If you're always exercising with both feet on the ground, you're really missing out on some amazing benefits! Just think about our natural daily movement for example. What do we do every single day that involves one legged movement? Walking! Not to mention if you love to run, hike, or bike! We need to push off with one leg at a time, and that means we need to train one leg at a time! I love squats and deadlifts just like everyone else, but we need to train those muscles unilaterally as well. If we only ever strength train with both legs working together, we won't be able to tease out any hidden imbalances.
Here are 5 reasons why I LOVE Single Leg Training and Why You Should TOO!
Bigger Muscles!! When we isolate the legs individually it actually recruits more muscle fibres, which means those muscles become stronger and bigger. Hello toned shapely thighs and glutes! ;)
Improved Balance and Coordination! So many of my clients list 'improve balance' as one of their main goals. Single leg training will help immensely with that! Because the muscles have to work harder on one leg, we actually increase the demand of our stabilizing muscles that don't need to fire as much when we have both feet on the ground. This extra effort greatly contributes to to better balance and proprioception. Basically that means we can move better and in a more coordinated way. WIN WIN!
Reduces Muscle Imbalances! Typically we always have a stronger side that takes over with 2 legged exercises. We may not even notice, but when you do that leg press or squat, one side is most likely doing more work than the other. Why does that even matter? Because if one side is always doing the work, the potential for compensations, incorrect movement patterns, pain, or even injury, can actually increase.
Functional Movement! Like I said in the beginning, life doesn't always happen with both feet on the ground. We need to be able to rotate, hinge, and have our pelvis move in a more natural way. We can do that by encouraging single leg movement which essentially helps to unlock the pelvis and broaden our movement potential.
Limitless Potential and FUN! Single leg training is amazing for home workouts because they’re more difficult and thus have more options for regressions and progressions. We also don't need much equipment with single leg training, so we're able to adapt the training routine without have to invest in too much stuff. PLUS, there are SO many variations to choose from that you'll never get bored!
If I haven't convinced you yet, check out my youtube compilation of ALL my favourite Single Leg Exercises. If you find them intriguing and want to learn how to program them into your home fitness routine and how to do them correctly, check out my membership and coaching options!
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In Wellness, Krista