Squat Alternative Question

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    rayk1029's Avatar
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    Angry Squat Alternative Question


    I have a question that I have been struggling with.

    I have one leg that is much smaller than the other. My left leg is about 10 inches at the quad vs 20 inches on the right. When I was 4 years old, the majority of quad and ham muscle was surgically removed because it was damaged by Gillian Barre Syndrome.

    I have tried squatting using a Smith and love the feeling of doing squats but when I add any weight (25lbs) my left leg locks out and I go down lopsided. I have tried different foot positions to compensate and can barely get a parallel squat with no weight but most of the effort goes into going down and coming up straight rather than actually moving weight.

    I have three options:

    1) Keep doing no to minimal weight with the Smith and just accept that my lower body is going to be much slower going than my upper.

    2) Use a Kaiser compressed air contraption that barely mimics a real squat but I can get a parallel squat with decent weights considering. The arms help me stabilize.

    -- or --

    3) Do leg presses using different weight for each leg.

    Any suggestions? I appreciate any ideas.

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    You could do dumbbell squats with different weights for each leg. The smith machine squat seems to throw me out of normal position, so I would do the dumbbell squats. Or I have been reading about what is called hip belt squats..
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    im not a supporter of the smith machine either. one exercise i tend to throw in is to emphasize the quads by placing the feet in front of the bar (the smith machine version of front/hack squats). anyways, back to your situation....the suggestion made previous regarding db squats is a good one. if you have access to hammer strength lunge/deadlift/shrug machine (you know the one im referring to), you could incorporate the same uneven weight, as you would do with the dumbells. the last option of doing leg presses, would be my second choice. you have to work with what you have, and merely pushing the 10 lb bar on the smith, is limiting yourself (esp. on the bigger leg), the benefits of the leg exercises we are discussing.
    Sage
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    Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate it. I will do the leg press maybe with some extension work for the good leg. I just topple over when I do a free-form squat regardles of BB or DB. I can't even do a squat movement and get up even when I am not working out. The left hip extends and my center of gravity is gone.

    I love the Hammer squat machine and that really works the best of anything I have ever used (a few years ago). Unfortunately my gym doesn't have one.

    I have been doing SLDLs for hams and that is actually helping both sides. Of course, on the left side it works mainly glutes since it is absent most of the hamstring. That has improved my gait/limp a lot.

    Again. thanks a lot.

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