Embarrassment Warning! This video was taped 3 years ago!!! And the original post talked about lunges. The concept is applicable to squats.
To me, real strength is depicted during single leg (or arm) movements. If you think you’re cool because you can load up the bar and round your back and move some weight, lets see how much cooler you get when you can move some serious weight on one leg. If you’re hitting the 100+ club on squats you should definitely be incorporating single leg squats into your program at least twice a month – bare, bare minimum. Check out my Instagram @G.I.Lane or Facebook where you can see me perform the single leg squat with 85+ pounds time and time again, phase after phase this is a stable of my 12 Month Strength Training Program. More unilateral videos can be found on my YouTube channel. Take care of your joints people. You may think you can just get a new one later with surgery, but ask anyone with an artificial joint. Ask them if they can do all the things they used to with no pain. It’s a negative ghost rider. Lift easy my friends.
If you cannot do a lunge on a bosu ball, you have no business loading up your back and doing weighted walking lunges. Your ankles may not have the flexibility, stability, balance or coordination to propel a load off the ground safely. Especially if you never foam roll or stretch. Do yourself a favor and start practicing regressions of your normal movements. Get your mind and muscles talking to each other properly. Then go back up in weight.
Benefits of the Single Leg Squat
- Use the Middle Parts of your Legs. Use the semitendonsis, and semitendinosus (the medial / middle hamstring muscles) that aren’t as used as much in bilateral (two legged) squats. This helps the entire pelvic region function better and reduces overuse injuries that lead to knee pain, back pain and hip pain.
- Burn much more calories. In the single leg squat you burn more calories than a bilateral squat as more muscles are recruited to stabilize your entire body. As your body continuously tries to concentrate, balance and stabilize, it uses more energy. More energy required = more calories burned.
- Get a Side Ass. The side of your ass is called your glute medius. Because we don’t do much lateral movements (side to side) this muscle is often under-active / weak on a lot of us. This leads to dysfunction within the hip girdle. Skip the dysfunction and single leg squat. Also, if you see a girl who has a butt that projects out to the back but from the back it looks like she has no hips or no ass, she’s most likely just training bilateral (two legged) squats and deadlifts. This muscle is under-active on a lot of women. Fill out that booty and do single leg squats.
- Shred your core – the core has to stabilize thought this entire exercise. Do abs without having to do abs. Get those ab lines!
- Stop doing Instagram Exercises. All the random variations of the squat you see on Instagram are just that – random and you look random doing them. Seek respect, Not attention – It lasts longer. Whatever those kick back things are – anyone with some training in human movement can tell you got that off Instagram and are just half asking your workouts instead of progressively training your body scientifically. Start doing what’s scientifically proven instead of exercises you think are good because you may have tried and felt sore. I used to be that girl.
- Cleanse. You’ll be so thirsty from sweating so from all the muscles required to do this exercise, you’ll drink much more water. More water = more lean, clean & healthy 💪
- Reduce Back Pain. How many of you have walked away from leg day in lower back pain? Not any more! Replace your bilateral (two legged) squat with a single leg squat and watch your lower back pain disappear!
G.I.Lane & Fit Achilles
Original: 11/19/15 | Updated: 6/2/18