Leg training: Alternatives to squats?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by gpseymour, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I don't think you have a mystery condition, everything you've said sounds like the normal aging process, older people generally have far more trouble going down stairs than up, eccentric strength being more demanding on the muscle and used far less in everyday life, is the first to go of course the more you avoid eccentric movements the faster it declines.

    You also need to consider your movement patterns when descending stairs etal .

    I was in a pub last night with a stairway, so took the opertunity, to carry out a study. What I noticed was that young d fit people walked down by landing on the balls of their feet, which then a) limits the amount they drop by say 4 or 5inches and b) uses the calf e muscle as a shock absorber for the knees

    The more dodery they were at descending, the more flat footed was there walking pattern, there is a chicken and egg thing here, as if there flat footedness was causing their issue or if there lack of confidence was causing them to be flat footed, but I suspect a main factor is the lack of articulation' of the foot and or weak calf muacles is causing them to land on their heel and over load the knees when taking the weight on their foot.

    Maybe bouncy shoes would help you !
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  2. Star Dragon

    Star Dragon Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Would also suggest barbell deadlifts as an alternative to squats, including sumo deadlifts in order to work the legs more.

    Another good exercise is kettlebell swings. Emphasize bending your knees to make this more of a leg exercise, as opposed to primarily using your lower back for swinging the weight.

    I would strongly advise you to avoid one-sided development of the quadriceps, which may actually contribute to knee problems, IMO. So for balance, do exercises for the hamstrings as well, e.g. leg curls, the Swiss ball exercise shown above, as well as an essentially similar exercise with your feet (or just one of them) resting on a chair instead - the most obvious difference being that, unlike the Swiss ball, that you won't be pulling the chair towards you.

    Last but not least, you can go isometric, e.g. holding a leg out in the extended position of a kick for ten seconds or more. I like alternating legs, doing three sets and resting for about one minute in between. I repeat this for all the major kicks in my system.

    In between these different exercises, I do the same kicks as multiple kicks while I keep standing on one foot (five slow ones, five fast ones - with the latter, be careful not to hyperextend your knees though). You may hold on to something while doing this.

    The latter routine is essentially an adapted version of Bill "Superfoot" Wallace's program of leg exercises for kicks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    12,803
    Likes Received:
    3,522
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    My movement is much closer to your observation of the younger folks. But then I’ve always used my calves a lot.

    It is clearly partly General age-based degeneration - that has always been anticipated with my knees. The way they suddenly “give out” is what seems to not match that normal progression.
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    12,803
    Likes Received:
    3,522
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Lots to consider in that. I hate hamstring exercises (always have) so probably have never done enough of that side of the leg.

    As for the kicks, I’ve never had the static flexibility to hold out a kick at any reasonable angle.
     
  5. gucia6

    gucia6 White Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Once I had similar problem, going down he hill, stairs or any sort of slope was a pain. Maybe the knees did not hurt much, but they were stiff and soft at the same time.
    Unfortunately I do not have solution for that and this problem comes back from time to time if I overexert my knees.

    I definitely avoid jogging/running, it puts too much strain on my knees.

    From personal experience I can recommend bicycle.
    I used to go to school (10km), work (15km) every day, plus weekend trips 30-50km and my quads were great (not only from looks but functionality as well ;)). My general physical endurance was fantastic. Even now after roughly 4 years of break (unfortunately forced by circumstances) my legs are pretty strong.

    As for gluts any exercises lying on the belly and lifting legs or chest up (without support).
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    One of my first conversations one here, was with you about how special, unusual unique your knees are. As such its really pointless telling you that what you need to do is work them with a load that you can both pick up And put down comparably easily. If you can't put it down under control don't pick it up.

    Sqauting is an odd exercises anyway, it is great for body building but a lot less so for function strength, unless you have a real wold used for lifting fat people with you bum on the floor.

    Yet everybody does it, commonly with a weight that is far to heavy for them infact people who can't do a good form body weight squat, find it a good idea to put half there body weight on their shoulder's and try it like that, it commonly ends on tears
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    12,803
    Likes Received:
    3,522
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    That's been my approach, thus far (and will continue to be). My repertoire of strength exercises that seemed to do much at that weight has been a bit slim, which was the reason for starting this thread. I don't like some of the answers (just because I don't like the exercises - nothing actually wrong with the answers), but all in all they are what I needed.

    Hmm...I've never really looked into whether squats were tied to functional strength. It's just always seemed logical that they were. If I pick up something heavy (using my legs), would I not be using much the same muscles as I do when doing a squat?
     
  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,182
    Likes Received:
    4,154
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui

    Therein lies the rub.

    Do with that what you will.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    12,803
    Likes Received:
    3,522
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Grumble a lot, for starters. Then do some stupid exercises I don't like.

    Grumble...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    some of the same muscles but not the same movement pattern, not unless you were doing some thing very odd. Squating is a great body building excercise, as it puts your muscles at a seriou s mechanical disadvantage, or its a very difficult and inefficient way to prove a heavy object Hence your muscles grow to accommodate this( if you don't wreck your knees) in the real world you generally want the most efficient way to lift something heavy, i.e. The easiest and legs splayedv wide, bum on the floor isnt usu ally it. People can ussualy dead lifted far more than they can squat as it a far more efficient movement and one that's more likely to be of use
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 5:23 PM
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Prostar

    Prostar Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Location:
    Baltimore
    I used to use roller skating as my leg workout. I was a rink rat.
     
  12. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,182
    Likes Received:
    4,154
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    Rink rat. What a great sounding phrase. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    97
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    Ah awesome, yeah I still rollerblade nowadays every now and then, it's so much fun... adductors, abductors, quads and glutes really get quite a work out... and its very low impact compared to running and easier on the joints
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    12,803
    Likes Received:
    3,522
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I was just imagining rollerblading on the route I usually run. It started with me imagining getting down my driveway in rollerblades. Imaginary me is now in the creek across the road. :oops:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1

Share This Page