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Thread: Temporary substitutions for squats & dead lifts

  1. #1
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Lincoln, NE

    Temporary substitutions for squats & dead lifts

    I realize there's not a true substitution for these two moves, but I need to lay off them for a bit for my knees.

    Is there any merit to substituting other movements? I'd prefer not to completely ditch my two lower-body workouts that I do each week, but I have to give the knee joints a break.

    This is just temporary, I hope for no longer than 3 weeks.
    Any recommendations are welcome.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Tough call when you have to take the knees out of the equation.

    Deadlift substitutions are pretty easy; s.l.d.l., r.d.l., pull thrus, glute ham raises, etc...

    Squat substitutes get harder without engaging the knees. Maybe some backwards sled dragging?

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  3. #3
    Senior Member sbirgel's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Chapel Hill
    yeah I would definitely do some straight leg deadlifts or Good mornings maybe for the normal deadlift substitution...
    as for squatting yeah I really dunno just something that engages your quadriceps maybe some lunges or something or that still going to affect your knees too much?
    Last edited by sbirgel; 04-23-2010 at 08:58 AM.
    Age: 20
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I think Off Road covered most of the basic substitutions you can make.
    The real question is why your knees are in such bad shape that you need 3 weeks off. In the next 3 weeks you should try to figure out why your knees are hurting so much and how to fix it. You should look at things such as SQ technique and the volume and frequency of your lifting. For the vast majority of people, normal training with good technique should not cause any significant knee issues. Taking 3 weeks off and then going right back to what was making them hurt in the first place doesn't make much sense. Maybe your knee issues are not related to training, but these are just some things to think about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    At a slight angle to the universe
    There's an article on the main site about leg training with bad knees. Check it out.

  6. #6
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    So. Cal.
    ^^This and really check your squat form out. If your form is spot-on, you could hose your knees.
    Give chalk a chance.

    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
    325 bench

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