The squat is known as the king of lower body exercises. When it comes to building an impressive set of legs or becoming faster and more athletic, it is always at the top of the list of must-do exercises.
Building a bigger squat is easy when you are a novice or intermediate lifter. All you have to do is slowly add weight or reps from week to week to get stronger. But after you get really good at squatting, things start to get a little bit tricky. You may find you hit a plateau.
This is where it is important to look at different exercise variations to improve your squat. Take a look at the major muscles involved in the squat—quads, glutes, hamstrings—and then build strength in those areas by using different exercises that have nothing to do with squatting.
Here are six exercise variations that will help you build a stronger squat without needing a squat rack. Give them a shot for a couple of weeks and then test your progress.
Joey Percia, M.S., CPPS, CSCS, Weside Barbell Coach, is a Lifestyle and Performance Coach at Soho Strength Lab in New York City.