Single Leg Exercises Check List

Single Leg Exercises Check List

The words most people do not want to see on a workout paper or program, split squats, lunges, step ups. If you know the feeling when reading that line you know the pain and work that lies ahead of you. If not then you have not dove deep into unilateral lower body training before, or if you have you haven’t stayed there long enough to know. 


Also known as single leg work it takes the movement patterns of the big lifts, squat and deadlift and puts them on one leg. Unilateral training is way different than bilateral training, and if you are human which all of you are you should be performing single leg activities. Yes you will get strong and stable, build size, and lose weight with the bilateral movements, nothing against them at all. 


The human body is designed in an intricate way, it has septums, midline dividers throughout the body, we are divided left side and right side, our brain functions separately, left side brain controls right side, and vice versa. Everyday we use these patterns, walking we shift to the left and then to the right to move forward, now that being said not everyone is able to correctly walk because of faulty patterning. This is where training the system to recognize proper stance, shift and orientation is key.

So to be efficient we need to train the stance phases of the body, we need to be able to get into left stance and right stance, maintain balance, strength and coordination.  Many will struggle with unilateral work especially as we get older and do not train these patterns we must be able to retain them. 


While standing on one leg we must align the body over to that side, so if we are on the left leg, we need to orient the pelvis to the left, this is done by feeling the weight shift to the left side and then turning the zipper line (right pelvis) towards the left leg, above that we must orient the sternum(ribcage) over the inner leg, as well as the nose. This ensures that we are properly standing on one side of the body. Many times in a single leg stance people want to keep the hips squat as well as the upper body, this is not proper alignment for stance. The brain will try to stabilize more and figure out which side because the hips are not in stance on one side. Improper muscle patterns will turn on due to positions.

Single leg exercises that should be performed are:

-Split Squats

- Lunges (Reverse and Forward)

-Step Ups

-Step Downs

-Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats

-Front Foot Elevated Split Squats

-Lateral Lunges

-Single leg deadlift or RDL

-Staggered Stance RDL

Find the proper alignment and incorporate one of  these movements into each session and train the legs individually for optimal function.

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