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Leg Routine Without Squats

I’m ready to give up on squats and realise that i am just not built to squat. I can’t get the hang of the technique, im really uncomfortable. I think my legs are too long in comparison to torso. I dont really feel my legs working from squats, i can move the weight but it doesnt feel…right. I deadlift heavy once a week which feels a much more natural movement to me.

Is there such thing as an effective leg routine without squats? Im considering dropping RDL as well because they cause a lot of pain in my S.I joint which bugs me for the rest of the workout.

How do heavy leg presses feel to you? Or, straddle deadlifts (Jefferson lift)? Or bulgarian split squats?

They feel pretty good depending on foot position. I generally go feet closer together and low down to get a good quad pump, but obviously you can move more weight with feet higher and wider. Weight wise i use about 180kg x 10 with low/close feet.

Look up Ben Bruno’s stuff on this site

I know this topic was talked about in the BB forum in the last couple weeks or so, but I haven’t dug up that thread. Basically it really came down to the fact that you don’t need squats, but you do need something to hit your quads, glutes, and hamstrings effectively.

This wasn’t the thread I was thinking, but you might get something from it: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/legs_17

yea, nobody should squat really. It’s way too uncomfortable. I prefer naps. Naps are comfortable.

I have long legs and i like squatting with dumbells. If you want to specifically hit your quads put each heel on a 10 pounds plate. There are many variations, trying different ones might be a good idea. If you feel your lower back is under too much stress you could do others legs exercises and finish with squats(the needed load will be lower) and it might help until your lower back gets stronger.
All the best !

That happens to many people don’t use long legs as an excuse not to squat the chances are you simply aren’t squatting right, since you didnt give enough details i assume your mobility is off and you need to review your form.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
i am just not built to squat.[/quote]
Excuse #1.

Excuse #2.

Excuse #3.

Excuse #4.

Excuse #5.

Those are all either fixable or not valid reasons to avoid squatting. The squat is a fundamental human movement pattern. The human body is supposed to be able to squat well-below parallel. If you can’t do an unweighted full ROM squat, it means you have to address the underlying physical issues. Correct those before progressing to weight, let alone heavy weights.

For a general idea, read about what Alwyn Cosgrove put Dave Tate through when trying to repair his movement patterns:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/iron_evolution_phase_7

If any exercise causes pain, first determine the reason (technique issue, underlying physical deficiency, etc.) and then work towards being able to do the movement safely and effectively.

It’s not like we’re talking about one-leg cable curls or something funky. Deadlifts/hip hinging movements are also basic movement patterns that the body “should” be able to perform without pain.

Yes, you can certainly get bigger and stronger without squats or Romanian deads, but looking at the bigger picture, it’s something worth correcting now especially since you’re a young guy. If you have to adapt your program because of bad hips now, what’s your training going to look like 20 years down the line?

Give this old thread a read, might be able to pull out some ideas:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
yea, nobody should squat really. It’s way too uncomfortable. I prefer naps. Naps are comfortable.[/quote]

this^

This is a really solid program, if you put the work in you should see some great results.

Im not afraid of the “pain” of squatting, i just dont feel that they work for me. I deadlift 130kg for 5 reps and struggle with 80kg on the squat. People with way smaller legs than me can squat 100kg and make it look easy and natural. I’m definitley thinking of trying front squats instead.

With regard to RDL, im not sure why but they are the only exercise that effects my SI joint. Normal deadlifts are fine, but RDL with half the weight irritates it really badly, i think it pops out of place until i get home and foam roll it and the pain instantly goes.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:

I . . .struggle with 80kg on the squat. People with way smaller legs than me can squat 100kg and make it look easy and natural.[/quote]

This is the worst reason I’ve ever heard for not squatting. The way you fix this problem is to squat more, not abandoning the lift. If you hit it hard for a few years you’ll be squatting way more the 100 kgs.

The best method to improve your ability to squat correctly is as follows:

  1. stop complaining
  2. squat

Reference: myself. I use to complain as well, and had numerous excuses of why I should not squat. Squats are the best lift for your body bar none, IMO. Just stick with them, and learn how to do them correctly. Most importantly, be patient, and EAT.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
Im not afraid of the “pain” of squatting, i just dont feel that they work for me. I deadlift 130kg for 5 reps and struggle with 80kg on the squat. People with way smaller legs than me can squat 100kg and make it look easy and natural. I’m definitley thinking of trying front squats instead.

With regard to RDL, im not sure why but they are the only exercise that effects my SI joint. Normal deadlifts are fine, but RDL with half the weight irritates it really badly, i think it pops out of place until i get home and foam roll it and the pain instantly goes.[/quote]

Also, who cares what other people are squatting? I am assuming that you are a beginner, since you are posting in the beginner’s forum. You should not view your lifts with shame, but see it as a challenge and be proud of the progress you do make. If you are overly self-conscious of what you are lifting in comparison to everyone else, things will not go well for you. One of the hardest lessons at the beginning is learning to check your ego at the door, stop bitching and making excuses, and JUST DO IT. You have to be willing to attack your weak points harder, not make excuses to avoid them.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
Im not afraid of the “pain” of squatting, i just dont feel that they work for me. I deadlift 130kg for 5 reps and struggle with 80kg on the squat. People with way smaller legs than me can squat 100kg and make it look easy and natural. I’m definitley thinking of trying front squats instead.

With regard to RDL, im not sure why but they are the only exercise that effects my SI joint. Normal deadlifts are fine, but RDL with half the weight irritates it really badly, i think it pops out of place until i get home and foam roll it and the pain instantly goes.[/quote]

Do you foam roll, stretch, and do mobility drills? It could help with your squat too. Also, what kind of form are you using for the squat? A vid would be even better.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

Do you foam roll, stretch, and do mobility drills? It could help with your squat too. Also, what kind of form are you using for the squat? A vid would be even better. [/quote]

^^^ This. Look up “Agile8”. Someone here pointed that out to me and it has helped a little.

Second, don’t abandon the motor pattern completely. Use the GOBLET squat and go heavier as you get better.

Third, how is your Abs/Erectors strength? If its weak, you may not be ready to load up the bar to begin with and your form will look even more junky.

So basically, address the underlying issues while you continue to grease the motor pattern with Goblets.

I’ve retired back squats temporarily for sumo DL’s and front squats, but I still goblet all the time.

Is it all hip hinge movements that irritate your SI or just romanian deadlifts?