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TT Bodyweight Exercise Substitution List


TT Bodyweight Exercise Substitution List
Craig Ballantyne

Exercise Substitutions1) To replace Squats, you can do:


1-leg hip extensions
Deep Step-ups
Split squats
Reverse lunges
Forward lunges
Bulgarian split squats (with back foot elevated on a bench)
Reaching lunges
1-leg deadlifts
1-leg squats (use bands or straps for assistance if necessary)
1-leg squats standing on a bench

By the way, if you are using dumbbells for squats or lunges and you
find that the weights are too heavy to hold, you can switch to a
barbell if you have access to it.

The only reason you don’t see barbell exercises in the TT programs
are because most TT readers exercise at home with dumbbells.

2) To replace Deadlifts:

The only “direct replacement” is dumbbell squats.

Otherwise, just replace deadlifts with a superset pairing of any
lower body exercise paired with a row.

For example:

Barbell lunge supersetted with a DB row
Stability Ball Leg Curl supersetted with Inverted Row

3) If you have sore knees and need to replace lunges:

First, see a doctor and have them diagnose the problem. Second, see
a therapist and have them treat the issue. Third, see a trainer and
have them assess where you need to work on flexibility and how you
can include some “knee-friendly” exercises in your workout program.

These exercises include:

Lying Hip Extensions (also known as Lying Hip Bridges)
1-leg Hip Extensions
Lying Hip Extensions with your feet on the ball
Stability Ball Leg Curls

4) To replace Bench Presses or Dumbbell Chest Presses (of any kind),
   you can do one of these:

Close-grip pushups
Decline pushup
Elevated pushups
Off-set pushups
Pushups with your feet on the ball
Pushups with your hands on the ball
Pushups with your feet on the ball and hands on the bench
Suspended strap pushups
Spiderman pushups
Spiderman climb pushups
Pike pushups
Decline close-grip spiderman pushups

By the way, if you have dumbbells but no bench, you can replace flat
dumbbell bench presses by lying on the floor. And you can replace
incline dumbbell presses with standing 1-arm dumbbell shoulder presses.

5) To replace any kind of row, here are alternatives:

Dumbbell rows
Dumbbell rows with elbows out
Dumbbell chest supported rows
Barbell rows
Inverted rows
Underhand grip rows
Seated cable rows
Renegade Rows (with flat dumbbells or kettlebells)
Dumbbell rear deltoid raises
Rows with TRX or blast straps
Chin-ups (these are done with an underhand grip)
Eccentric chin-ups
Sternum chin-ups
V-grip chin-ups
Pull-ups (these are done with an overhand grip)
Eccentric pull-ups
Sternum pull-ups

And in place of pull-ups or chin-ups, you can do:

Dumbbell rows
Dumbbell pullovers
Underhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replaces chin-ups
Overhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replace pull-ups
Assisted chinups/pull-ups using machine

However, if you have absolutely no equipment (i.e. no dumbbells, no
barbell, no cables, no straps, and no bar) then unfortunately there
is no way to train your upper back. The best you can do is to add a
lot of prisoner squats, prisoner lunges, stick-ups, and WYT’s to your
bodyweight program.

6) To replace dips, you can do:

Any version of close-grip pushups
Dumbbell floor presses
Dumbbell close-grip presses
Close-grip bench press

7) To replace dumbbell split squats, you can do:

1-leg lying hip extensions
Bulgarian split squats (use higher reps or the 1 & 1/4 rep method)
Split squats with your front foot elevated 4-6 inches
1-leg deadlifts
1-leg squats (holding straps or cables for assistance)
1-leg squats standing on the bench
Deep step-ups
Reaching lunges

(NOTE: For many exercises, including pushing and pulling too, you
can play around with the 1&1/2 rep style – lowering to the bottom
position, coming halfway back up, and then lowering again, and then
coming all the way back up.)

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