Pendulum Squat without Machine – Here’s How It Works

Discover how to pendulum squat without machine: Hey there, fitness enthusiasts! Are you tired of not being able to perform squats at the gym due to the lack of a Squat rack? Well, worry no more because today, we have an excellent solution for you! This article will discuss how to perform pendulum squats without a machine using a barbell and a clean technique.

Can I Do Pendulum Squat Without Machine?

Yes, you can undoubtedly do pendulum squats without any squat machines. To do a pendulum squat, follow our step by steps instructions.

What are the Benefits of Pendulum Squat?

Benefits of Pendulum Squat
Image: Rogers Athletic

The Pendulum Squat is an exercise that offers many benefits for those who want to work out their legs but have issues with their knees or lower back. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of the Pendulum Squat based on the information provided in a video by John MeadowsOpens in a new tab., a well-known fitness coach.

Offers a Safer Alternative to Barbell Squats

The Pendulum Squat machine provides back support, making it a safer alternative to barbell squats. This is particularly beneficial for those who want to confidently perform high-intensity exercises, such as drop sets or cluster sets.

Reduces Pressure on Knees and Lower Back

The angle of the machine reduces pressure on the knees and lower back. This is especially helpful for people who struggle with knee or lower back pain during traditional squats.

In Addition – A list & honest review of Inversion Tables for Back PainOpens in a new tab. may be helpful to you.

It provides a Full Range of Motion

The Pendulum Squat machine allows for a full range of motion, which is crucial for optimal muscle activation and growth. It allows individuals to target their quads and hamstrings effectively.

Adaptable to Individual Biomechanics

The Pendulum Squat machine can be adjusted to an individual’s biomechanicsOpens in a new tab., allowing them to find the foot position that best suits them. This ensures that they can perform the exercise in a way that is comfortable and safe for them.

Suitable for Those with Hip Issues

The Pendulum Squat machine is suitable for individuals with hip issues, making it an excellent exercise option for people with injuries or mobility limitations.

How to Do a Pendulum Squat Without a Machine?

The pendulum squat is a simple exercise that will give you a robust workout; it can be done without any additional equipment. Learn more about how to perform this exercise without a machine below.

Step 1: Warm-up

It’s essential to warm up adequately before starting any workout to avoid injuries. You can do a few minutes of cardio to get your heart rate up and some dynamic stretches to loosen up your muscles.

Step 2: Get the Equipment

You will need a barbell and a proper weight set for your fitness level to perform pendulum squats without a machine.

Step 3: Stand With Your Feet Shoulder-width Apart

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead.

Step 4: Grab the Barbell Outside Your Knees

Bend down and grab the barbell just outside your knees.

Step 5: Perform a Power Clean

Keep the barbell close to your shins and your spine straight. Quickly lift the barbell off the ground, and as you do so, catch it in a front rack position with your elbows pointing forward.

Step 6: Perform a Front Squat or Dip Down

From here, you can perform a front squat or dip down and explode up to put the bar on your back. This will transition you to a back squat position.

In Addition – Find Your Fit with the Top Dip BarsOpens in a new tab..

Step 7: Perform the Back Squat

Perform the back Squat with proper form.

Step 8: Repeat the Process

Repeat the process to put the barbell back in the front rack position.

Step 9: Safely Lower the Barbell Back to the Ground

Once you have completed your set, safely lower the barbell back to the ground.

Step 10: Challenge Yourself

This process may take some time to get used to, and you may not be able to lift as much weight as you typically would. However, this is an excellent exercise to challenge your body and work on your technique.

In addition, I wrote an article about “Best Weight Lifting GlovesOpens in a new tab.” which you may find helpful.

Video: How to Barbell Squat Without a Rack (Pendulum Squat Alternative)

In this video by Criticalbench, Guest Trainer Josh McClelland demonstrates an easy way to perform barbell back or front squats without a rack. This method is perfect for those times when you need to hit those legs but doesn’t have the necessary equipment. Make sure to start with lighter weights and work your way up gradually to avoid injury.

I have also written an article about “Best Bumper PlatesOpens in a new tab.” that may be of assistance.


To further help, here are some answers to questions you may have about Pendulum Squat Without Machine.

What Can I Use Instead of a Squat Machine?

If you don’t have access to a squat machine, several alternatives exist for building strength and improving your Squat form. Squats can be performed using bodyweight alone or with the help of equipment such as resistance bands, Kettlebells, and barbells.

Additionally, you could use a stability ball, jump ropeOpens in a new tab., or heavy dumbbells to perform variations of the traditional Squat. All of these methods will help you build strength, gain muscle mass and improve your Squat form.

Is Pendulum Squat Harder Than Squat?

The difficulty of a pendulum vs. a regular squat depends on your fitness level and current strengths and weaknesses. Generally speaking, the pendulum squat takes more coordination to perform than a regular squat since it involves more momentum and balance work.

However, if you are already very strong in the standard Squat movement pattern, then it is likely that the Pendulum Squat will be easier and easier – just different. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to try both exercises and decide which one works best for your body and goals.

Is It Safe to Pendulum Squat Without a Squat Rack?

Yes, but only with very little weight. For more seasoned lifters, this is severely restricting even though it might be acceptable for novices.

Is Pendulum Squat the Same as Hack Squat?

The pendulum squats are executed on a machine like a hack squat. Yet, it offers a wider range of motion. The quads, hamstrings, and glutes are worked by the compound machine action known as the pendulum squat.


In conclusion, performing pendulum squats without a machine is possible with a barbell and clean technique. Remember to warm up adequately, use proper form, and challenge yourself. This exercise is an excellent way to maintain your leg workout routine even when no Squat rack is available.

If you require more information or clarification, please let us know. Keep pushing yourself to reach your fitness goals!

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Michael Collins

Michael Collins is a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has a diverse background that includes training professional and amateur athletes as well as working with people with little to no fitness experience. More about me.....

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