Single leg Strength lifts

Just curious how many of you guys use single leg movements in your program.

here are you some pro and cons:
*unloading of the spine…after a certain point continuing to increase the load in double leg lifts can put the back at a big injury risk.
*development of stability WITH strength.
*less likelihood of unilateral strength imbalances something which can really become a problem under the very heavy loads and high intensities needed to continue to increase strength in advanced athletes who are already very strong.

*introduces instability which limits the expression of maximal strength…if however maximal strength is already developed to a very high level this may not be an issue as long as it is maintained.
*because the total spinal load is significantly less if additional training is not implemented the muscles of the core could detrain.

plz leave some of the reason why you do or dont use single leg movements. i use to perform lots of single leg work but havent in the last past months. i think if you have a athlete who is very strong in single leg movements it can overload the piriformis and other small muscles.

I like to include single leg movements in addition to double leg movements. I feel they can both be worked together in a template. You are getting the max strength out of the double leg lifts, while possibly working on some balance/imbalance issues with the single leg lifts. Plus they require some coordiation and flexibility, which will in turn be of benefit in the long run once an athlete can perform them correctly (in my opinion!).

I find single leg exercises an inefficient way to strength train because…

  1. You can’t put maximal stress on the CNS
  2. You can’t develop maximal strength the same way you can with double leg movements.
  3. They can take alot more time to perform than double leg movements.

ill agree but i dont get nothing from single leg unless i go heavy like 275 for lunges, if i go heavy then i problems with the piriformis -nothing major but slight stiffness.

Ever done heavy dumbbell split squats (w/ back leg elevated) ? Those will hammer your VMO and glutes! Those get me way more than lunges!

One legged box squats would have to be the most intense exercise I’ve ever done. Adding just a small amount of wt is extremely difficult. Atm Im doing 8 reps at 30kg: 2 15kg dumbells. I rationalise single leg work this way.

my body wt= 108kg + 30kg= 138kg on 1 leg

would equate to 276 on two legs

subract 108 from 276=168kg

therefore single leg squat with 30kg should be similar to 168kg squat.

I know this is not exact or probably not even near it, but it may show how hard single leg work can be.

Example of single leg box squat box squat

Single leg movements are great to reveal leg strength deficiencies and work stability & posture.

not db but db i have with 245x3x5

u may be right, but its moot if you have a sprinter who can squat 600-700lbs. if you can put 600lbs on ur back and squat ur stability and posture must be good etc.

That math is horrendous, but I do see your point.

Conversely you may not want your sprinter putting himself at risk with 600-700lbs on his back.

so therefore do what cf did with ben 2x6 with lesser load. myself i wont do single leg work bc it hampers my speed workout (piriformis) and see no point of during light loads of single leg work.

Can you explain the above a bit more? Thanks!

when i do heavy single leg work it mess with my piriformis in returns hampers my speed workouts bc it take forever to get it loose etc. i just dont see the point of during stepups, lunges are any other single leg lift with light weight - i at least like to use 35-50% of my squat max on single leg movements.

Plus… I forgot the injury risk is much greater

There’s comes a point in every lift where the very nature of the lift becomes the main limitation. In other words, is the benefit worth the risk? UT, you’re an exception to the rule, but it’s difficult to maintain quality of performance on lifts based on strength-maximum. As far as maintaining appropriate volume and structural balance (mainly during GPP and Off-Season), you have to incorporate single-leg lifts and variations of squats/deadlifts/etc. because you can’t impact the same level of stress to the organism without more exercises/variation over time.

There can also be an argument made about stressing 2-leg lifts too much early on leading to 2-leg dominance. I have a lot of females who can lift a hell of a lot (relatively) on their single-leg lifts. One girl that comes to mind is a sophomore in high school: she can perform bulgarian split squats for 6/leg with 40-pound dumbbells. Her front squat max is around 155 pounds. Light to who? Shit, I don’t do single-leg work nearly as often as I should and I do well with my squatting, but there’s a delicate balance specific to the individual athlete. If I was more competitive, I feel that I would have to do more single-leg work to have more impact on my squat/leg strength as a whole. It’s about complete leg development, not just Mx Strength. Sprinters, and their field-sport equivalents (the speed freaks - deion sanders, joey galloway, etc.) have the benefit of not needing near the volume of average athletes because they can concentrate their intensity in such a way as to make performing multiple exercises a waste of time. A sprint car needs 1 run to lay smoke, not 100.

great points. i think each case should be viewed diff bc if u have someone who can squat 500+ but cant lunge 200+ then there is a problem and single leg work should be done now if u have the same athlete and he can lunge 300+ then i think his single leg strength is ok. do you think there is any strength benefit of having a 500+ squatter lunge with 185lb or during stepup with 95-135lb?

Short Answer in Texas Fashion:
Hell No!!

lol. sounds good. thats why i dont do much single leg work.