Monday Motivation (WEEK 15): Single-leg Exercises
In this week’s edition of Monday Motivation I am going to get into some exercises that I believe are safer and more beneficial then what people are used to seeing in the past in the fitness industry.
The first exercise is the single-leg squats. I LOVE the single-leg squat. It minimizes back stress and maximizes leg work. It has an added benefit of greater stabilization loads on the abs and adductor muscle group. You do not need nearly as much weight as when you do a bilateral squat. Single leg squats with just your body weight are very difficult if you do not consistently do them. From my personal experience, when I was recovering from my torn ACL in High School one of the tests to see if I was ready to go and get back into basketball as if I can do a single leg squat. Showing that you can do a single leg squat shows that you have some real strength. Add a weighted vest to challenge yourself more once you are able to do a single leg squat with the full range of motion, getting your femur parallel to the ground.
Another exercise that I love is the single-leg deadlift. You may see a similarity here, I love single-leg exercises. The hamstring gets all the load on a single leg deadlift while the back gets half of that. Whenever we go to one leg we are literally doubling up the weight our body has to control on that single leg. This making the exercise more difficult and not needing to add added resistance, therefore, decreasing our chances of an injury. We need to add resistance to exercises to get stronger, but there are ways we can challenge ourselves other than adding resistance to the body, or at least minimizing how much resistance we are adding. Changing the surface underneath us to a more unstable one is another way we make our body recruit more muscles in exercises that I am a huge fan of. Bosu balls are a great example of this and you can use them either when it’s flat on the ground or when the half ball is on the ground. Both have their own respected purposes.
These are great exercises that are safe and not a high chance of getting an injury while seeing maximal muscle gains. Try out the single-leg exercises and let me know your thoughts on them! Give me a message on Instagram @sean_maloney.12
In Good Health Always,
Sean Maloney and the ToneUp Club Team