one-legged exercises

you would thing that if you took your regular squat max, and split it in half, that it would be equal or close to your one-legged squat. but i noticed that mine isn’t even close to being half.

and it’s because working with “one leg only” exercises work different parts of the muscles, correct? it’s also harder to balance doing one legged squats so stability needs to be better.

a person rarly moves both feet at the same time (sprints: one leg, then the next). so how much better/worse is one-legged exercises for sprinting and high jumping (jumping off of one leg)? what are some of the better 1 legged exercises for sprinting and jumping?


They are better, how significant, I really don’t know but they are better. single leg exercises make you target the muscles of that specific leg without worrying about % contribution (how much force is being used by leg A or leg B) if you had done the same exercise with both legs. That’s another reason why doing free weight exercises (for major muscle groups) are better than doing them on universal machines, they are good self-indicators to know which leg/arm muscles is being activated more then the other.

Brad and Vito,

(1) The CNS - Central Nervous System is extremely important in speed and power. A 400 lb squat will put far greater stress on the CNS than a 150-200 lb split squat or lunge.
(2) You can teach yourself to apply equal pressure to both legs when doing the squat.
(3) Uni-lateral movements may have a place in training. However, they do place different stresses on the body, particularly the joints, so technique and weight load must be monitored closely. For example, the split squat or lunge places a greater stress on the muscle attachments at the greater trochanter as well as the big toe of the rear foot.
(4) In addition, whenever doing exercises that are less stable, be very careful of weight load. Squats are more stable than split squats which are more stable than squatting on a ball while clapping your fins and barking for fish - had to throw that last one in there as a shot at all the swiss ball loving personal trainers out there.

Hope that helps,
Football Coach

Hi FC,

Although I agree that split leg squats are more riskly to do and that carefully monitoring the load in split leg squats is necessary, I would imagine that trying to teach yourself how to apply the same force to both legs is very difficult to do and can often be misleading to oneself, however, is possible.

btw, I agree with the ball squat shot :slight_smile: