substitute for squats

hi was wondering if anyoen had some advice for me.

i developed stress fractures on l5 disc when i was 16, so basically ive never done squats.

about 2 years ago i had the all clear to start doing squats again and then got a bulge on l5. at present im still doing cleans as my only olympic type lift, but was wondering if i should cease all olympic lifts and just do the general stuff like bench press lat pull downs ect ect???

That’s probably a better question for a therapist or doctor. I have a history of back issues, too, and don’t squat very often. I do primarily deadlifts, which don’t typically bother my back if my technique is right, and I do cleans as well. You might try the deadlifts to see how that works. It’s a good lift for overall strength, fairly easy to execute and has good carryover for sprinting.

The straightforward answer for you is

Alternative to squats -

Dumbell Squats

There are always hill runs

Keeping in line with Speedz, deads are a viable option, so long as it doesn’t aggrivate the problem… I’m not sure how you feel about Plyos, especially concerning landing, but you could sub explosive med ball (squat throws, single, dbl and triple hop throws…). Also, I know that most times, the high jump mat is left out at the track so if “landing” is a concern you could do explosive throws onto it, as shown in the GGP dvd. If you don’t have that dvd, it shows a female sprinter standing a few feet away from the mat… she squats, then explodes onto the mat while executing triple ext…
Hope this helps.

thanks for that guys,
i do all the explosive med ball stuff,
i have been doing cleans but have been scared to go to heavy, the heaviest ive lifted is 96kg.
i think ill put in the deadlifts instead of cleans so i can lift a bit heavier, do you guys think thats a better idea.
i dont do bounding anymore, however i used to, but found no benifit in doing them only made me tight, so i stick to other plyo’s like hurdle jumps, stair jumps ect.

i did buy the gpp dvd but does not work and waiting for a reply from rupert on what he wants me to do about it!!!

bud_mike, I’m going to be brief, dinner is on the table.

Cleans have a greater “risk” of worsening your disc injury than squats. The compressive forces on the lumbar disc are high when accelerating, catching, landing and absorbing 200 lbs is greater than squatting that load. Also, if there is a miss catch where you have to lean forward, the shear forces across the vertabrae may cause further injury. Squatting with a very slightly arched or flat back I think will be safe.

Are you symptomatic at this time? I will add more later or tommorow. PM me if you like.


yeh, its always painful jsut some days are worse than others, and i cant work out if its from weights or track,as i do then on the same day. it doesnt seem to hampen my performance.
but mainly i was trying to come to a decision whether or to keep doing cleans, or just take all olypic type lifts out, and if i do can i get away with it and still increase my performance on the track??

Just dont do step ups!!! heh

Another vote for deadlifts. Deadlifts done properly work up to 80% the body’s musculature. Go heavy and keep the reps low.

would doing the 45 degree leg press be an option.

or if your doing cleans or deadlift do you still need to put in leg press or visa versa

If it was me, I might add the leg press in the mix, but not on the same day as deadlifts. Heavy deadlifts are a brutal test of overall body strength and deserve their own day.

“Just a couple hard-drivin’ rough necks…Down Hazzard County way…They don’t want no trouble…They just want to play”

bud_mike, if you are still symptomatic I would have you avoid all heavy lifting and let your back settle down. You need to centralize that disc and decrease the inflamation. No deadlifts and definitely no leg press. Get your psoas loosened with some soft tissue work. Body weight squats only.


just wanted the update this and tell you what ive been doing, and to see if there is anything else i can do.

ok, in the weights room i tried doing deadlifts(DL) but found my back was still sore. so i cut them out aswell and my back feels better.

so all ive been doing is 45degree leg press, bench press, lat pulldown, reverse leg press.

but what im finding is that im starting really well but seem to struggle to keep my hips high at top speed.
if there something i can do to get that strength need to hold that position???