Squats are one of the best exercises for your lower body, yet there are many alternatives when you need or want a different exercise. Sometimes it may be because you are changing your routine, working around an injury, or need an at home option.

There are many more to choose from in addition to the ones below, but these are some of my favorites for my clients and myself.

  1.  Leg Press

    This option is great when you want to push more weight without having to use balance as in barbell squats.
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  1.  Leg Press Machine (single leg)

    Using the plates to change weights makes this machine more accessible if you don’t want to lift heavy plates. The machine is at a different angle than the standard leg press which makes it easier to get on and off. I prefer to do single leg press on this one given the different angle.
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  1.  Hack Squat

    This variation of squat puts the primary emphasis on the quads while not having to focus on balance.
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  1.  Smith Machine Squat

    This apparatus takes away some of the balance aspect as well and gives a variation of foot placement to fit your needs. It requires more balance and coordination than the leg press or hack squat yet is more stabilized than the barbell squat.
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  1.  Squat Jumps

    Adding this plyometric exercise adds strength, agility, and power. It is advanced and only recommended if you can perform it while landing softly on your feet on the eccentric portion of the movement.
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  1.  Drop Squats

    With this exercise, you do 8 reps then lower the weight, 8 more reps then lower the weight again and the 8 last reps. They are done immediately following one another, so it has a high intensity. It is most convenient to do this one with dumbbells or changing the pin on the leg press machine.
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  1.  Goblet Squats

    These squats are done by holding the dumbbell by your chest. Because of the hand placement, it doesn’t allow for a heavy squat but for a deeper one. It is a great variation for the end of your workout or if you are a beginner.
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  1.  Partial Squats

    When incorporating this variation, you can add more weight since it is not a full range squat. It can also be done if there are mobility issues when doing a full squat. Your legs are at a 45-degree angle at the bottom instead of 90 degrees. This exercise has more of a glute focus/less quad compared to a standard squat. Another option is to do a full set of regular squats then immediately complete a set of partial squats afterwards.
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  1.  Single Leg Squats

    This variation is great for working on balance while adding intensity. After mastering single leg squats to a bench, then you can move towards pistol squats since they are much more advanced. If the single leg squat to a bench is too difficult, then you can lower with one leg and squat back to the top with both legs.
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  1.  Bulgarian Split Squats

    These also work on balance and are an advanced exercise. If you are already advanced, then you can add weight with dumbbells.
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Give These Squat Alternatives a Try and Transform Your Workouts

Ready to mix up your leg day routine? Give some of these squat variations a try and see the incredible results you can achieve. From enhancing muscle activation to preventing workout monotony, these alternatives offer numerous benefits. Whether you’re aiming to boost your strength, improve your balance, or reduce the strain on your joints, there’s a perfect squat alternative for you. Start experimenting with these exercises today and watch your lower body transform!


Want to get the most out of your workouts?  Try myHMB®.

myHMB® (HMB) has been clinically proven to improve recovery, increase fat loss and maintain muscle mass, and enhance aerobic capacity.  Learn more.



Martial Artist Jennifer Dietrick

Jennifer Dietrick

Jennifer Dietrick is a highly accomplished and successful health & fitness coach.  With 18 years of experience competing in physique sports, Jennifer designs specialized programs for each client to be healthy and strong.  With the desire to continue to learn Jennifer now spends her free time training and competing in martial arts.                

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