The squat ranks up there as royalty when it comes to exercises. A compound movement that works the entire body but puts a hardcore focus on the lower half, the squat should never be neglected. The squat, like other big movements, is also seen as a gauge of strength, therefore, people want to be able to move heavy weight. The product of training heavy is the ability to get stronger, so it is a win-win.
Ideally, the best way to get better at something is to do it more. The best way to get stronger at something is to do more weight. Realistically though, this is not always the case.
One can actually build a bigger squat without ever doing a squat. This is because the squat is a compound movement, which means it consists of multiple joints and muscle groups. The benefit of that is you can now break up the muscles involved individually and train them separately.
Like an army trains each section of soldiers differently based on their individual function, the body can be trained in the same fashion. The stronger the individual sections become, the stronger the whole unit will be.
When squatting, primary groups like the back, quads, hamstrings, and glutes are involved. Also involved are the hips, shoulders, and of course the core. These groups have to be continued to be broken down and trained more and more specifically and strategically to help make the body and more macro groups involved stronger, which in return makes your squat stronger, and you never did a single squat!
So, here are some movements you can start to do to get a stronger squat without even squatting (Google or YouTube movements you may not be familiar with):
- Barbell glute bridge Great way to build a stronger butt and puts the load directly over the hips, working those vital joints.
- Swiss ball bridge and leg curl This movement will get the butt and hamstrings burning, and also teach you how to keep your core and back in a good and stable position.
- Sumo deadlift Deadlifts are just awesome, period. The sumo style will put your body in more of a similar position as your squat and focus on strengthening the lower body.
- Kettle bell swing Kettle bell swings add the power and explosive element to the squat motion. If you become more explosive and powerful, your squat will just be that much better.
- Goblet squat The goblet squat will focus a lot on the upper body (back area) and core strength, which in the end will make your squat better.