All of the squat exercise alternatives you can use in the WLC weight lifting workouts will be listed here on this page.
Squats are one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises meaning you must include this movement in your weight lifting program.
I’ve created a huge list of squat exercise alternatives you can substitute in any of the workouts you find in the weight lifting workouts section.
List of Squat Exercise Alternatives
Squat Exercise Substitutions. There are a large number of weight lifting exercises that can be substituted for the squat if needed. This is very useful and gives you no excuse to not be doing squats. Yes, squats are tough but the tough exercises are the one that work the best.
– Low Bar Squat. The low bar squat is the recommended option for squats, especially for beginners. This version should be the focus for most people. The only drawback is a barbell, weight plates, and a power rack is required to do this version safely.
– High Bar Squat. The high bar squat is the Olympic weight lifting version of the squat. I also love this version of the squat, and I personally do better with this version than the low bar squat.
– Zercher Squat. If you need to increase core strength, the Zercher squat is an awesome version of the squat. This one is also great if you have limited equipment as you can actually get the bar into place without a power rack or squat rack.
– Hip Belt Squat. The hip belt squat is great alternate version of the barbell squat. The hip belt will take all pressure off your lower back which can really help in the design of a weight lifting program. The lower back is sometimes easy to overtrain so the hip belt squat can help you get around that.
– Barbell Hack Squat. This is probably my all time favorite version of the squat and really hits the entire legs very hard. I can always feel it very well in the quadriceps which are sometimes a little harder to target in some versions of the squat.
– Bulgarian Squat. If you need to improve imbalances in strength or musculature between your left and right legs, this is a good version of the squat to do so. This squat movement also provides a great stretch for the opposite leg when doing each rep.
– Sumo Squat. The sumo squat gets your feet out wide and really targets different areas of your legs. If you work on this version of the squat, you can get really strong and maybe even lift the most amount of weight with this version of the squat.
– Wide Stance Squat. Changing the width of your squat stance will help you target different areas of your legs. A wide stance squat along with other stances should be utilized often to increase strength throughout your lower body.
– Narrow Stance Squat. A narrow stance squat can really help you target the quadriceps more than other versions of the squat. Sometimes the outer quad can be focused on with narrow stance versions of the squat.
– Front Squat. The front squat relocates the weight to the front of your body instead of the back. This requires a more upright stance throughout the movement. I am a big fan of different versions of the squat and this is a very good one. You might find some front squat tools to help with this version of the squat.
– Forward Lunge. Forward lunges allow you to work one leg at a time and allow you to use some explosiveness when you go back to the starting position.
– Reverse Lunge. Reverse lunges provide you with yet another option to replace squats. Lunges are a great exercise because you can put a barbell on your back or hold weight at your sides. Holding the weight can help increase your grip strength.
– Goblet Squat. A goblet squat allows you to hold weight between your legs and squat. This means it might be tough to really push yourself once you get stronger as it will be difficult to hold a heavy enough weight to stress your legs. Adjustable kettlebells are good to use with goblet squats.
– Jefferson Squat. This version of the squat really places the weight in a much different position than normal and forces you to use different muscles. This is a great version of the squat for that reason alone.
– Pistol Squat. A 1-legged squat is very difficult for many people and requires much coordination and practice. You have to develop strength in different areas that you’ve probably never used before. Practice makes perfect.
– Box Squat. A box squat is a version of the squat that takes some practice to get right. You need to know what you’re doing before trying this version. This version of the squat can really help you get strong on the squat by exercising specific muscle groups.
– Manta Ray Squat. The manta ray is a piece of equipment you place on your upper back. This moves the weight of the barbell in a different location than normal, which allows you to stress your body differently while squatting.
– Step Up. The step up is great for people who may have knee issues. It’s an overall awesome exercise because it makes you move your body through space. You can add heavy weight with a barbell or dumbbells and use different box heights for the exercise.
– Leg Press. I am not a big fan of machines, but if you have no other option the leg press machine will work. Again, use this as a last resort.
– Machine Hack Squat. I do not recommend a machine hack squat but have included it here just in case. If you feel anything weird during this exercise, don’t do it as certain machines can lock you into a specific plane of motion and cause injury either immediately or over time.
– Safety Bar Squat. The safety squat bar puts the location of the weight in a different area so the movement will be much different than a normal squat. This will help build strength in different areas of your body.
– Cossack Squat. Weight lifting chains can be used with the cossack squat to add weight. This is a very good version of the squat and awesome for people who have knee issues. Slowly adding weight over time will help improve knee health and strengthen your knees.
Do You Know of Any Other Squat Exercise Alternatives?
I am always looking for new weight lifting exercises and especially squat exercise alternatives.
If you have any weight lifting exercises that you don’t see listed above, please let me know.
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