The 3 Single Leg Exercises for Core and Lower Body:
1) Bulgarian Split Squat – This exercise is performed with two legs.
You place one foot on the ground while placing your other knee on it. Your body should look like a triangle with your torso and head in the middle part of the triangle. The lower half of your body will be supported by both feet, which are placed together. Your upper body will be positioned in front of your thighs. You can perform this exercise standing or sitting down.
2) Single Leg Dead Lift – This exercise is performed with one leg.
You put your right foot forward and left foot back while keeping your knees bent and hips high. Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and keep tight throughout the whole movement. You can do this exercise lying down or standing up.
3) One Legged Bridge – This exercise is performed with both legs.
Place one hand on each side of your head while keeping your spine straight and keep your butt close to the floor. Keeping your legs straight, lift them off the ground until they touch the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds and then slowly lower yourself down again without touching the floor first. Do not let go of either foot during this movement!
Benefits of Single Leg Exercises
Most people only do leg exercises with dumbbells or machines at the gym. The only time they use their body weight for leg exercises is when they do squats or lunges. Even fewer people use one leg to perform lower body exercises. On the contrary, single leg exercises have a lot of benefits that most people are not aware of! Here are some of them:
1) Improved Stability – Single leg exercises train and improve the muscles responsible for balance.
If you suffer from a weak core, then performing single leg exercises will definitely improve your stability. This is a great benefit for those who participate in high impact sports or have an interest in improving their athletic abilities.
2) Improved Muscle Balance – Many people suffer from muscle imbalances.
This is when one side of the body is stronger than the other side. Muscle imbalances are common among athletes. Single leg exercises can help prevent such issues.
3) Prevent Leg Injuries – When you perform single leg exercises, you train your muscles to work in a certain way.
This will strengthen your muscles and fortify your tendons and ligaments in order to improve your performance and reduce the risk of getting injured.
4) Burn More Calories – Single leg exercises are more demanding than traditional resistance training because they require more energy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Core stability exercises on and off a Swiss ball by PW Marshall, BA Murphy – Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 2005 – Elsevier
Comparison of lower extremity EMG between the 2-leg squat and modified single-leg squat in female athletes by K McCurdy, E O’Kelley, M Kutz… – Journal of sport …, 2010 – journals.humankinetics.com
Hip-muscle activation during the lunge, single-leg squat, and step-up-and-over exercises by SN Boudreau, MK Dwyer… – Journal of sport …, 2009 – journals.humankinetics.com
Core strength and lower extremity alignment during single leg squats by JD Willson, ML Ireland, I Davis – … & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2006 – academia.edu
Relationship between core stability, functional movement, and performance by T Okada, KC Huxel, TW Nesser – The Journal of Strength & …, 2011 – journals.lww.com
The effect of a hip-strengthening program on mechanics during running and during a single-leg squat by RW Willy, IS Davis – Journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 2011 – jospt.org
The influence of core musculature engagement on hip and knee kinematics in women during a single leg squat by M Shirey, M Hurlbutt, N Johansen… – … journal of sports …, 2012 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Performance on the single-leg squat task indicates hip abductor muscle function by KM Crossley, WJ Zhang, AG Schache… – … American journal of …, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com
A six-week neuromuscular training program for competitive junior tennis players by SD Barber-Westin, AA Hermeto… – The Journal of Strength & …, 2010 – journals.lww.com