Both powerhouse exercises work your muscles differently, but have countless benefits on your overall strength. This page may contain affiliate links. Hold a pair of dumbbells to your sides, back straight, head up, and lower your body until your front knee forms a … Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat These are performed with one foot elevated behind you on a bench and the other firmly planted out front. The 10 best front squat alternatives are: Cross-Arm Front Squat ; Goblet Squat Alternative 6: Gakk-squat with a barbell Arguments in favor of replacement. She had dedicated over three years to the educational field as a health and physical education teacher before deciding to pursue a career in the fitness industry. It’s significantly more likely that a person already has a dumbbell set at home (as opposed to a barbell and rack), making this the perfect exercise to perform in the comfort of your own home. We all know just how important leg day actually is, but with so many exercises and pieces of equipment to choose from, it’s hard to know what’s really best for building lower body strength. Don’t think that means it’s outdated; the barbell hack squat is still a challenging, effective exercise and a viable leg press alternative. Barbell squats are one of the best strength builders for your legs. Most experienced bodybuilders prefer performing the free weights version of the hack squat as opposed to performing it on a machine. Resistance doesn’t mean barbells or dumbbells. Barbell squats are perhaps the most traditional type of squat that you can perform. Some effective dumbbell squat variations include goblet squats, dumbbell front squats, dumbbell plié squat, and overhead dumbbell squats. Barbell hack squats. Main Muscles Worked: Mid back, Latissimus Dorsi, Trapezius, Rhomboid, Deltoid, Bicep. Alternative: Front barbell squat, weighted sissy squat The barbell hack squat is an old-fashioned version of the basic hack squat performed without the machine. Squat Alternative 4: Single-Leg Barbell Squat (aka Bulgarian Split Squat) Why It's Sub Worthy: This exercise goes by several different names, perhaps because it's something of a cross between a squat and a lunge—the feet are staggered, with one directly in … Because it’s the same movement, the dumbbell squat primarily works the quads while also developing the glutes, calves, hamstrings and lower back. The barbell must be positioned just behind your legs. The greatest risk of barbell squats is the risk of injury when you’re unable to fully perform a squat. The barbell squat is one of the oldest exercises in the books with a rich history among bodybuilders, powerlifters, and fitness enthusiasts alike. That means you can swap exercises in and out to keep your workouts more interesting. ©2020, Ironmaster LLC. Jess is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science from The College of New Jersey. We earn commissions when you purchase through these links. If your lower back or legs begin to give out mid-squat, you might end up falling to the ground beneath the weight of a heavy barbell, which could cause severe injury. If you’re purchasing home gym equipment and do not yet have the funds or space for a full barbell setup, you can use adjustable dumbbells and perform different variations of squats. 1. Empty cart. While most fitness experts and exercise scientists will agree that barbell squats are more effective than dumbbell squats, making due with dumbbell based leg exercises will still give you good results and should not be skipped. Traditional Barbell Squats are performed with the weight across the top of your shoulders and upper back. Barbell squats are easily one of the best exercises out there, they can also be trouble for people with back pain and a lack of mobility. And now that you know which exercise can really build a powerful lower body, would you like to know how to lift more weight and add more muscle faster? The dumbbell squat is an alternative exercise to the traditional barbell squat and it is a good exercise for beginners. Keeping your arms parallel to your torso, begin to lower yourself toward the ground and achieve a 90-degree angle in your knees. The so-called cossack grip, crossover grip, or bodybuilder grip can be used as an alternative to the clean grip. Our prime movers are doing just as much work, but lifting a heavier barbell puts more load on our supporting muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Without buckling your knees or repositioning your feet, push up off the floor and return to your starting position. You can as well use … The only reason that it is acceptable to skip squats is if your gym does not have the proper equipment to safely perform them or you are prohibited by injury. Sign up for our e-newsletter and be the first to hear about Special Sales, Discounts and Big News from Ironmaster. Barbell squats are the more superior exercise because of the higher loads possible. With dumbbell squats, gaining strengths takes longer when compared with the barbell squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-wide, flat on the floor. Mark Rippetoe, renowned author of Starting Strength and former powerlifted notes that “The back squat is the only exercise in the weight room that trains the recruitment of the entire posterior chain in a way that is progressively improvable, and that is one of the things that makes the squat the best exercise you can do with barbells and, by extension, the best strength exercise there is.”. As such, you might be looking for front squat alternatives that still have the benefits of the overall movement. Free-Weight Substitute/Alternative To: Seated Cable Rows, One-Arm Cable Rows, Chest-Supported T-bar Rows, machine rows (ex. They’re extremely effective in boosting fitness levels, strength, and power. To perform this type of squat, you need a weighted barbell and a squat rack. Goblet squats are great and are a good alternative to barbell squats. Why does the bar position matter? Fixed bars (ranging from 10lb usually up to 120lb) you can find on weight trees in the middle of most commercial gyms near the dumbbells. Perhaps the largest issue when it comes to barbell squats is that you’ll most likely need to go to the gym to work on them. Dumbbell squats simply cannot recruit the posterior chain and build towards increases in strength as well as barbell squats. The best thing you can do when it comes to lower body fitness is adding barbell squats to your routine. Replace Barbell Squats With Goblet Squats. To perform a dumbbell squat, you’ll need two weighted dumbbells of equal weight. We aren’t going to get into a deep discussion about which is better, but will likely cover this topic in the future. There really is no debate here. If you take anything away from this article, it’s that you should be including squats as a staple in your exercise regimen. Please add products before saving :). It is very heavily debated which bar position and thus which back squat is the most optimal. It’s significantly more likely that a person already has a dumbbell set at home (as opposed to a barbell and rack), making this the perfect exercise to perform in the comfort of your own home. *Super Bench with two or more attachments, *Super Bench with two or more attachments - Attachments, *Bench and Dumbbell Package Dumbbell Accessories, *Bench and Dumbbell Package Bench Attachments. We won’t spam you and only send emails when we have important news. Intermediate and advanced lifters will quickly outgrow dumbbells and not have enough weight to progressively increase strength. But with great reward comes great risk, and back squats are not always an option if someone is unable to perform them properly and safely. This difference has to do with where the barbell is placed on your body. Barbell squats are a highly effective exercise, as the movement "activates the body’s biggest muscles" and is the best overall exercise, according to kinesiology professor Stuart Phillips, Ph.D. Here’s how you can do this move. It also activates about every other muscle in your lower body, including your hamstrings and calves. In addition to the typical barbell squat, there are several other variations that you can take advantage of depending on your goals and preferences. You can still do resistance exercises. But when load is the name of the game, I think these 2 dumbbell variations work well. Barbell squats are one of the major compound lifts for a reason. 3 Back Friendly Barbell Squat Alternatives. *Both barbell & dumbbell squats are multi-joint, compound exercises employing multiple muscle groups in various capacities throughout each repetition. Below, we’ll review two of the most common methods of performing squats (dumbbell and barbell), the advantages and disadvantages of each, and which type we recommend. Here are 4 “bulletproof” non-squat exercises that will help you build your legs! With the hands supporting the bar on each side, you’ll keep your feet shoulder-width apart and begin to drop into a position where your knees are at about a 90-degree angle. When you have a heavy barbell balanced on your shoulders, you’ll be more likely to be able to maintain consistent form through the entirety of the movement. Of barbell squats for individuals with limited equipment to squats specifically, you should do so a... 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