Improve Performance With Single-Leg Exercises

2 May
DSCN1897

Bulgarian split squat (up)

DSCN1898

Bulgarian split squat (down)

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we know it’s important to incorporate single-leg exercises into an athlete’s training regimen.  We alternate, weekly, between bilateral and unilateral exercises, to improve strength, power, mobility, and balance/stability.

A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that all athletes might need to do more single-leg exercises.  In the study, researchers discovered that both jumpers’ (e.g., basketball, volleyball) and nonjumpers’ legs were not equally strong.  The natural tendency is for athletes to shift their weight, to some degree, to their dominant leg.  According to the study, that contributes to a strength imbalance that can hurt performance and lead to injuries.

Try different single-leg exercises, like lunges (stationary or walking; forward, backward, or lateral).

At APTC, we favor the single-leg squat, single-leg press, step-up, and Bulgarian split squat (rear foot elevated).  Perform 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a weight that is challenging but reasonable.

As you might imagine, the same principle applies to upper-body strength training.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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4 Responses to “Improve Performance With Single-Leg Exercises”

  1. cailinceol May 5, 2014 at 12:34 PM #

    I do alot of single leg work as one of my legs is significantly weaker. It’s so so important!

    • Brian Lebo May 5, 2014 at 1:46 PM #

      Agreed… me and you both (and every one of my clients)! Thanks for the feedback and take care!

      • cailinceol May 5, 2014 at 1:54 PM #

        No worries, I’ll be watching out for your posts now 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Get Functionally Fit in 2015 | Athletic Performance Training Center - December 29, 2014

    […] one leg, or one side of the body — as an alternative to traditional bilateral exercises.  Single-leg exercise versions of the squat, Romanian deadlift, and Bulgarian split squat work the entire lower body […]

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