Making a Better Athlete One Leg at a Time

May 28, 2008

If you do single leg exercises, you simply cannot go wrong! The benefits are numerous, even when compared to the classic double leg (bilateral) lower body exercises the squat and the deadlift!

Single leg exercises help improve balance, work more stabilizing muscles (due to the higher joint stability demand), are more specific to sports as running and skating are performed with one foot pushing off the ground at a time, help correct side-to-side assymetries that often develop in sports which favour a dominant side for most actions (think baseball, golf, football, hockey, etc). And this is only the tip of the iceberg!

They are also incredibly HUMBLING, both from an external loading viewpoint and a metabolic viewpoint. The latter of which is what I want to talk about.

Not only are single-leg exercises metabolically demanding every single time you do them, but after a couple weeks away from them, you come back crank out some sets of split squats and are already gassed during the first exercise of your workout! The workout becomes more mentally challenging than physically challenging!

In the end though these exercises will do more for your athletic endeavours than all those sets of squats and deadlifts which you love so much more! (I’m not even going to discuss leg extensions and leg presses here)

The take home message is that even though they will make you question your sanity at first, stick with them and the results will speak for themselves!



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