The Power of Single Leg Squats


Studies show 30-50% of runners suffer from injury. One out of four of these involve knee injuries. I'll be blogging with tips on exercises to help you avoid injuries when training.

Strength and flexibility should be a part of every runner, cyclist, triathletes training plan. As a qualified personal trainer and regular triathlete and runner, I'll be sharing my tips on best strength and stretching exercises to help you avoid injury.

Today I'll be talking about Single Leg Squats, an exercise that focuses on strength, balance and flexibility elements of fitness. SLS should be implemented into your weekly training plan, to build up the strength of your lower body with the aim to support your knees and avoid injury. This is a simple, yet incredibly effective lower body strengthening exercise, ideal for runners and cyclists. I can't recommend it enough. It takes very minimal adjustments of technique to get this right. Keep persuing this exercise weekly, you'll gradually build the strength up.

The stronger your core and glutes become, the more steady and less 'shakey' you will become. As you'll see from my video I have a lot of improvements to be made.

Benefits:

  • Injury Prevention
  • Strengthens the glutes and quads to help support the knee
  • Tone and strengthen your bum :)

MUSCLES WORKED:

  • Quads, glutes and hamstrings. Also builds stability in hips, knees & ankle.

Work on this a couple of times each week 3 x 10 squats per leg!

Technique:

  • Balance on one foot and with a slow fluid movement slowly squat down (as if you are sitting on a chair behind you)
  • Once over 90 degree angle at your bent leg, extend your other leg and steadily bring yourself up to standing. Still on one leg.
  • Check out this link for a video on how to perform the single leg squat

TIPS:

  • Keep your knee aligned with your feet, try not to let the knee bend to the left or right.
  • Try with a a chair behind you, slowly drop down until your glute touches the seat, then slowly move back up to standing.
  • Perform this exercise at the end of your training session. Ensure you follow up by stretching your hamstrings, calves and glutes. The more flexible, the lower the squat.
  • The more stability you build here, the more mobility and strength you'll build. You'll feel you can go further down into the squat and will feel more stable.