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Single Leg Power – Outdated Faculty Gymnasium

Single Leg Power: the leg day resolution for lifters with decrease again points

Most likely the most typical downside I see within the health club is decrease again ache.  From occasional minor aches to continual ache this is a matter that results an enormous variety of lifters, athletes, and on a regular basis folks.  Not solely is the ache itself a problem, however one of many greatest draw backs of decrease again points is that it causes a lot of you to both skip or slack on leg day.

“I can’t squat, it hurts my again”…I’ve heard this so many instances, and I’m not simply pointing fingers.  I actually have 3 bulging discs from an damage over 15 years in the past. I’ve a nasty again and for years I let it restrict what I may do on leg day.  There’s solely a lot machine work (leg press, extensions, leg curls, and so forth.) I may do with out becoming bored, and I by no means felt like they constructed the identical purposeful energy as squat actions.  Though I can deadlift with out concern, for years I had hassle with the place, and to this present day any sort of barbell squat – entrance or again – tends to fireplace up the muscle tissue round my low again and depart me limping for a number of days.  Sure, my loyal Muscle & Power household, imagine it or not, I as soon as somebody who copped out on leg day or averted doing an excessive amount of heavy weight out of worry of throwing my again out. What lastly saved me from a lifetime of curling within the squat rack was switching my concentrate on leg day from bilateral to unilateral actions.

Now earlier than I get into the distinction between bilateral and unilateral workout routines, let’s first focus on what’s on the root of the issue for myself and lots of lifters on the market.  Having grown up boxing and wrestling, my physique adjusted to standing in a staggered stance with one foot in entrance of the opposite. In nearly another sport you progress with a pure gait – one foot in entrance of the opposite.  As a boxer you all the time stand, transfer and battle with the identical foot in entrance of the opposite irrespective of which course you’re going. To additional complicate stuff you persistently twist and rotate your hips to the identical aspect as you throw punches.  So the place am I going with this, and what does it should do with again ache? Properly all of that exercise spent in a staggered stance can result in some energy imbalances as your hips get used to rotating in a single course. Then when an athlete – usually a boxer or wrestler – masses their backbone in a sq. stance, the hips could torque in a single course if they’ve a energy imbalance, resulting in low again ache and damage.

In my case it’s a relationship with my psoas on the left (entrance) and my QL on my proper aspect decrease again that provides me issues.  Because the Power Coach for the Ohio Regional Coaching Heart for Olympic wrestling I see comparable issues in a lot of my athletes, from their a long time spent competing on the mat in a cut up stance.  The answer is to cease loading the backbone and concentrate on unilateral leg workout routines.

The time period bilateral is used when referring to an train the place either side of the physique are loaded evenly, reminiscent of a barbell again squat, deadlift or bench press.  Either side of the physique is symmetrical in place and in weight distribution. Unilateral workout routines, reminiscent of cut up squats or pistol squats, consult with when just one aspect of the physique is doing the “work”.  Unilateral workout routines enable the legs to work independently of each other and since most are carried out with dumbbells, you possibly can actually tax every leg with out loading the backbone. Is that this the reply for everybody who experiences decrease again ache whereas squatting?  In fact not. However I’ve discovered these workout routines to be helpful and tolerable for a lot of lifters with again points, notably wrestlers and fighters who prepare in a staggered stance.

One other (and separate) concern entails poor heat up.  I’m responsible of this myself every so often, however for this exercise we’re going to concentrate on getting good and heat and in addition activating our glutes, hamstrings, and adductors.  In the event you spend loads of time sitting at a desk or using in your automotive, there’s an excellent likelihood that one thing in your posterior chain is shut off or not firing correctly. Use this heat up routine to get the whole lot “on-line” and able to go earlier than the heavy lifting begins.


  1. Bike 5 minutes
  2. Dynamic Stretch: strolling stretch, Lunge Twist, Cross Bend
  3. Activation:

kneeling hamstring holds 3 x 10 seconds

glute bridge 3 x 5 seconds

adductor isometric holds  3 x max effort squeeze

  1. Lunge 3 minutes

Start by biking for five minutes or till your legs are heat.  Subsequent up, carry out three 10 second kneeling hamstring holds. Kneel down going through a wall together with your arms out for stability.  Level your toes and curl your ft up in direction of your glutes, squeezing the hamstrings as onerous as doable for 10 seconds.  Subsequent, lay in your again in a sit up place together with your legs bent and ft on the ground. Push via your heels, squeezing the glutes and bringing them off the ground barely.  Don’t arch all the best way up so your decrease again tightens, the aim is simply to activate the glutes. After finishing 3 bridges, keep in the identical place and place a foam curler or towel between your knees.  Squeeze your knees collectively as onerous as you possibly can to activate your adductors. Now that your legs needs to be firing on all cylinders, end the nice and cozy up with 3 minutes of strolling lunges.


  1. Break up Squats

10 every leg (no weight)

5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2

  1. DB Lunge – 8/8, 5/5, 3/3

  1. Superset: 4 units

DB Step Ups – 5 every leg

Pistol Squats – 5 every leg 5/5/5 tempo (5 seconds down, 5 seconds on the backside, 5 seconds up)

  1. Superset: 3 units

Single Leg Glute Bridge – 5 every leg, 3 second pause on the prime

Single leg hamstring bridge – 5 every leg, 3 second pause on the prime

  1. Companion Hamstring Iso-Curls – 3 x 8

  1. Stability alternates – 50 complete either side

Start with 5 units of Bulgarian Break up Squats, with the primary set carried out unweighted to get the motion sample in place.  Transfer up in weight on every subsequent set. Observe the cut up squats up with 3 units of strolling lunges holding heavy dumbbells.  Ensure on the units of 5 and three to deal with every lunge as a single – test your step for stability within the center slightly than stepping via.  

Up subsequent is a superset of Dumbbell step ups and pistol squats.  On the Pistols make the most of a 5/5/5 tempo – the rep begins with a 5 second eccentric or unfavourable emphasis as you decrease down.  Pause for a 5 second isometric contraction on the backside of the rep earlier than taking a full 5 seconds on the concentric (or means up) portion  of the motion. Subsequent up is a superset of single leg glute and hamstring bridges, earlier than ending up with Hammy Tourture aka Companion Hamstring Iso-curls.  Finish the exercise with my favourite train for cross physique core energy, Stability Alternates.



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