strength training with no squat or olympic lifts

I’m looking to improve my lower body strength for sprints and jumps. However I was born with no left hand. This restricts the exercises the I am able to do. I have a prosthetic arm which allows me to do some dumbbell work, but the olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, etc I can’t do. An example of some of the exercises i do now are, single leg dumbbell split squats, leg curls, leg press, leg curls with a stability ball, and dumbbell lunges. What are some good strength and power exercises that involve the use of light dumbbells (up to 40 pounds) or can be used with limited use of the arms that would help improve power and general strength?

if you only dont have a hand look up “zercher” exercises. i think you could still do those

A track coach here in town could powerclean over 80kg with one arm. He lost an arm in a motorbike accident.

I think it might be possible for you to squat with a Crepinsek Safety Squat Bar (go to I use this bar extensively and have used it exclusively post shoulder surgery when securing an olympic bar on my shoulders was not possible. A cheaper alternative would be to purchase a squat harness that secures around the waist ( I think both these options should work well for you. Good luck!

Unfortunately I’m a poor college student and don’t have too much extra cash for the squat belt or safety squat bar, but those zercher exercises look like they could work really well for me. Thanks for the help everyone.

Herb-did he power clean with strictly one hand or did he have a prosthetic?

No prosthetic. Just one arm. I am not saying it was a good thing or a bad. Just saying it is possible.

Belt squats?


In regards to the answer you got about the
Track Coach from Herb. I actually taught him our level NCCP1 technical for the Olympic Weightlifting and indeed he did do a power clean with 80kg that weekend and also did some back squats if I remember right. No prosthetic just the loose sleeve. It was quite impressive. Wher there’s a will there’s a way.


Andy :slight_smile:

This is not a sick joke, but no hand front squats are good option. You put the bar on your clavicles, points your hands straight ahead, and squat down and up.
All this can be done without using your hands. As for your hamstrings, the poor man version of glute ham raises is an option.


Can you squat on a Smith machine?
You could try reverse leg press also.

I think front squats could be a great option for you. Bodybuilder style, with the arms crossed and held in front (hand on opposite shoulder).

Thanks for the tips and exercises, along with the zercher exercises I’m going to try some fronts squats. I’ll just have to start off real light and work my way up. My college does have a reverse leg press that I’ve been using a little bit. Are there any good hamstring exercises I could do? I’ve been doing some GHR. Right now I’m trying to piece together a good lower body work out that I can stick with that will help my speed and power.

Zercher Good Morning

You could probably also hold a plate across your chest while you do RDLs (it’ll be light though so only for higher reps).

^^ Both of those can also be done on 1-leg at a time.