OK, so I’m not quite Dr. Seuss and this entry has nothing to do with legs that are red or blue. It’s Monday morning…it’s early…cut me some slack alright…However, today’s post does have everything to do with an incredibly important aspect of leg training…
I absolutely love training, both others and myself. I enjoy pushing myself to get more reps or add more weight every session. I love getting stronger. And I truly enjoy just about every exercise imaginable. Notice I said “just about”. The one thing I hate is single leg training. Lunges, split squats and all their variations. In fact, I absolutely hate them. I get a little deperessed when I see them coming up in my session. Some days I even feel like this kid:
I DON’T WANNA!! I DON’T WANNA!!!
I find single leg work highly unenjoyable, difficult and exhausting. But that doesn’t mean I get to avoid it. The fact that I hate it so much means it’s probably something I need a lot of. It’s that human nature thing. We like to spend time doing the things that come naturally (our strengths) and avoid the things that are more difficult or challenging (our weaknesses). The fact that I struggle with single leg work so much tells me that I need more of it. That’s why I incorporate it into every session for myself. I need it that badly.
Even for those who are stronger on single leg work, it still has a great deal of importance. It helps close the gap on strength imbalances between legs, does great things for hip health, and in general makes you 3.5 times cooler than you currently are. (It’s a fact, look it up.)
There are a ton a variations for different single leg exercises you can do, body weight, dumbbell, barbell, unevenly loaded and on and on. Below I’ve posted videos of some of my favorites. By “favorites” I mean ones I find most effective for both myself and my clients. “Favorites” in no way means that I actually enjoy doing them.
I’m not really posting “cues” for these videos, but if there is any interest from any of you, let me know and I can do an “Exercises You Should Be Doing” and go into more detail. This is just a general overview of single leg work.
These first few are basic/beginner level exercises. This doesn’t in any way mean that they have no place in an intermediate or advanced trainee’s program, just that a beginner can usually learn to perform these correctly in a relatively short amount of time and they aren’t so advanced that a beginner will find them far too challenging.
Reverse Lunges W/ Stability:
If you don’t have the mobility to get deep into either the lunges or reverse lunges w/ stability, you need to work on increasing your mobility in your hips. For a few tips on where to start read this and this.
These next few are definitely more advanced then those previously mentioned.
Bulgarian Split Squats:
Bulgarian Split Squats W/ Deficit: (These are by far…BY FAR my least favorite exercise of any to do…in the whole world…)
Again, if there’s any interest in more detail on these, let me know and I can give you the scoop.