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Alternatives to squats/lunges?

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Old 07-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Alternatives to squats/lunges?

OK, let me just get this out there: Squats and lunges are the devil's work. Ugh.

Anyway. You can probably tell by the previous statement that I hate squats and lunges. Like, with a passion. The only way I can do a squat "properly" is up against a wall, with a stability ball between the small of my back and the wall. Doing them the "traditional" way KILLS my lower back (I know it probably shouldn't, but it really does.) As for lunges...well. I have a neurological disorder that makes my balance pretty much non-existent, and I swear the minute I drop into a lunge, I start to keel over. *L*

So, since I'm still wanting to tone my butt, thighs, and legs, I'm wondering if there are alternative exercises that will help me do that. Wall sits? Leg lifts? What? I just cannot face the idea of doing countless squats, because I figure that doing them wrong is worse than not doing them at all. (And yes, I've had trainers show me exactly how to do them, but the aches and twinges in my back kind of make it difficult to keep perfect form.)

HALP. I want me a nice ***! *L*
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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I hate squats and lunges with a passion too. I feel uncoordinated doing them. My solution... stair master. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. But such a good workout!
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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I hate squats and lunges with a passion too. I feel uncoordinated doing them. My solution... stair master. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. But such a good workout!
OK. SO. Since you mentioned the StairMaster....*L* There are two machines at the local Y that are classified as "stairmasters", but they are vastly different. One is the style that can also be a Gazelle-style machine (in other words, you can change the workout by changing the way you move your legs) and the other is a traditional style stairmaster. I've tried both....and the traditional one? I can't even MOVE THE PEDALS. Like, at all. Even on the lowest resistance. *L* But I can use the other one. I still get a workout but it's totally different.

Stupid question, but: would the "Gazelle" style stairmaster still work my butt? I think it does (I can certainly feel the burn!) but I'd like another opinion.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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Hmmm... I may actually be over my head here. I've seen both of the types that you're describing, I'm pretty sure, but I haven't really spent time on either. I usually opt for the old-school kind that has those big, block rotating stairs. I'm not sure which muscle groups the gazelle type would work out, but I'm guessing that, yeah, it should be a similar workout. If you get on and give it a try for a little while do you "feel the burn" anywhere?

There's always the option of walking/jogging/running up and down actual stairs. Since it is summer and being cooped up inside kind of sucks, can you think of a park or some place similar with stairs that you can borrow for a little while as you get some air and sunshine?

Ugh. As I was typing that last suggestion, it got me thinking that I should really make more time to even just walk outside.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Hmmm... I may actually be over my head here. I've seen both of the types that you're describing, I'm pretty sure, but I haven't really spent time on either. I usually opt for the old-school kind that has those big, block rotating stairs. I'm not sure which muscle groups the gazelle type would work out, but I'm guessing that, yeah, it should be a similar workout. If you get on and give it a try for a little while do you "feel the burn" anywhere?
God yes. I usually do 20 minutes on it (alternating between stair-climbing and "gazelle" modes) and by the time 5 or 6 minutes are up, I'm sweating and definitely feeling the burn. Six months ago, I couldn't even do 5 minutes on it, so I'm pretty pleased to have worked my way up to this point. I think I'm going to work on upping the resistance next, because it's getting almost too easy.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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You could do steps on a tall (14" or so) object. Step up, step down, step up, step down. It helps to put weights on your shoulders, too, once you get used to the movement. If you can find a wide enough object, I wouldn't think balance would be much of an issue.

You can also get on the floor on your hands and knees, and lift one leg straight up in the air behind you as high as you can, over and over again. You can use ankle weights to make it harder if you need to.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFykp4b7FFQ

You can also do a bridge. Lay on your back with your knees bent, then lift your body off the ground using only your butt muscles, hold, and release.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOPkM2pzznc

Last edited by lbsgobyebye : 08-02-2013 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Added links
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