The One-Legged Squat is an amazing exercise to develop powerful, functional legs. One-Legged Squats will simultaneously develop strength, flexibility, balance, and mental concentration. If you know someone who dismisses the effectiveness of bodyweight exercise, you can knock some sense into them by introducing the One-Legged Squat. Many weight lifters who commonly squat heavy barbells fall to the floor when attempting the One-Legged Squat.
Rep for rep, the One-Legged Squat is one of the most difficult bodyweight exercises. Do not expect to perfect this exercise on day one. It is common for beginners to fall on their ass when attempting this exercise for the first time. Do not become discouraged. If they were easy, One-Legged Squats would not be worth performing!
I would not attempt this exercise until you can comfortably perform at least 200 Bodyweight Squats. I would prefer to see you achieve 300 squats before beginning but we will use 200 as the cutoff (to satisfy the anxious members of the group).
When attempting One-Legged Squats for the first time, you can expect some frustration. This exercise "looks" easy but once you begin lowering your body you will quickly think otherwise.
I will begin by discussing how to perform a complete One-Legged Squat and then teach you how to gradually prepare for this movement.
1. Flex your grounded leg and knee and prepare to lower yourself slowly towards the floor.
2. Lean slightly forward as you go down.
3. Maintain a tight abdomen as you approach the ground.
4. Keep your non-working leg as straight as possible
5. Go down as low as possible without touching your non-working leg to the ground.
6. Use your arms to balance you throughout the movement. As you can see, I hold my arms straight out in front of me throughout the exercise.
7. Hold yourself in the bottom position for a second before thrusting your body upwards.
It is not only acceptable to cheat, but recommended when you first begin using this exercise. As mentioned earlier, One-Legged Squats are extremely difficult. You must allow your body time to become accustomed to this movement. It is perfectly acceptable to begin performing "partial" One-Legged Squats. Let's discuss a few different ways that you can ease yourself into this exercise.
One of the most common ways that beginners learn this exercise is by holding onto something such as a chair or wall to maintain balance. You can help yourself down by holding onto the object. Once you get to the bottom position, you can use the object to help guide your body upwards.
In the picture to the right I use a chair to assist my balance. This is a great way to begin this movement.
Another approach to learning this exercise is to lower yourself to a chair or staircase as opposed to "carrying" your weight on one leg. Let's quickly examine this approach.
Begin in an upright position as if you were performing a normal One-Legged Squat. The only difference is that you will use the chair or staircase to "lighten the load". With your back facing the chair, lower yourself until your butt is seated in the chair. Maintain the One-Legged Squat form by keeping one foot off of the ground.
Sit down for just a second and lift yourself back to the starting position with your working leg. You can begin by using a chair and eventually use stairs, which will force you down lower. The One-Legged Squat with a chair will require you to go down half way. As your strength improves, you can use stairs, starting with the 2nd or 3rd step, until you can perform One-Legged Squats from the bottom step.
Once you can comfortably perform One-Legged Squats from the bottom step, you should begin practicing the movement without assistance. I recommend that you practice this movement several times throughout the day. There is nothing stopping you from practicing One-Legged Squats in the morning and night (and even during the day). After a few weeks of practice, you will be able to perform One-Legged Squats with power and strength!
The One-Legged Squat will provide tremendous benefits to any combat athlete. This exercise will challenge your strength, balance, and coordination. Most athletes and fitness enthusiasts cannot perform One-Legged Squats. This movement is difficult. It takes time to develop the strength necessary to perform this exercise. Separate yourself from the crowd by incorporating One-Legged Squats into your routine.
The Warrior should be able to complete 15 One-Legged Squats per leg.
It will take time for you to achieve this goal. Do not be in a rush. Patience is always a virtue for the Warrior. We must train hard but also smart to avoid injury. Practice the One-Legged Squats frequently and you will begin to notice amazing improvements in strength, power, balance, flexibility, and coordination.
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