8 Creative Leg Moves For When The Squat Rack Is Taken!


It's me Paytra, you're favorite personal trainer, back again with yet another installment in my PGS workout series. Today, it's all about my personal favorite — leg day.

As someone who's always in the gym, I'm forever on the hunt to find new ways to destroy exercises dealing with toning up and strengthening the legs. And with that said, I'm also never one to repeat the same workout over and over again. Talk about BORING!

So if you're anything like me, you know there's just some instances where you crave creativity and wish to avoid that long line for the squat rack at all costs. To that, I say, I got you Sis! Keep scrolling to check out eight new moves for whenever leg day rolls around again. 

1. Pull-Up Machine Leg Press 


Find the assist pull-up machine at your gym (as seen above). Keep in mind that the weight you choose is equal to your body weight minus the chosen weight. Keeping one foot on the step, put your other foot on the assist pad and hold on to the handles. Pushing your opposite leg down, ensure your movement comes from your heel, and then contract your glute. Try to do 12 reps per each leg.

2. Dumbbell Table-Top Hamstring Curls 


Using a mat and dumbbell, sit tabletop position with the dumbbell placed in the area behind your knee. Keeping your back straight, raise your leg up while flexing your foot. At the top of the movement, contract your glute and return to starting position. Try to do 12 reps per each leg. 

3. Sideways Smith Machine Squats 


The smith machine looks like a squat rack but with an attached bar. Use a lighter weight than what you'd typically squat and face perpendicular to the machine with the bar on either shoulder. Next, push your hips back in a squatting motion until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, and then return to starting position. Try to do 10 reps per each shoulder and in each direction.

4. Bulgarian Split-Squat Jumps 


Using a bench or step, put your back foot on either equipment and your front directly on the ground. In a lunging motion, lower yourself to about a 90-degree angle, and then push your front leg up into a jumping motion. You may choose to do these with weights for a challenge. Try to do 10 reps per each leg.

5. Weighted Step-Ups 


You can use a step (as seen above) or any of the benches for this exercise. You may also choose not to use weights if it's difficult! With your weights squared around the knee you’re stepping with, push through the heel and raise your body onto the step. Step back down and switch feet. Try to do 12 step-ups.

6. Box Jumps 


Find a height that is comfortable for you and start lower. Also, be sure that you're jumping on a sturdy step or box that is made for this type of force. Begin on the ground and get ready to launch yourself by squatting low and exploding through your heels. Land as quietly as you can on the box with both feet hitting at the same time. Step down and repeat 12 times.

7. Single-Leg Press 


Using a light weight on the leg press machine (as seen above), rest on the seat and place one foot on the press. Keep your other foot on the ground and use for assistance, if needed. Lower the weight so your knee comes as close to your chest as possible, and then push back into starting position through the heel of your foot. Try to do 8 reps per each leg.

8. Dumbbell Sumo-Squat Pulses 


Using a challenging weight, place your feet in the "sumo" position with your toes facing opposite walls. Pushing through your heels, lower yourself down into a squatting motion with your knees following the direction of your toes. Then, bring yourself up about five inches before going back down. Repeat 15-20 reps of this motion before returning all the way back up to standing position.

Have anymore leg day moves you love? Drop a comment below!

SWEAT REPORTER | Paytra is a musician and writer out of New York City. She moved from a small town in Michigan at age 16 to pursue her dreams, and has been making her mark in the Big Apple ever since! She is a Business Management major and double-certified personal trainer with 6 years experience, so she loves to write about all things nutrition/fitness. You can find her in the studio, at the gym, writing in her journal, or playing piano: and if all else fails, she’s hitting up her favorite coffee shop in Midtown Manhattan! site: