5 Squat Alternatives to Build Muscle

Dumbbell Step-Ups

This move serves to give you that burn you get from climbing a tower of steps, but with the added weight of a dumbbell or two.

  • On a box or bench, step one foot up, making sure the front leg is completely vertical, with toes and knee pointed straight ahead.
  • Hold dumbbell in front of the opposite thigh, pointed straight ahead.
  • Step onto the box with the opposite foot, keeping the chest tall, then reverse the motion to step down. Keep one foot on the box, and repeat.

When to Use: If you have low-back issues when squatting or shoulder issues that don’t allow you to back squat with a straight barbell. 

When to Avoid: If you have any recent issues with your meniscus you'll want to stay away from this move.