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3 Must Have Single Leg Exercises For Strength And Stability

3 Must Have Single Leg Exercises For Strength And Stability

One of the best ways to work on building your control and stability is with the use of single limb training. Single limb training presents new challenges by enhancing your body’s ability to establish control and stability throughout your core center and in your major joints involving your shoulders and hips. In today’s post I want to cover some single leg exercises to drive the focus of single limb training to your lower body.

Single Leg Exercises

Over the years I’ve witnessed a lot of people both in gyms and on the occasional YouTube video that walk into the gym and commonly struggle to perform what should be foundational movements involving squats and lunges. It also amazes me how many people struggle to control these movements all while attempting to do so while trying to manage and wrestle with an external load.

This is the reason I prefer slowing down and having trainees direct their attention towards the execution of the movement instead of how much weight they can load up to use for that movement at times. Taking the time to pump the brakes and shift your focus towards some single leg movements can help you in establishing a certain level of control and it will help you to move with more finesse and athleticism.

Single Leg Exercises: Single Arm Single Leg Deadlift 

Purpose:

The single arm single leg deadlift  is tremendous for training you how to control a hip hinge on one leg. This particular movement demands constant focus and intention in order to gracefully pull it off. It may look simple, but I’ve found this movement to be one of the most difficult and challenging movements for people to perform as they are always challenged by amount of stability required to seamlessly pull it off.

In addition to this this single arm single leg deadlift is also tremendous for ankle, knee, and hip stability. I’m a huge proponent of this exercise and regularly include it into the programming for my students as it’s a great way to also strengthen the bigger stronger posterior muscles of the hips, glutes, and hamstrings.

Recommendation: 

Perform 3 sets of 4 to 8 reps on each leg on your leg strength training days.

Single Arm Single Leg Exercises: Glide Disc Reverse Lunges

Purpose: 

This lunge variation is a unique a variation in that it truly does force you to control and maintain stability on the grounded leg. As you slide the foot on the glide disc back all the stress and stability is shifted to the grounded leg. As you ascend up out of this lunge there is a significant pull on the glutes and hips of the grounded leg. This is a great drill for helping you to develop significant stability on one leg.

Recommendation: 

Perform 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on each leg on your lower body strength days.

Single Arm Single Leg Exercises: Step Ups

Purpose: 

Step ups are great for generating strength and power. There are a few variations, but by doing them this way it allows you to load up some serious weight and to drive up for double extension of the knee and hip for some serious strength and power. Additionally this particular variation can be varied further by dropping the weight after a loaded set and performing some dynamic step ups directly after for some single leg contrast training.

Recommendation: 

Perform 3 sets of  4 to 7 reps on your lower body strength days.

Single Leg Exercises: The Takeaway

Remember that when executing single limb, or single leg training the goal is to focus on additional stability and strength. Single leg exercises in this case are going to help you to perform better and work to strengthen your major lower body joints to be more resistant to injury while training you to move better due to it’s real life functional application.

Are you currently incorporating single leg training into your strength and conditioning program? 

What single leg exercises do you use in your strength program? 

Post up and share in the comment section here below. 

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Brandon

I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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