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Single-leg (1)

If you want strong, powerful legs, you need to do single-leg exercises. Think of it as another weapon in your arsenal. Sure, squats and deadlifts are great, but nothing gives you the specificity that comes from targeting just one leg.

You can push just as much – if not more – weight with single-leg exercises as double-leg exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s say you use 80lbs of external weight during a single-leg squat and you weigh 180lbs, that’s a total of 260lbs of weight on each leg- looks like a daunting task- isn’t it?

Here are few awesome single-leg exercises to build massive legs and strength.

Rear-foot elevated split squat
How to do it:

Stand facing away from a bench. Reach back with one leg and put your foot on it. Lower your body and come back up.

Rear Foot

Be careful not to let your front knee drift over your toes – that means your front foot is too close to the bench. Move further from the bench to take pressure off the knees and use your hamstrings and glutes.

Start with just your body weight and then progress to dumbbells. Once that gets too easy – or your grip gives out – throw on a weighted vest or use a barbell. If you hold the barbell in the front squat position (on your collarbone and shoulders), you’ll target the quads more; if you use the back squat position, you’ll activate the glutes and hips more.

If that still isn’t hard enough, elevate your front foot. You’ll be hurting in no time.


Single-leg squat to a box
How to do it:

Start by facing away from a bench or box. Lift one leg, sit back onto the bench, and stand up without putting your other leg down.

To make this exercise harder or easier, adjust the height of the bench or box: higher is easier and lower is harder. You can also add weight by holding dumbbells, holding a kettlebell in the “goblet” position, or wearing a weight vest.

Still too easy? Ditch the box and do a pistol squat.

At first, you might notice one leg is stronger than the other – that means you have an imbalance. Don’t worry, though. Work the weaker leg first, keep practicing, and it’ll catch up.

Single-leg romanian deadlift
How to do it:

With dumbbells or a barbell in your hand, slowly bend forward while maintaining the natural arch in your lower back – at the same time, reach back with one leg.

Romanian
For the bottom leg, make sure to push your hips back and bend your knee slightly. Once the weights are below your knees, drive back up.

Reverse lunge
How to do it:

Take a long step back – long enough so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom – and pull yourself up with your forward leg.

Start with dumbbells and advance to a barbell in either the back squat or front squat position.

reverse lunge

For a different kind of burn, put your back foot on a sliding surface like a slideboard, Valslide, etc.

Follow these workouts and we bet you would see the results on your legs in no time. The idea is to challenge yourself to that next level.

– SV

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