One Leg Squat

by Patrick

in Bodyweight Exercises

The one leg squat is a very powerful exercise, and a very difficult one as well. However, if you can master it you will see great rewards in the area of leg strength and power. I’ve been told that this exercise is better for your joints than regular squats, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. I’ll give you a few tips to help you get started with a one legged squat. Make sure to stretch out first. You’re gonna need it!

For almost anyone who hasn’t tried a one leg sqaut before you’ll probably need something to hold on to, like a chair or table. With this exercise, balance is equally as important as strength. That’s one of the things that makes a one leg squat so difficult. You should begin by having your support (chair, table) placed next to you so one arm can rest on it. 

To begin the one leg squat, put one leg out in front of you so that it is off the ground. Your other foot should be flat on the ground. Be sure that you do not rock up onto your toes when you squat down because this can make it real easy to twist an ankle. Put your hands straight out in front you for balance if you’re not using a supporting object.

Once you’re in position, squat down all the way until the back of your squatting leg (back of upper thigh) touches your calf. Go slowly to help maintain balance and to make sure that you don’t strain your knee. Once down, push back up to the starting position. 

Sounds easy, ehh?? Not really. Here are a few tips for building up to the one leg squat.

Building Up To The One Leg Squat

Here are some exercises you can use to build up to the one leg squat. This should help those of you that can’t quite do it just yet, or just plain can’t do it at all. 

        1.  The main exercise you should work with is…the squat!! This exercise will get you used to the motion of moving your body up and down. It will also build the strength you need to perform the one leg squat. 

           2.  You should also work on improving your range of motion, or ability to squat down all the way. One item that I found really useful is a set of plyometric boxes. Start with the tallest box and just squat down on to it with one leg. As this gets easier, move on to the lower boxes in order of height. Eventually you’ll be squatting all the way down!

           3.  The other exercise you should use to help improve your one leg squat is the step up. This exercise is great for increasing your ability to rise up off the ground. This exercise will help with the concentric portion of the one leg squat (contracting the leg muscles in order to stand back up). 

            4.  You should also work on your balance since this is such an important part of the one leg squat. If you have really terrible balance, just try standing on one leg for a few seconds. Each time you stand on one leg, try to extend that time by at least one or two seconds.

    Well, I hope this article has helped a little bit. With a little patience and some hard work, you’ll be doing full one leg squats in no time! Keep up the intensity, and you’ll get to where you want to be.

                                                  One Leg Squat Video

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