Whether you are tired of squad rach at the gym as it’s killing your time – when you should wait for a guy who won’t stop doing curls in the squat rack, or you have some injuries that stopped you from doing a squat rack, you can use these best 10 exercises to train your leg without a squat rack.
If you want a big, strong leg and for any reason, you refuse to do a squat rack, give this NO-SQUAT LEG exercise routine a try! You won’t regret it.
How Can I Work My Legs Without A Squat Rack?
So, here is leg day! You’re hoping to go into the gym today and smash out some PR squats. Unfortunately when you’ve just finished psyching yourself up in the changing rooms – the problem– all the squat racks are full. Whether this is a scene you don’t want to experience anymore, or because of any injury you’re avoiding a squat rack, here we are to help you out with this problem.
There are many other great ways to work your legs without a squat rack! Following are ten of the best leg exercises to hit the quads and build some wheels of steel without using a squat rack:
1. Bulgarian Split Squat
This is an exercise that most people don’t know about. If you observe someone doing Bulgarian split squats at the gym, your first impression may be that it’s too easy of an exercise to actually cause any leg growth. After your first set of this training, you will find out how hard it really is. Balancing is key to performing this exercise. Bulgarian split squat not only will your quads, hamstrings, and glutes be emphasized, but your adductors and core will be used for balance.
2. Sumo Deadlift
In my opinion, this is one of the best bang-for-your-buck exercises. The sumo variation will allow you to keep your upper body in a similar gesture to your squat as well as train your whole lower body. Just remember that the width of your feet and the angle or your toes will vary from person to person. So, begin with something comfortable and experiment from there.
3. Straight-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts
If you’re searching for a way to hit your hamstrings with some intensity without a squad rack, then straight-legged dumbbell deadlifts are one of the best options to do just that. This exercise in the free weight area is definitely one of the best ways to train your leg.
To start this movement, you should pick up a pair of dumbbells and let them hang in front of your thighs at arm’s length. Then, stand with your torso straight and have your legs spaced. Slightly bend your knees. After that, lower the dumbbells to over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. It is important to do this exercise in a way that you feel a gentle stretch on the hamstrings.
4. Walking Barbell Lunges
These are a type of exercises that I believe to be essential for strengthening your legs. The walking motion involved in this movement activates plenty of muscles and muscle fibers while helping enhance the health of your hip flexors as well. Some people perform this movement with dumbbells, though using a barbell makes lunges a little bit more challenging.
Moreover, having a barbell on your back will train your core in the movement. It will also activate your lower erector spinae.
5. One-Legged Leg Press
This exercise is one of the great exercises for muscle hypertrophy and strength of the lower extremities. Performing this movement using one leg will let you focus individually on each leg. One-legged leg press will help you with strength, coordination, and size imbalances between both legs.
6. Goblet Squats
Many people think this can be an awkward exercise to do. Haha! :)) But, when done properly, a goblet squat focuses a lot of tension on the quads same as how a front squat naturally would. For your starting position, just stand holding a light kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest.
It is important to pause at the bottom position and use your elbows to push your knees out. Also, keep your chest and head up and your back straight. In goblet squat, you will go past 90 degrees. Since this movement is similar to a front squat, your quad activation has to feel similar.
7. Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is not indeed a traditional movement. To start just unrack the barbell from the power cage and take one step back with each leg. Then from an upright position, strongly brace your core, bend your knees and slide your hips backward, performing a hip hinge exercise. Remember to keep your torso fixed in a straight line/neutral position.
After that keep tension on the lats and maintain your best mechanical power advantage by constantly pulling the barbell into your legs during the exercise. You can see how to exactly perform this wonderful movement with more technique in this Romanian deadlift youtube video.
8. Barbell glute bridge
This is a great way to build a strong lower body, specifically the butt. Barbell glute bridge puts the load directly over the hips and takes stress off of your back. Just ensure to use a pad between the bar and your body or else this exercise may be very uncomfortable on the hips.
To perform this movement correctly, you should lay on the floor and roll the barbell over your thighs. Then, tuck your feet in towards your butt and begin the movement by driving through your heels. You can finish the movement with a strong butt squeeze. Also, try not to use your lower back as your butt have to be doing most of the work.
9. Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing explosively strengthens your squatting muscles. If you need to squat more weight, it is very important to develop strength as well as power. The kettlebell swing does that precisely. Check out this video to understand how to perform a Kettlebell Swing correctly.
10. Swiss ball bridge and leg curl
The swiss ball bridge and leg curl are the types of exercise that give you a burn in your glutes and hamstrings like no other. This movement will teach you how to keep your abs and lower back in a strong and safe position by strengthening your butt and hamstrings simultaneously.
Can You Build Leg Muscle Without A Squat Rack?
For every person who says no leg workout is worth a crap without a squat rack, there are at least 10 others who, for whatever reason, simply avoid doing it. Perhaps it’s because of a past injury or maybe it’s just a problem of hating squats. Anyway, we can’t make someone do squats. What we can do is suggest a leg workout without a squat rack that can still blast the quads, glutes, and hamstrings to deliver some serious lower body size.
We have introduced 10 other best exercises that you can use to train your legs and lower body. The absence of the “king of all exercises”, squat, doesn’t mean that you cannot build leg muscle anymore. Studies show that even a “no-squat” routine accomplishes all you need to have strong, huge leg muscles.
How Can I Squat Without A Squat Rack?
Building a bigger stronger squat is simple when you are a beginner or intermediate lifter. All you have to do is slightly add weight or reps from week to week to strengthen your muscles. But when you get really good at squatting, things begin to get a little more tricky. You might find yourself dealing with a plateau.
This is where it is important to look at various workouts to improve your squat. Take a look at all of the muscles involved in the squat—quads, glutes, hamstrings—and try to build strength in those areas by using various movements that have nothing to do with squatting. This is how you can squat without a squat rack.
What Can I Do Instead of The Squat Rack?
You can’t kill all of your time waiting for the equipment you need. There are often many other ways to work the same muscles. These might not be exactly the same as the exercise you had planned, but hey, sometimes it’s good to try something new. So here are some alternative workouts for what an informal survey tells me is the most-hogged piece of gym equipment:
- Front squats (no cage needed)
- Goblet squats
- Dumbbell squats or lunges.
- Leg press or squat machine
- The Smith machine
- Squat jumps or box jumps.
- Single leg squats
- Cardio machines used creatively
A busy gym alongside a squat-rack hogger may be very inconvenient. However, there are many excellent workouts you can perform to train your leg other than using a squat rack. We have introduced 10 of the best No-squat exercises that you can choose from according to your preference. Make sure you don’t forget a least five of them and even add them into your normal leg routine to hit your quads hard regularly.