T Nation

Squats Are So Last-year


All this time, I've been doing the wrong thing, doing squats. I really needed to do these:



At least they got lunges in there. Two out of three is better than I expect from mainstream fitness articles.

I am not saying lunges compare to squats, but I do include them after squats and their variations on quad days.


Jeez, I want to see the research on that one.


Take a look at the study (well the ACE press release version), the link is posted at the bottom of the article. To me it seems like a poorly designed study.


Subjects: 6 male / 6 female - all with weight training experience (not bad so far).

Day 1:
Test 1 RM of the following: Squats (90 degrees), vert. leg press, horizontal leg press, step-ups, lunges and four-way hip extension.

1RMs for single leg squats and quadrupled hip extension were not tested since these are body weight.

My comments- not bad so far, but if these were truely 1 RM isn't it likely that the later tested movements could be compromised by previous movements? I also have to assume most, if not all, needed prior sets to determine the 1RM.

Day 2

Test methodology - Subjects preform a 1RM squat followed by 5 reps of single leg squats, step-ups, lunges and quadrupled hip extension.

Movement order determination was random and 5 reps were at 80% of 1 RM.

Day 3

Tested remaining movements, however it is unclear if the 5 reps for squats were done or if it refers to the 1RM again.

**My Comments- I like the randonness and the 80% for 5 reps, however it is unclear if the 1RM squat was preformed prior to each movement or only once. My main concern is that I would think a degree of fatique would set in after the first few movements, expecially on Day 3 and for sure if a 1RM squat was done prior to the 5 reps.***

quadrupled hip extension, lunges and step-ups were statistically greater muscle activation than squats.

Others were either statistically less muscle activation than squats or not statistically different.

**My Comments:
The one bright point of the press release was the researchers noted that going below 90 degrees in the squat may increase activation. (Not so bright point, they used 90 degrees since going below was an injury risk - who knew (yes that's sarcasm)).

Is it really surprising that an isolation movement activates the muscle more that a compound movement? Unfortunately it ignores the other benefits of compound movements.

Oh well, could we really expect any better from main stream trainers and main stream media.

Last comment. I also found it interesting how the media only mentioned selected easier movements and neglected the additional comments on squats. I guess easy things make people feel good (until they don't get results).


On a side note I have to say that its the funniest thing ever when Americans talk about 'fanny'

Someone else from the UK will hopefully agree with me here.....


Basically they are measuring what flexes the glute more and they picked an exercise that basically just flexes the glute.

It is amazing what passes for research these days.


Why are you guys complaining. It is progress when an actual scientific study replaces a 1999 survey of ACE-certified trainers. HAHAHA


I was just about to say the same :slight_smile: LOL!

The Firm Fanny: Researchers Uncover Exercises That Work

What a great title, I thought; are they going to tell us the secrets to Thai ping-pong ball popping, perhaps? But why is there a photo of a lady's arse there? What's that got to do with anything?

Then I took a bite from my scotch egg.


Ha Ha
This took me a while to get used to when I moved to the States.


few things.....

those exercises will activate the glutes more than parralell squats however nothing beats a$$ to ankle squats!

second thing.....whoever said romanian deads activate glutes heavily is off...step ups off a high box, glute ham raises, and alot of other exercises will activate the glutes more....you have to be strong to pull off step ups off a high box, stronger than the average gym rat so that you can really push off only on the leg thats on the box, but when done correctly they activate glutes far more than all squats....

lastly....the article is good ....the average gym buff has no time to learn how to squat a$$ to ankle, these exercises will help them get more recruitment of glute muscle fibers and they are easier to learn

so, in closing, no you shouldnt drop squats and put these exercises in your routine but thats because your not a 40 yr old housewife...you dont train a 40yr old housewife the same way you would pyrros dimas, bill kazmier, or ed coan...........so calm down.....chances are these exercises will give better results than making them squat with crappy form...

p.s. step ups off a really high box have helped me tremendously....this exercise skyrocketed my clean which is now approaching double bodyweight


I think this really puts in to perspective what Cosgrove was talking about with regards to research.


Did no one else find the first line funny?

Until now, getting that sought-after firm fanny meant lots of grueling squats

Uh it did?? Can't remember the last time I have seen more than a handful of people at the gym actually do any kind of squat, and of course even less that actually squat the right way.