Monday Motivation (week 20): Why single-leg Exercises?
I hope everyone had a good weekend and is ready to get back on track and produce some more results! I want to discuss single-leg strength again today as I was touching on it last week in that I think its really important for athletes to be training on one leg. This goes for all general population clients as well, its just their sport they play is called life and we don’t know what’s going to happen to us even in the next hour of the day. When we go from two-leg squat to one leg squat, the body functions differently. The lateral subsystem consists of the gluteus medius, adductor muscle group, and quadrates lumborum AND when we are on one leg and squat we engage these muscles a whole lot more than when we are on two legs. When we are in a conventional two-leg squat, we strength the prime movers and shy away from our stabilization muscles. Stability on one leg is so so crucial for athletes and for general population clients as well. We walk, jog, run, sprint every day going from one leg to the other, we don’t hop like the Easter bunny through life. The adductor group, especially the adductor magnus plays a crucial role as a synergist (secondary muscle to the prime mover) and stabilizer to the gluteus maximus when we extend the hip. If the adductor complex doesn’t have strength, that can lead to a wobble of the knee, which is a stabilization joint. When a joint that is supposed to not move, moves that leads to pain.
I have talked a lot about single-leg exercises a lot recently because they are super important. They are not where you start though if you are just starting out a training program. Everyone must start with the two-leg squat to build the foundation of the lower body. I recommend goblet squatting and building up the front squat prior to getting into the single-leg squat. When you do get to the single-leg squat you can put a bench with a pad underneath you to start the progression of single-leg strength. You’re not going to be able to get you femur parallel to the ground right away, it takes time as nothing happens overnight. Slowly lower the pad/box underrate your butt as you are able to descend lower and lower as the weeks progress. When you are able to get as low as you do on your single leg squat as you did on your two-leg squat, you can feel more work being done with such a smaller amount of weight, its amazing.
Again, let me know your thoughts and your progress with your fitness goals and definitely about your single leg work at my email address at [email protected] or on Instagram @sean_maloney.12. Get out and own the day, every day!
In Good Health Always,
Sean Maloney and the Tone Up Club Team