Squats are not a walk in the park. For those of us with bad knees and not-so-strong backs, they’re especially challenging. So we gathered the best (alternative) exercises that will give you great legs and a perky backside.
Get Serious Glute Mass With the Classic Glute Bridge.
A word of caution, don’t add weight to this exercise until you can do 40 straight with no weight. We’re guessing at the exact number there, but the point is you want to make sure you work your way up to a 20-pound dumbbell balanced on your hips. Performing this move with weight without the developed glute muscles it calls for will only result in you using the wrong muscles. Namely overloading the weight while performing a bridge can trigger you to use your lower back and could lead to injury. So try this move first at higher repetitions and nice long squeezes before you flex in the gym. You’ll want to do this move regularly in order to see booty gains. One key tip is to move through each repetition with complete control so you are working all the right muscles for a rounded backside.
Improve Athletic Performance with the Elevated Glute Bridge.
Lying with your shoulders and upper back on a bench you’ll perform this exercise similar to a regular glute bridge. Glute bridges will also increase your speed and help you jump higher. This is the perfect exercise for athletes to up their game.
Get Drool-worthy Squatters Booty By Doing It Correctly With The Landmine Squat.
This safer squat variation will leave your buns ah-burning! You’ll need some gym equipment for this one. You’ll be holding the end of a barbell (weighted or not). One end of this bar should be anchored and the other end is where you’ll slip on the weights and grip. The movement is very similar to a squat but much easier on the joints. The anchored, front loaded weight forces your body into the correct squat form and feels pretty great (if I say so myself.)
You’ll be working more than your lower body, the landmine squat also works:
You can find detailed instructions to properly execute a landmine squat by clicking here. If your gym (or home gym) does not have a landmine (a weighted plate that anchors the bar down) you can try wedging your barbell into a corner for stability.
Say Goodbye to Back Pain From Demanding Jobs With the Hip Hinge.
The key here is to fold at your hips while engaging your glutes. Using your lower back could cause injury, in fact, your spine should stay elongated and neutral. This is a super-functional exercise to include in your routine, as it helps you with most everyday tasks. Strengthening your posterior chain, and in short, makes repeated movements like picking up boxes at work so much easier. If you have back pain, learning how to properly execute a hip hinge could help you ease back pain.
Define Those Quads To The Max With Lateral Lunges.
This workout will tone your legs, glutes, and stretch your inner groin muscles. If you lack mobility, lateral lunges will also strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees, and improve hip mobility. Not only does this move help tone and tighten those often overlooked side-glutes it works your quadriceps from a different angle.
Core & Booty Fired Up With Stability Ball Wall Squats. What makes any stability ball workout a good choice is that it adds in a little core burn. With stability ball wall squats you’ll also work the muscles surrounding your pelvis without knee pain.
Get rid of Back, Knee, and Hip Pain With Resistance Band Monster Walk.
This exercise can be part of a therapeutic regime to help those who suffer from hip, knee, or back pain says the Physical Therapy Web.
They recommend choosing a band that offers moderate resistance, so go for a semi-thick band. The resistance band will wrap both of your legs. The positioning is all up to you. The higher you place it, the easier. The lower you place the band, the harder the workout. When you’re performing the actual monster walks, don’t let the band go slack, you’ll want to maintain constant tension.
The Perfect Booty Exercise For Office Workers Is Side-Lying Leg Raises.
If you work a desk-job this is the move for you. The benefit of working laterally helps because if you are normally ball-and-chained to a desk you aren’t working a lot of those laterally-challenged muscle groups. Side-lying leg raises will also increase muscle endurance and will help improve stability. This also translates to better posture which can also relieve back-pain for those who are stationary for a good chunk of their day.
Get a Tight Bum and Toned Legs With Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls.
A word of advice for beginners on this mat exercise, keep your core tight and maintain control. We definitely recommend building stability before going gung-ho with this one. Once you can safely balance with your heels on the medicine ball, this is one killer lower body workout. The muscles worked with this exercise include your hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. The intensity added by the wobbly swiss ball will also lend a hand throughout your next yoga class. The instability works to increase your agility, stability, and balance by working muscles that would otherwise be skipped without the added wobble.