Sissy squats are excellent for strengthening the legs, but they're challenging to get right without good joint mobility and adequate muscle strength. This can make building an effective exercise routine time-consuming and de-motivating.
To help solve this problem, we’ve created this guide with 12 sissy squat alternative exercises you can use to build a satisfying workout routine.
Table of Contents
- 12 Best Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises
- Benefits Of Substitute Exercises Instead Of Sissy Squats
- What Muscles Do Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises Work?
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
12 Best Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises
In this section, we’ll be covering 12 of the best alternatives to sissy squats. Sissy squats require strength and mobility in the joints. If you’re not at the right level yet, you can pick from the ones on this list. We recommend testing them out one by one and then making a suitable workout routine.
1. Tiptoe Squats
Tiptoe squats are similar to traditional squats, but they focus on your quads and calf muscles, making them an ideal sissy squat alternative. One excellent thing about tiptoe squats is you don't need any equipment.
Here’s how to do them:
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2. Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian split squats are another suitable sissy squat substitute. They’re great for targeting your quads to improve balance and overall strength. For this exercise, you’ll need a platform about knee-high, e.g., a workout bench.
To make this exercise more challenging, you can add weights to each hand or wear a heavy backpack. If you want to make it easier, you can focus on doing the exercise slowly and hold on to something like a chair for extra balance.
Here’s how to do them:
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3. Barbell Hack Squat
Barbell hack squats are a good substitute for sissy squat exercises because they cover a comprehensive range of muscles. These include the abs, adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.
The primary muscle targeted is the quads, as with many squat exercises. It requires a barbell, but you can pick the weight you’d like to start with. Because it’s a compound exercise, you’ll be exerting yourself heavily across each set, making it great for high-intensity workouts.
Here are some steps:
Read More - Hack Squat Vs Leg Press
4. Overhead Barbell Wall Squats
The overhead barbell wall squat is a more advanced sissy squat alternative for weightlifters looking to strengthen their legs. It brings in extra muscles because the barbell rolls up and down a wall while you’re in a kneeling position.
But it’s also more comfortable because it helps you maintain your form while lifting the bar. This makes it a decent exercise for beginners.
Here are the steps:
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5. Goblet Squat
The goblet squat is a great exercise that can challenge beginners and advanced lifters alike. It’s a step-up from the bodyweight squat but with no added barbell. It’s a suitable sissy squat alternative for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s easy to perform correctly. Secondly, the weight at the front means you’re targeting the same quad muscles as you do when you sissy squat. Finally, the goblet squat provides fitness benefits for the whole body.
Here’s how to do it:
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6. Hack Squat
The hack squat is a sissy squat alternative that uses a hack squat machine. The main benefit of this machine is the amount of weight you can add and how easy it is to get started using it.
To squat this way:
More Exercises - Hack Squat Substitutes
7. Jump Squats
Like other squats using bodyweight, jump squats are great for beginners and are as intense as you want to make them. Jump squats are a good sissy squat alternative because you can do them without worrying about getting injured and they also target your quads. They are also shown to improve athletic performance significantly.
Here are two simple steps to do it:
8. Box Jump
The box jump is similar to the jump squat, except you aim to jump onto a platform such as a wooden box or bench. Box jumps are a very popular exercise amongst athletes as they’re great for mobility, explosiveness, and strengthening your leg muscles.
Here’s how to do them:
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9. Leg Press Machine
A leg press machine is typically present in most gyms and is a suitable sissy squat machine alternative. The main advantage of the leg press machine is that it’s straightforward to use. You can also challenge yourself by reducing or adding weights no matter how experienced you are.
Related Article - Leg Press Vs Squat
10. Dumbbell Walking Lunges
Dumbbell walking lunges are another great all-around exercise that strengthens your legs and quads. They help to improve your core strength, balance, and posture. A recent study has also shown that lunges can help athletes increase hamstring strength and sprint speed.
Here’s how to do these lunges:
Read More - Benefits Of Lunges For Your Body
11. Leg Extension
The leg extension is a specific leg exercise that focuses on building your quad muscles, making it a perfect sissy squat substitute. The leg extension is perfect for isolating your quad muscles, similar to sissy squats.
However, it's easier to start doing leg extensions as they require less overall strength or flexibility.
See Also - Leg Extension Vs Leg Press
12. Workout Band Sissy Squat
A perfect bodyweight sissy squat alternative is the workout band sissy squat. Rather than using a barbell, you'll only be using a resistance band. It works by pulling your legs toward an anchor point that the band is attached to.
You then perform a squat as usual, using the resistance from the band to train your muscles. This makes it simpler to maintain good form and easier to get started with.
Here’s how to do it:
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Benefits Of Substitute Exercises Instead Of Sissy Squats
Some of these exercises will yield better results for experienced fitness enthusiasts, whereas others will be better for beginners. The barbell hack squat and workout band sissy squat are good examples of choices aimed at beginners. Jump squats are more intense, and walking dumbbell lunges need precise movements.
The best course of action we can recommend is to try each one out using the steps we’ve provided. Then you’ll discover what level you’re at. Once you’re comfortable, focus on the more complex exercises. All of them will tone and strengthen the muscles within the legs, but some focus on particular muscles.
Gymgoers enjoy these exercises because they work the muscles hard and are convenient for targeting multiple muscle groups. Sometimes sissy squats are performed with these exercises, but it depends on strength level and mobility.
What Muscles Do Sissy Squat Alternative Exercises Work?
The primary muscles that sissy squats targets are the quadriceps, commonly referred to as quads. When you do a sissy squat, you're doing the opposite movement compared to a standard squat. Much of the exercise's strain is put on your upper thighs, and less focused on your glutes or hamstrings.
As mentioned above, your quads are mainly targeted more than any other muscle. However, your Gluteus Maximus (Glutes), one of your body's largest muscles, will also be under plenty of strain. Strong glutes are essential for almost every lower body exercise, and sissy squats are no different.
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One of the most critical factors in doing a sissy squat (and many other exercises) is your core strength. For sissy squats, you need to lean back, which will require a lot of balance. Your core muscles will help to stabilize you and prevent you from tipping over.
The hip flexor can be a complex muscle to target. However, the sissy squat is one of the best exercises to target it. The leaning back motion of the sissy squat is rarely replicated in any exercise, which is what makes the sissy squat beneficial for the hip flexors.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Are sissy squats difficult?
Sissy squats are challenging because of the muscles they use. These muscles are often unused in day-to-day activities. If you try to do sissy squats when you don't have the strength or mobility, you risk injuring your knees, hips, or ankles. You can use a sissy squat machine, a door frame, or a chair for assistance at the start.
Do sissy squats build muscle?
Yes, sissy squats are great for building muscle. They primarily target your quads and help develop other muscles such as your hip flexor, core, and glutes. This makes them a convenient and effective all-around exercise for the legs.
Is sissy squat bad for knees?
When you do sissy squats, you’re putting your knees in an unusual position. Because of this, sissy squats can be bad for your knees, but not if you take sensible precautions. You can train safely to build up to a sissy squat by lowering your range of motion and doing half reps until you build up enough strength.
Which one of these 12 exercises is best?
All of the exercises mentioned above are great for targeting your legs. However, if you want to choose one sissy squat substitute, we would recommend the Bulgarian split squat. This exercise is excellent for targeting your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
The sissy squat is one of the best exercises for targeting your quad muscles, hip flexors, and core. However, because it requires a lot of strength and mobility, it can be a dangerous exercise if you're not flexible enough. This is why we provide a selection of suitable substitutes for you to choose from.
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