remedial until you have it down pat.

Also, I could be way off and you already do it well. Just something to think about.

If you’re not certain, just post some vids of exercises that emphasize hip hinging and I’m sure people would help you assess, dx, and rx your lift.


Cheers for replies guys. I guess what I was really asking was what is a good substitute for the deadlift. Something I could do along with Front Squats which I am already doing. Im going to video some deadlifts today and post it. Hopefully someone can check my form and see why I might have hurt myself in the 1st place.


Hip thrusts. Light, heavy, barbell, banded, bodyweight, high rep, low rep, single leg, it doesn’t matter. Just do them. By themselves they won’t stand in for deadlifts, but they’re too important not to mention.

If you’re not deadlifting I would also throw in some kind of hamstring work (RDLs are good, but you also ideally need a knee flexion exercise. I like Nordic ham curls myself.)

And you’re on the right track with front squats. I have a serious bro crush on front squats.


You could also kill a bunch of swings either with a kb or db. Either one will build up a good posterior chain. I also like hyper extension deadlifts. Pete Rubish recently made these very famous so you could look at his videos for a demo.