Updated: Aug 5, 2021
When training legs, I love throwing in some single-leg exercises. As well as mixing things up a bit, single-leg exercises have many benefits.
Often, we have one leg that’s stronger than the other. This could be due to a previous injury or just because we have one stronger side. Bilateral (two-legged) exercises further increase this imbalance because our stronger leg will naturally do more work than the other. Single-leg exercises stop you overusing your dominant side and helps address muscle imbalances
They’re great for improving balance
You’re forced to engage more muscles (particularly the core) to keep yourself stabilised
They help to improve overall functionality because they closely resemble how we move our bodies in real life. When we walk or run for example, we don’t keep both feet on the ground at all times
If you want to try a single-leg workout, head to my YouTube page. In this video I’m doing:
1) Rear-leg elevated lunge
It can take a bit of time to get the positioning right here. You don’t want to stand too far away from the bench, but you don’t want to be too close either. Try to think about how far your stance would be if you were lunging with both feet on the floor.
If you want to work your hamstrings, lean forward as you perform the exercise. If you would rather give your quads more of a workout, keep your torso upright.
2) Split stance Romanian deadlift
Remember to keep your back straight and your neck in line with your back (looking down towards the ground will help with this.)
3) Single-leg glute bridge
Hold at the top for a few seconds to make this exercise more challenge.
You can add weights with all three exercises but if you’re new to them, they are challenging enough using just your bodyweight. It’s also important to focus on being able to keep your balance and maintain proper form before trying to add or increase the resistance.