3 SINGLE LEG EXERCISES YOU NEED TO TRY
There are SO MANY exercises out there, let alone single leg exercises. How are you supposed to choose which ones you should be doing?
Well my friend, that’s why you’re here. Give these three bad boy’s a try and you should be set.
I suggest doing them all in the same workout, in the order given below.
Set’s, reps, set up and load depends on your personal fitness level, experience, and equipment available to you.
I do not suggest super-setting them with other exercises, because they are single leg exercises. While one leg is working, the other is resting – there is no need for additional rest unless for cardiac/respiratory needs. Trust me, these will also get your heart rate up especially if you limit the rest periods!
You can do pistol squats tons of different ways; to a chair or bench, TRX assisted, pole assisted, from an elevated surface like a box, and the list continues.
I like this cable assisted version better than a chair or bench assisted pistol squat because it allows a greater range of motion + engages more of the body.
You will need enough upper body strength to keep your shoulder blades pulled together to avoid rounding your back.
Keep your whole foot planted, the knee can come over the toe if you’d like OR you can sit back more. Either way is fine as long as you’re keeping a good posture. This exercise lights up your quads and glutes no matter how you do it. Either way you are moving your body weight via ONE LEG (with no support from the other leg like you would have in a lunge or split squat type exercise).
The Bulgarian split squat is a staple in strength training + single leg exercises. It can be done with body weight, dumbbells, kettle bells or even a barbell. If you want to get strong + build some solid legs, you NEED to be doing these.
These tend to challenge people’s balance. You can hold on to a wall or stable object next to you and still get an awesome workout. The extra stimulus to the CNS (central nervous system) makes these a real “most bang for your buck” single leg exercise.
If find you cannot elevate the back leg, I suggest dropping the back foot to the floor and performing a normal, stationary split squat.
The back foot can be flat/pointed (shoe laces on the bench) or flexed/turned under (bottom of shoe facing back wall) – whichever is more comfortable for the ankle is fine.
You can adjust the front foot position to target different areas of your legs/glutes.
Of course I had to add a glute/hamstring dominant exercise. (Read how to build glutes without becoming quadzilla here).
The single leg glute bridge/hip thrust targets the glutes and hamstrings specifically.
Your back can be on the ground (easier) or on a bench (harder).
Now you know – Three single leg exercises you need to try.
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