Alternative Exercises When the Guy Does Not Get up From the Squat Rack

Everyone in the hall has their own plan, their own way. In an ideal world, all of these paths intersect and intertwine without any collision. One person jumps off the treadmill, the other on the treadmill. One person puts on the weight, the other lifts it. Record scratch, here’s the real world: Five different people in the gym are killing time on machines they don’t care about looking at a guy who never stops doing squat curls.

A few truths about this situation that are meaningless right now because you need a squat rack now :

  • He should not buy specialized exercise equipment that he can do elsewhere. And so will you, if your turn comes.
  • It’s okay to ask politely if he’ll finish soon or if you can get some work done. He doesn’t have to say yes; it’s his choice. You don’t have to ask; that is yours.
  • You can try going there when the gym is less crowded , but you still can’t guarantee that the squat rack will be free.
  • You can tour all the gyms in the city by switching your membership to the one with the most squat racks.

But at the moment you have to get by. If you can’t wait for the equipment you want, there are usually several other ways to work those same muscles. It may not be exactly the same as what you planned, but it is sometimes helpful to try something new. So, here are the alternative exercises that an informal survey found to be the most downloaded simulator:

  • Front squats, no cage needed . If there is room for the barbell to sit on the floor and you know how to clean it (lift it off the ground onto your shoulders), you can do the squat with the barbell flat on the floor instead of on your back. You will need to use a lighter weight than what you would normally do when squatting on your back, and make sure you stop before you get tired so that you can safely lose weight. Of all the options, this one is most similar to the squat with a barbell on the back, but there are still a few small differences .
  • Goblet squats . While squatting, hold a large kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your chest. This weight will not be as heavy as if you were using it in a standing position, so do more reps.
  • Squats or lunges with dumbbells . Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Your grip strength limits you here, so again do as much as you like and do more reps. During the squat can be uncomfortable to hold large dumbbell side, so better think about lunges or split squats.
  • Leg press or squat machine . There are several different types of squat machines, and your gym probably has at least one. If free weights are your thing, you probably laugh at these machines for not being functional enough, and it’s true they don’t work the same muscles as squats, nor do they challenge your balance and stability when you do it. But it’s getting late, you have to get home and this guy hasn’t come out of the squat rack yet, so you might as well give your quads some workout.
  • Smith machine . Same as above: not the same as free weight squats, but here you go. In the Smith machine, the bar is fixed to a sliding track. The bar has hooks to position it at whatever height you want to lift weights and safety restraints at the bottom – check where the last person placed them so you don’t get surprised halfway to your first rep.

If these options don’t work for you, here are a few others that aren’t as similar to squats but will still work the same muscles:

  • Jumping from squats or box . You don’t need to jump a lot to get your legs working well, but jumping can lead to injuries (even if you don’t fall and hit this box with your shins ). Landing after a lot of jumps has a huge impact on the joints and tendons. So if you are used to jumping, jump! If not, do a few and then end your workout with one of the options above.
  • Steps up . With or without weight, stand on the bench and take a step back. Choose whatever height you like (or can find), but knee-length is classic.
  • Squats on one leg . Now is a great time to work on the pistol squat, as for most of us this is a weightless exercise. Use a cable car, hanging machine or door frame .
  • Cardio equipment is used creatively . Fully increase resistance on the rowing machine and push with all your strength. Or take a ladder climbing machine and do it at an advanced level. Either way, you tend to tire your legs in a few seconds or minutes, get some rest and try again.

You will most likely have at least one of these options available to suit your athletic needs for that particular workout. Be smart: Don’t try an advanced trick if you don’t know how to do it. But if you can safely perform an alternate move, try it – who knows, you might even like it better.


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