Single-Leg Squat 101: A How-To Guide

January 16, 2012

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The Single-Leg Squat is a foundational exercise for any athlete who wants to build strength and stability in the legs and hips, particularly in the quads and glutes. This variation of the Squat is performed on one leg at a time to develop equal strength on both sides of the body, as well as to improve balance and stability in the hips, knees and ankles. Through this guide, you'll learn how to perform the Single-Leg Squat to take your workouts to the next level. Finally, check out some of STACK’s Single-Leg Squat workout videos, featuring elite athletes like Justin Verlander, to learn how you can adapt the Single-Leg Squat for your sport.

Single-Leg Squat How-To

  • Balance on right leg
  • Keeping weight on heel, initiate movement by driving hips back
  • Squat until thigh is near parallel with ground
  • Explode out of squat position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform on left leg

 

Single-Leg Squat ExerciseGetting Started
Beginners should focus on perfecting form and technique and building strength. Perform Bodyweight Squats or Wall Squats before advancing to the single-leg movement.

Advanced Single-Leg Squat
For an additional challenge, advanced athletes can perform the Single-Leg Squat on an unstable surface like an Airex pad to improve balance and stability.

Common Single-Leg Squat Mistakes and Solutions

  1. Knee Collapses Inward: This results from insufficient strength in the muscles that maintain alignment of the knee with the hip and ankle. Perform Bodyweight Squats with a mini band wrapped around thighs just above knees to strengthen these muscles.
  2. Knee Travels Beyond Toes: Focus on sitting your hips back, keeping your chest up and raising your arms to shoulder height.
  3. Loss of Balance: Keep your head up and lock your eyes on a single point to help maintain balance.

Single-Leg Squat Technique Variations
To continue making strength and size gains, it’s important to vary your exercise selection. Learn how to Squat and find a full list of squat variations in Squat 101: A How-To Guide.

Topics: SQUAT | EXERCISES
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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