The one-legged squat is an excellent lower body exercise that works many of the same muscles used in doing a two-legged squat. This includes the quadriceps and hamstrings, but it also uses your glutes and hip flexors since it requires a lot of flexibility in these areas.
Compared to the regular squat, the one-legged squat is much easier to achieve full depth, and it requires more balance. This puts your glutes and hips to work, as well as stabilizing your body by making you use your core muscles. For those with mobility issues in their hips and knees, this exercise can be done with just about any type of equipment that lets you rest your weight on yourself. This often includes a bench or a chair.
How To Do A One-Legged Squat
Technique is very important when doing a one-legged squat. Make sure you are standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your spine as straight as possible, and look straight ahead. Place one foot out in front of the other, with your knee bent at 90 degrees. This will be the starting position for the exercise.
- Slowly lower yourself towards the ground by bending both knees and hips simultaneously until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Return to the starting position by pushing yourself off with your foot that is placed in front.
- Repeat for the required amount of repetitions.
A one-legged squat can be done anywhere. They are great if you do not have access to weights or gym facilities at home.
One-Legged Squat Muscles Worked
The one-legged squat targets your quadriceps muscles, thighs, glutes, calves and abdominals.
The quadriceps are the muscles in front of your thighs, that join your upper leg to the hips. When you perform a one-legged squat, they work to straighten the knees and lower the body. The thighs and buttocks are worked by bending at the knee to lower yourself towards the ground.
The gluteus maximus is a large muscle that helps rotate and extend the hip. The calves are helped by bearing your weight as you squat down, while the abdominals work with every step in order to maintain posture as you lower yourself.
Benefits of One-Legged Squats
Regularly practicing the one-legged squat develops strong muscles and improves balance ability. This helps to prevent injuries from occurring in other parts of the body.
- Posture: Regularly performing this exercise improves posture. It prevents your spine from bending forward excessively which can lead to back pain and injuries to the discs in your spine. Stronger muscles in your lower body assists in maintaining good posture even when you’re not doing any exercises
- Balance: One-legged squat is a great exercise for your balance. As you perform the squat, you need to have strong muscles in order not to collapse forward or backwards. A regular practice of one-legged squats improves your balance and also helps to prevent falls and injuries from occurring because of poor balance.
- Cardiovascular Health: The one-legged squat increases the depth of your breathing. The depth of your breathing will help you to improve your cardiovascular health.
- Preventing Injury: One-legged squats increase the strength of your muscles. This makes it easier for you to lift weights, which can prevent injuries from occurring at different parts of the body.
- Increase your strength: Regularly performing this exercise helps you develop stronger muscles throughout your body which can prevent injuries from occurring at different parts of the body.
Tips & Safety
If you’re exercising through a gym, be sure to ask your instructor for help from time to time. You’ll probably need to do the exercises facing away from the wall while someone helps you each step of the way.
If you’re exercising at home, you can ask a friend to help you or use props such as a bench or chair to help hold your weight. Using a chair, bench or some other kind of support helps the beginner grow accustomed to the squat before attempting it without any assistance.
Holding onto something helps to build up your strength and gradually feel confident enough to perform the exercise without the aid of anything else.
Make sure to warm up before attempting this exercise. Try doing a wall squat, alternating single leg squats or any other squat that addresses your leg muscles appropriately. You can also try to stretch out your legs and increase the flexibility of your hips and knees.
The one-legged squat is a great exercise that can be done anywhere without the need to go to the gym or purchase expensive equipment. It is a great way to develop strong muscles throughout your body, which in turn will help prevent injuries from occurring.
Adding one-legged squats to your workout routine is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve strength and increase average daily calorie expenditure.One-Legged Squat: How To Do, Muscles Worked & Benefits