Squats are not for everyone!
Possibly the most popular compound movement for building big and strong legs, the squat is unfortunately similar to “Kryptonite” for some lifters. The truth is they are amazing at what they are intended for but the fact is some people must look for alternatives.
Here are ”5 reasons to skip squats”…
1. Awful Knees
If you have bad knees, doing squats is out of the question (especially if you don’t know how to do them safely). Heck, doing squats may even be the problem. But just because you have knee issues doesn’t mean you can never do squats again.
Depending on the severity of the condition, you may just need to correct your form and/or find a range of motion which takes pressure off the knees (Partial repetitions). The use of supplements like Chondroitin, Glucosamine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and even Green Tea have show to ease and even improve joint pain. However, they are not effective for everyone. (1)
If worse comes to worse, a Doctor’s visit and further treatment may be the only option, and in this case stay away from squats entirely!
2. Body Type Not Suited For Squats
Let’s face it… we all have different shapes and sizes which means certain exercises do not work the same for everyone. The structure of some lifters will simply not allow for safety or effectiveness with the movement.
Mobility is an issue for some people and squats are really difficult on the joints (Ankles and hips especially). Some people with really long legs and/or knees which turn inward during the movement will have a hard time successfully performing the squat.
It doesn’t mean you’re doomed and it’s not even an issue at all.
Alternatively… Try deadlifts and reverse lunges Instead.
3. A Bad Back
Attempting squats (Especially with too much weight and bad form) with a bad back is never a good idea. Now, back pain (Usually the lower back) is something no one would ever usually wish on the worst enemy.
Sometimes people do not heed the possible dangers and wind up becoming severely injured. You’ll have to ultimately determine how severe your back pain is before you attempt to perform squats but it’s best to check in with a Doctor to make sure you don’t take any risks.
Sometimes back pain can mean an easy fix and this can be done by strengthening your core, stretching your back muscles, yoga, practicing good posture and even reducing stress. Back pain is often times a stress-related issue or a weak core problem. (2)
Try natural alternatives first and you may be squatting again in no time.
Now let’s move on to another reason to skip squats…
4. They’re Just Not for You
Squats are not the “be all end all “of leg exercises. You can build powerful and muscular legs by doing other movements which feel more comfortable and are more effective for you. Some people have no use for them and guess what? You won’t be missing out on gains as a result.
Never think you have to listen to everyone preaching about one exercise is being the best because you’d be surprised how much false information is out there. You must learn how to work with your own body to produce the best results possible.
You do have plenty of good options in the form of movements like deadlifts, lunges and the leg presses as well. Experiment and find what works best for you.
5. You Don’t Have Access To a Squat Rack
So we mentioned earlier that squats are not mandatory. Now, we realize that you can still do squat variations but we know the conventional squat to be the “big daddy” barbell squat. However, some people do not have access to all the necessary equipment to perform that specific movement. So what do you do in this case? Well… it depends on what you have and how creative you can be.
Now machines are also great to use and exercises like leg extensions and smith machine squats can provide a little more stability as well but if you don’t have either, it’s ok. There are alternatives which can serve any purpose.
There is so much information and options for exercise variations on the internet nowadays that you don’t need as much equipment as you think. Do yourself a favor and utilize the internet for your benefit.
If you don’t have any equipment, then you’re looking at certain exercise options like sprints, one-legged squats, jump-squats, lunges etc. Of course, these are only a few of many out there. Remember, you can use walls, chairs and countertops to stabilize your body for better control of these movements.
You can still get an amazing leg workout with minimal equipment and/or your own body weight. Never let a lack of equipment discourage you from being creative because you can build a great body regardless.