Sometimes we might need to avoid the squat rack to protect ourselves from a strained back, at other times we might simply find ourselves in a situation where a squat rack isn’t available. Regardless of your situation, learning how to squat without a rack can help you put on five or more pounds of leg mass in a month!
How To Squat Without A Rack: 5 Fundamentals
If you’re asking how to squat without a rack, we need to start with the fundamentals! Most people think you must increase weight to grow and gain strength. What these people don’t realize, is they are doing the opposite of what works! Maintaining perfect form throughout a workout hits every area of the targeted muscle group equally, encouraging weaker parts of the muscle to grow! Always keeping these five squat fundamentals will enable you to gain leg mass at the fastest rate possible as you learn how to squat without a rack!
1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and slightly turned outward.
- This is known as an “athletic stance” because it maximizes your balance, increasing the amount of weight you manage while maintaining perfect form. This balanced, athletic, position will help prevent injury as you begin learning how to squat without a rack.
2. Always keep your head up and back straight throughout the entire exercise.
- Never drop your head as you go down because your back tends to follow wherever you’re looking. If you look down, your back will bend. Keeping your head up and back straight, throughout the entire exercise, protects your back and spine and maximizes growth in your legs because they are bearing all the weight.
3. When you bend your legs, sit backwards, lead with your butt, keeping your knees behind the front of your toes.
- As you learn how to squat without a rack, making sure that your knees are NOT jetting forward over your toes ensures the weight is over your legs and not your knees. This will save your knees from getting strained while doing any type of squat or exercise. Being conscious of “leading” with your backside, and lowering your body through the back of your legs helps you achieve a complete range of motion in your squat.
4. Keep your legs and knees an equal distance apart throughout the entire workout.
- If your legs or knees come closer together throughout the workout, it means you are using too much weight and certain areas of your muscles cannot bear the weight. Using less weight enables you to hit all areas of your legs evenly and this will maximize your growth potential. Especially as you learn how to squat without a rack, recognizing this indicator will help you avoid injuries caused by imbalance.
5. Drop your butt down and backwards, bending at the knees and hips, until your thighs are even with the ground.
- Making sure your thighs come parallel with the ground encourages maximum growth throughout your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. If you cannot drop down this low, as you first learn how to squat without a rack. lower the amount of weight you’re using, so the weaker areas of your legs can handle the full range of motion.
How To Squat Without A Rack: The Exercises!
Utilizing the five squat fundamentals, perform this squat exercise every other day, and you can gain five or more pounds of muscle mass in a month’s time!
DUMBBELL/KETTLEBELL SQUATS [4 SETS; 10 – 12 REPS]
- Using either a dumbbell or kettlebell, let the weight hang in your arms, down between your legs. Make sure to maintain our five squat fundamentals throughout the entire exercise, especially as you’re first learning how to squat without a rack. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and slightly pointed outward. Keep your head looking forward or a little up and make sure to keep your back straight at all costs!
- Drop your butt down and back, while bending at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight, and knees behind the edge of your toes.
- Once your thighs are parallel with the ground, briefly pause, then explode back up into the original position, pressing through your legs and down into the ground with the back of your feet.
- Use enough weight where you can do ten to twelve squats without stopping and still maintain our five squat fundamentals throughout the entire workout.
- Repeat this exercise another three times. Four times total. Remember, keep your head up, shoulders back, legs straight, keep your knees behind the front of your feet, and keep your legs the same distance apart throughout the entire workout.