Growing legs without squats....

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Rossm09

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Just interested in everyone’s opinion on this, all the years iv been hitting the weights always lived under the rule of ‘you want your legs to grow properly SQUAT’ even though squats have always been my weak point in terms of weight vs rest of my compound lifts and cause irritation in my hips and make my knees play up at times (yes adapted technique etc over the years) iv never taken them out my routine, started to think are they really that important? How well can I get my legs to grow without them? What’s everyone’s opinion.. more so from guys who haven’t squared for months/years?
Cheers
 
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ValiantThor08

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Just interested in everyone’s opinion on this, all the years iv been hitting the weights always lived under the rule of ‘you want your legs to grow properly SQUAT’ even though squats have always been my weak point in terms of weight vs rest of my compound lifts and cause irritation in my hips and make my knees play up at times (yes adapted technique etc over the years) iv never taken them out my routine, started to think are they really that important? How well can I get my legs to grow without them? What’s everyone’s opinion.. more so from guys who haven’t squared for months/years?
Cheers
Dorian Yates claimed leg press was just as effective for building legs. He did not squat.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/theres-leg-day-then-theres-dorian-yates-leg-day.html
 
muscleupcrohn

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You CAN do it. If you’re not planning on being a competitive bodybuilder, fitness model, or athlete, it’s doable, but not ideal. You can build decent legs without them for sure, just probably not as quickly or to the same level as you could with them.

But if squats keep messing you up to the point where you have to take time off doing any legs, then they’re doing more harm than good. Of course if you can try to rehab your body to be able to handle them to a degree, do so, but sometimes that’s not feasible I guess.
 
Abe Lincoln

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You don't need to squat unless you plan on being a powerlifter /closethread
You can become a competitive bodybuilder without squating, if you are only talking about barbell squats.
A mixture of hack squats, bulgarian split squats, leg press, leg extensions, leg curls can get your legs huge.

Fitness model? lol do these guys even have legs half the time..
Athlete? Depends on the sport but if it is basketball or football, jumps and using the other exercises above could get you damn good results. ** I used to be able to dunk and I never did barbell squats back in those days, just jump training.
 
muscleupcrohn

muscleupcrohn

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You don't need to squat unless you plan on being a powerlifter /closethread
You can become a competitive bodybuilder without squating, if you are only talking about barbell squats.
A mixture of hack squats, bulgarian split squats, leg press, leg extensions, leg curls can get your legs huge.

Fitness model? lol do these guys even have legs half the time..
Athlete? Depends on the sport but if it is basketball or football, jumps and using the other exercises above could get you damn good results. ** I used to be able to dunk and I never did barbell squats back in those days, just jump training.
Fair point about the fitness model. I meant more like the guys who look more like bodybuilders for the most part but never really compete or get into actual contest shape/condition. I don’t know what else to call them. The YouTube stars haha. As for football, almost everyone squats. The necessity would vary based on position though; a naturally explosive WR may not need to develop strong legs as much as a power running back for example.
 
Abe Lincoln

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Fair point about the fitness model. I meant more like the guys who look more like bodybuilders for the most part but never really compete or get into actual contest shape/condition. I don’t know what else to call them. The YouTube stars haha. As for football, almost everyone squats. The necessity would vary based on position though; a naturally explosive WR may not need to develop strong legs as much as a power running back for example.
The YT stars are a notorious bunch, half of them dont have legs but the ones that do I find they usualy do higher reps not heavy for the legs or minimal BB Squat and a **** ton of single joint stuff like leg curls and extensions.

Not to say all football coaches (most high school and lower coaches are), but they also have the athletes doing Olympic lifts which I just cringe when they can't even teach it right. Literally you can switch Olympic lifts out for Jump training, sprint, and medicine ball throws, so just plyometrics which would be safer since most of the coaches can't even teach proper form and Olympic lifts are very technique based.

Barbell Squats I hate and love them. For football I honestly believe belt squats would be better. So you wouldnt have the barbell putting stress on your spine and can focus on increasing leg strength. So, I'm just arguing Barbell Squats are not for everyone, I believe Belt Squats can replace them and be more safe for an athlete that doesn't necessarily compete in powerlifting. Coaches need to take a step back and think about their athletes in long term, why load the spine where you can do an exercise that doesn't and gets almost all the benefits. Football players already get ****ed up on the field, so give their spines a break and decompress.
 
muscleupcrohn

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The YT stars are a notorious bunch, half of them dont have legs but the ones that do I find they usualy do higher reps not heavy for the legs or minimal BB Squat and a **** ton of single joint stuff like leg curls and extensions.

Not to say all football coaches (most high school and lower coaches are), but they also have the athletes doing Olympic lifts which I just cringe when they can't even teach it right. Literally you can switch Olympic lifts out for Jump training, sprint, and medicine ball throws, so just plyometrics which would be safer since most of the coaches can't even teach proper form and Olympic lifts are very technique based.

Barbell Squats I hate and love them. For football I honestly believe belt squats would be better. So you wouldnt have the barbell putting stress on your spine and can focus on increasing leg strength. So, I'm just arguing Barbell Squats are not for everyone, I believe Belt Squats can replace them and be more safe for an athlete that doesn't necessarily compete in powerlifting. Coaches need to take a step back and think about their athletes in long term, why load the spine where you can do an exercise that doesn't and gets almost all the benefits. Football players already get ****ed up on the field, so give their spines a break and decompress.
Jump training, sprints, and medicine ball throws aren’t really sufficient for lineman, linebackers, and physical runners IMO. You can get that explosiveness for jumping and running routes, but that’s not the same as power on contact. Look how many players run a 4.4 40 and can’t run through someone. It’s not the same power. As for belt squats, I just don’t see every school, ESPECIALLY high schools switching from power racks, which can also be used for bench etc. to special equipment for these squats. I agree that doing cleans and stuff is often cringeworthy in HS and even college football teams, but squats are are easy enough to get the form down properly.
 
Abe Lincoln

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Jump training, sprints, and medicine ball throws aren’t really sufficient for lineman, linebackers, and physical runners IMO. You can get that explosiveness for jumping and running routes, but that’s not the same as power on contact. Look how many players run a 4.4 40 and can’t run through someone. It’s not the same power. As for belt squats, I just don’t see every school, ESPECIALLY high schools switching from power racks, which can also be used for bench etc. to special equipment for these squats. I agree that doing cleans and stuff is often cringeworthy in HS and even college football teams, but squats are are easy enough to get the form down properly.
I mean maybe you haven't played ball, but that doesnt matter. Power is different from strength. Power is all about how many muscle motors(fibres, crossbridges, etc.. whatever you want to call them.) you can recruit in a burst. Power if I want to bastardize it more, is Strength x Speed. Now if we go back to the boys you were talking about, linebackers and especially linemen are big boys so they are strong naturally from playing the position or should get to be because of their weight advantage and leverages. They mostly need to learn to toss their weight around faster, but of course they should still lift weights to get the other factor of power being strength up to par with the enemy teams.

The runner thing idk where you are going with. Ever see a 300lb dude run a 4.4 40? If he could I doubt you would stand infront of his big ass because you'd be mowed down. So if some lightweight is running, no **** he wont mow you down haha.

You'd be surprised you can buy a pulley system online for like $150 that can attach to the power racks and wont take up any room. Teaching a squat is much easier, but I still rather not put a bunch of load on someones back if there are better ways. I think the load is probably not a problem, but football can be rather harsh on the body and I've worked with and been a youth athlete, so when I look at them I want them to be able to play pain free and injury free as long as possible. Some of these HS coaches beat the **** out of these kids and they can't even play college properly let alone Pro, which pisses me off.
 
muscleupcrohn

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I mean maybe you haven't played ball, but that doesnt matter. Power is different from strength. Power is all about how many muscle motors(fibres, crossbridges, etc.. whatever you want to call them.) you can recruit in a burst. Power if I want to bastardize it more, is Strength x Speed. Now if we go back to the boys you were talking about, linebackers and especially linemen are big boys so they are strong naturally from playing the position or should get to be because of their weight advantage and leverages. They mostly need to learn to toss their weight around faster, but of course they should still lift weights to get the other factor of power being strength up to par with the enemy teams.

The runner thing idk where you are going with. Ever see a 300lb dude run a 4.4 40? If he could I doubt you would stand infront of his big ass because you'd be mowed down. So if some lightweight is running, no **** he wont mow you down haha.

You'd be surprised you can buy a pulley system online for like $150 that can attach to the power racks and wont take up any room. Teaching a squat is much easier, but I still rather not put a bunch of load on someones back if there are better ways. I think the load is probably not a problem, but football can be rather harsh on the body and I've worked with and been a youth athlete, so when I look at them I want them to be able to play pain free and injury free as long as possible. Some of these HS coaches beat the **** out of these kids and they can't even play college properly let alone Pro, which pisses me off.
I played ball too. Why do you assume anyone who disagrees with you has no experience? And “naturally strong” isn’t always true. Take two big boy linemen or linebackers as a freshman in HS, and have one only practice/play, snd have the other lift hard and well, especially in the offseason, and tell me the second guy isn’t stronger and that doesn’t have some carryover on the field. I guess every college and pro linebacker is wasting their time lifting, right? Just practice lol.

My point about power backs is that even if your “sprints and medicine ball” stuff can improve sprint speed and jumping ability well, it’s not going to really be sufficient for a power back who relies on pushing through contact. Squats really do help with that. Undoubtedly. More than any amount of medicine ball throws can. I’m saying that I’d say linebackers, linemen, and other players who make contact and drive on most plays would “need” to squat more than a WR or DB whose primary job is speed and agility, where driving through contact isn’t nearly as much of a priority.

As for the damage football does to HS and college players, damage from squatting (properly) is the least of their concerns by a wide, wide margin.
 
jrock645

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Seems like fitness models are looking more and more like bodybuilders anymore. The underwear models are looking more like what a fitness model used to. Interesting how the trends change.
 
Abe Lincoln

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I played ball too. Why do you assume anyone who disagrees with you has no experience? And “naturally strong” isn’t always true. Take two big boy linemen or linebackers as a freshman in HS, and have one only practice/play, snd have the other lift hard and well, especially in the offseason, and tell me the second guy isn’t stronger and that doesn’t have some carryover on the field. I guess every college and pro linebacker is wasting their time lifting, right? Just practice lol.

My point about power backs is that even if your “sprints and medicine ball” stuff can improve sprint speed and jumping ability well, it’s not going to really be sufficient for a power back who relies on pushing through contact. Squats really do help with that. Undoubtedly. More than any amount of medicine ball throws can. I’m saying that I’d say linebackers, linemen, and other players who make contact and drive on most plays would “need” to squat more than a WR or DB whose primary job is speed and agility, where driving through contact isn’t nearly as much of a priority.

As for the damage football does to HS and college players, damage from squatting (properly) is the least of their concerns by a wide, wide margin.
Well, honestly your nit picky with things I say and skim over topics and picking battles based off things you can nitpick at. So that is why I figure you have no experience, but I guess you have experience. That is true some boys arent naturally strong, but with their size it is highly more possible to be stronger based off weight and more possibility of more muscle cross bridges. Did I say they shouldn't do strength training? Woosh. Re-read what I said. I said to stay competitive they SHOULD still weight train.

Well, you should still train athletes in both Speed and Strength, as this produces Power. I never said they shouldn't strength train and you could totally replace squats with plyometrics. There are just different variations that could be used with less impact on spine like hack squats or belt squat..This thread was firstly about growing legs without squats and now we are talking about squats for sports performance lol.

You could be right and I think you are to an extent. If the athlete did back decompress exercises I think it would even out the barbell squat and my concerns would be zilch. I will leave it at that though, Back Squats are a great exercise and can used for the betterment of an athlete, but I'd rather stick it with sort of back decompressing exercises or just use belt squats.
 
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kisaj

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I'll just chime in and say that you can definitely build large, strong legs without squatting, but I have found that squats will build overall body mass better and faster. Depends on what your goals are.
 
EMPIREMIND

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I have known a lot of big guys who simply cannot squat anymore due to lower back stress or other injuries. There are a lot of ways to train that will absolutely bring hypertrophy. Time under tension, tempo, rep ranges, preexhausting certain muscle groups etc.
 
Resolve10

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You don’t have to.

But I’d say it makes it easier if you put in the work on them.

The vast majority of my training is squats (or variations), cleans, and snatches and my legs easily are better than other areas.
 
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I hired Paul Carter about a year ago for training and diet, he never had me squat in 12 weeks. High rep lunges 100 rep sets x 3 -5 sets superset with hack squats. Awful lol but really worked well.
 
Old Witch

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Vince Gironda said squats don’t build huge legs, just huge butts and waistlines. I’m inclined to agree based on my own experiences.
 
jrock645

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Vince Gironda said squats don’t build huge legs, just huge butts and waistlines. I’m inclined to agree based on my own experiences.
Squats grow a huge waistline? How?
 
Old Witch

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Squats grow a huge waistline? How?
Because everyone loads up squats with too much weight for it to be done in Gironda form. He said the way they’re done puts more emphasis on the core and glutes, which is not what they’re for.

And he was right.
 
Old Witch

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I, personally, put a huge amount of stock into Vince Gironda’s principles.

The only way in my opinion to look like that without using steroids is to do as he prescribed.

He believed water was fattening. Which we know today is true. Sort of.

He believed carbohydrates combined with fat are fattening. Which we know now is true.

He more or less invented carb cycling.

He more or less invented keto.

He invented the routines and many of the exercises we still rely on.

Don’t do back squats, do front squats.
 
BarryScott

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Vince Gironda said squats don’t build huge legs, just huge butts and waistlines. I’m inclined to agree based on my own experiences.
Yeah me too, I consider squats a driver of overall mass and strength not so much for complete leg development.
 
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One bodybuilder Hong Wong doesn’t squat. I dare anyone to tell me he doesn’t have an amazing set of quads. Also your body has no ****ing clue that you’re doing squats. Your body doesn’t go “omg he’s doing the infamous squat exercise. Now we can grow!” No. That’s not how the body works. It knows time under tension and resistance. As long as you’re working the muscles hard and eating enough they will grow. Case closed. Heres Hong Wong
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muscleupcrohn

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I, personally, put a huge amount of stock into Vince Gironda’s principles.

The only way in my opinion to look like that without using steroids is to do as he prescribed.

He believed water was fattening. Which we know today is true. Sort of.

He believed carbohydrates combined with fat are fattening. Which we know now is true.

He more or less invented carb cycling.

He more or less invented keto.

He invented the routines and many of the exercises we still rely on.

Don’t do back squats, do front squats.
This guy did heavy squats, such a gut...
 
rtmilburn

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Just interested in everyone’s opinion on this, all the years iv been hitting the weights always lived under the rule of ‘you want your legs to grow properly SQUAT’ even though squats have always been my weak point in terms of weight vs rest of my compound lifts and cause irritation in my hips and make my knees play up at times (yes adapted technique etc over the years) iv never taken them out my routine, started to think are they really that important? How well can I get my legs to grow without them? What’s everyone’s opinion.. more so from guys who haven’t squared for months/years?
Cheers
I'll go against the grain here. Yes it is very possible to grow great legs without squatting. Hell I could NOT get my legs to grow great from squats. When I finally put squats as secondary lift, instead the the main focus, on leg day my legs, I started to grow way faster and my strength even improved faster.

I really focus on heavy leg press instead of squat. Then I ran it like normal leg day, including rdls, leg extensions, leg curls, some other specific work, then ended with squats sometimes.

The reason I believe this was so effective is, you are able to "shock" the system with heavier weights on the leg press. However, I'm a HUGE proponent of powerbuilding. Which is essentially a hybrid between bodybuildering and powerlifting. I could go in to specific mechanism, which may indicate why this may be more effective for size, if I wasn't so strapped for time.
 
Outofbody

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I squat, but I don't do it primarily for leg growth. I do it for the fullbody muscle connection and intensity. I also do it for back health. A strong back is a healthy back, and I feel there is a need to load the spine. For all of the reasons stated here, I mainly do low rep squats for strength. There are less risky ways for growth if worried about injuries when performing high-rep squats. I do split squats, lunges and glute ham raises.
 
GrizzleB

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My right knee has been crazy sore and puffy since I squatted a few days ago. I'm considering just going to the gym and doing lots of machine work for legs for the next month or at least alternating weeks. I've always had this big bump on my right knee and It feels like there's fluid on it the next few days after squats.
 
Old Witch

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This guy did heavy squats, such a gut...
And you’re somehow going to be able to do that too, right? You and every Tom dick and harry?

Get real, guy. You don’t have perfect form. You’ll grow your waist and ass. And so will Tom dick and harry.

2915D4DC-044F-4AEC-ABBE-ACD19A36F432-621-000001A78DB4D34A.JPG
 
Old Witch

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RDL Hack squats, front squats, sissy squats, and sissy hack squats.

That’s how you grow GREAT legs.
 
Old Witch

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“Vince taught that “bent-over squats” for most are not a true quad developer. He found that students would cheat and leverage themselves in the movement to produce a great butt, hip, and stomach expander.

However, Vince did acknowledge that in a few cases involving what he called “genetic superiors,” bent-over squats could be used. These individuals would have very small hips and short femurs that allowed them to squat in a fashion that allowed for quad development without overemphasizing the glutes.

Vince used Sergio Oliva as a good example of one who could get away with bent-over squats, but he felt most were not built to perform squats as a true quad developer.”

Unless you’re pretty convinced of your genetic superiority, I’d avoid back squats.
 
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kisaj

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“Vince taught that “bent-over squats” for most are not a true quad developer. He found that students would cheat and leverage themselves in the movement to produce a great butt, hip, and stomach expander.

However, Vince did acknowledge that in a few cases involving what he called “genetic superiors,” bent-over squats could be used. These individuals would have very small hips and short femurs that allowed them to squat in a fashion that allowed for quad development without overemphasizing the glutes.

Vince used Sergio Oliva as a good example of one who could get away with bent-over squats, but he felt most were not built to perform squats as a true quad developer.”

Unless you’re pretty convinced of your genetic superiority, I’d avoid back squats.
You are also the guy telling us that eating large meals builds a gut and visceral fat. Did you wake up and just decide that you were going to spew nonsense and poor information today? Might want to step away from the keyboard and go do something else.
 
Old Witch

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You are also the guy telling us that eating large meals builds a gut and visceral fat. Did you wake up and just decide that you were going to spew nonsense and poor information today? Might want to step away from the keyboard and go do something else.
Eating large meals does do that. Are your logical reasoning functions not working? Ask a doctor: Hey doc is overeating going to expand my abdominal cavity and stretch out my stomach and small intestines? And he will say YES.
 
Resolve10

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Giving me some good stuff to shake my head today.

So squats aren’t a good leg developer because people can’t do them right. So you are basically admitting they do work you just think people do them wrong.

Seriously am I not understanding what you are saying?
 
Old Witch

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Giving me some good stuff to shake my head today.

So squats aren’t a good leg developer because people can’t do them right. So you are basically admitting they do work you just think people do them wrong.

Seriously am I not understanding what you are saying?
That’s exactly it. Squats aren’t a good leg developer because people can’t do them right. Exactly.

If you do them, you damn well better be doing them perfectly.

And I mean Gironda perfect.
 
muscleupcrohn

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And you’re somehow going to be able to do that too, right? You and every Tom dick and harry?

Get real, guy. You don’t have perfect form. You’ll grow your waist and ass. And so will Tom dick and harry.
The majority of people should at least squat to build a base of strength. Once they have that base, they don’t need to squat, but I’d argue that building that whole body base of strength is vital to being successful later. Once you have that base, then you don’t need to squat, sure.

You provide ONE guy who said not to squat. I showed you someone else who did. And plenty of bodybuilders recommend squatting. Essentially EVERY golden era bodybuilder squatted, and they had small waists and killer vacuums. Arnold squatted. Zane squatted. Haney squatted.

You do you, but there is no absolute correct answer here. Squat or down squat. There’s arguments for both. But don’t pretend that squatting will make you have a big waist. I know plenty of guys with wasp-like waists who squat plenty.
 
Old Witch

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You can’t train yourself into a waspish waist. That’s genetic. If you have that, squat away.
 
Resolve10

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That’s exactly it. Squats aren’t a good leg developer because people can’t do them right. Exactly.

If you do them, you damn well better be doing them perfectly.

And I mean Gironda perfect.
This literally makes no sense.

Don’t do them because they don’t work. Oh wait they do if you do them perfect. But you can’t do them perfect.

Do you understand how that makes no sense.

You literally listed front squats as an option too. If you can front squat you can perform a back squat with the proper form as well.

Yes people can build with squats. People can improve their form with them. It’s not going to just automatically give you a big waist. There’s an innumerable amount of people who go against that.
 
muscleupcrohn

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You can’t train yourself into a waspish waist. That’s genetic. If you have that, squat away.

My point is that squatting didn’t ruin their waists. So you’re saying that it’ll expand normal people’s waists but not people’s waists who have thin waists? Because their waists didn’t get ANY worse from squatting, so it’s not like they went from tiny waist to small waist, they kept tiny waists while squatting.
 
tyga tyga

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That’s weird, I squat 2-3x a week.. and have big quads with a 29” waist.

More than welcome to go look at my log
 
muscleupcrohn

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That’s weird, I squat 2-3x a week.. and have big quads with a 29” waist.

More than welcome to go look at my log
So without squats you would have had a 27” waist. ;)

/sarcasm
 
tyga tyga

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So without squats you would have had a 27” waist. ;)

/sarcasm
You just fed the bro ammo lol

Waiting for.. “yeah he probably would have because all that growth hormone went to his waist”

*facepalm*
 
jrock645

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Ive never heard if the guy before but id be very happy with his physique.
 
muscleupcrohn

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You just fed the bro ammo lol

Waiting for.. “yeah he probably would have because all that growth hormone went to his waist”

*facepalm*
Pretty much all the bodybuilders with the best waists and vacuum poses ALL squatted.
 
Godstrength

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This thread is ridiculous... Of course squats help build bigger legs. Do you need them to grow? No but it aint going to hurt if youre trying to build them. They're also great for your ass and core. There's a reason why the squat is one of the big 3 lifts.

Big guts from squatting
Now thats some funny shyt
 
Old Witch

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My point is that squatting didn’t ruin their waists. So you’re saying that it’ll expand normal people’s waists but not people’s waists who have thin waists? Because their waists didn’t get ANY worse from squatting, so it’s not like they went from tiny waist to small waist, they kept tiny waists while squatting.
I didn’t say it, Vince Gironda said it and I’m inclined to agree wholeheartedly. Y’all are forgetting that part. This isn’t just something I cooked up. Hahahaha
 
Old Witch

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This thread is ridiculous... Of course squats help build bigger legs. Do you need them to grow? No but it aint going to hurt if youre trying to build them. They're also great for your ass and core. There's a reason why the squat is one of the big 3 lifts.

Big guts from squatting
Now thats some funny shyt
Not big gut, big ass and core. Wide waist, bulky look.
 
Old Witch

Old Witch

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Ive never heard if the guy before but id be very happy with his physique.
You’ve never heard of Vince Gironda? He’s a legend. The Iron Guru. Hahahaha
 
jrock645

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