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Thread: New Mini Newsletter Article: Why You Need More Single-leg Work

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  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    New Mini Newsletter Article: Why You Need More Single-leg Work

    Why You Need More Single-leg Work

    Squats and deadlifts may always be king, but they're certainly not everything. While they both allow you to use maximal weights and hit major muscle groups, they also have a few negative repercussions and may not stimulate growth in all the muscles that need it.

    When we stand on one leg, as in a one-leg squat, we engage three muscles that we don't use in a regular two-leg squat: the gluteus medius, the adductors, and the quadratus lumborum.

    While we won't bore you with a science lesson, the takeaway point is this: if you don't work these three muscles, you're setting yourself up for injury since your primary movers (quads, hamstrings, and glutes) will overpower these smaller stabilizer muscles.

    Dumbbell training for upper-body has long been accepted (think rows, dumbbell bench presses, etc.), but single-leg training has had trouble gaining popularity. Lunges? Split squats? Those are wussy exercises, right?

    Hardly.

    Here are three exercises that hit the smaller, stabilizing leg muscles and will help you add some more size to your legs.

    Oh and let us know how you get on with these in the forums! - Why You Need More Single-leg Work Discussion Thread

    Bulgarian Split Squat

    Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand about three feet in front of a bench, holding the dumbbells at your side. Place your right foot on the bench behind you, with the top of your foot on the bench. Lower your body until your left knee is at least 90 degrees and your right knee comes close to touching the floor. Stand back up. That's one rep.



    Reverse Lunge

    Grab some dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a long step back with your left leg, placing the ball of your foot on the floor. Drop down until your left knee almost touches the floor. Your torso should be upright. Step back into the starting position. Do all your reps with you left leg then switch.



    Step-up

    Grab some dumbbells and place one foot on a bench or high-box with your foot flat. Push down with that food and raise your body until you're standing straight and your trailing foot touches the step. Immediately lower your trailing foot back to the floor and start the next rep. Switch legs after you've finished all the reps for that leg. (Also, don't push off from the floor with your nonworking leg.





    Full Newsletter can be found here - Serious About Muscle Newsletter January 12th, 2010

    And you can sign up for the Serious About Muscle Newsetter here - Newsletter Sign Up
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  2. #2
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Good read, thanks, Daniel. I think I'll incorporate one of these into my weekly routine.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

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  3. #3
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I'm currently doing Bulgarian Split Squat and step ups and love me.

    Load up the dumbells/bar for elevated split squats and you'll be feeling it in your legs for sure!
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  4. #4
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    My problem is time. I've got about 45 minutes 4 days a week and I'll need to figure out when I can squeeze one of them in.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
    325 bench

  5. #5
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    I believe these movements have a lot of value,actually been using the stepups and reverse lunges for training my GF. But for me unlike rbtrout I have plenty of time but don't know where I would put these in my programming. I am doing SS and legs take a pretty good beating. Suggestions?
    "The deadlift is more functional in that it’s very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip

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  6. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny99 View Post
    Suggestions?
    Don't mess with the routine

  7. #7
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Don't mess with the routine
    Thats what I thought!
    "The deadlift is more functional in that it’s very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip

    Max 3x5 Goal 3x5 by 12/31/11 *1X5
    Bench (245) (275) 285x1x1 335
    Dead (385)* (445) 435x1x1 505
    Squat (320) (355) 355X1X1 405
    Squat (195) (275) 20 Reppers!
    (950) (1075) 1075 1245 Goals (Not including 20 reps)
    5'10" 288Lbs 02/01/2011 Goal Weight 230 On my way back from a Break!

  8. #8
    Beer League'in TXslapshot's Avatar
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    Been doing these since I tore my ACL. There great for stabilizer muscles and really hit the glutes. I always make sure I do atleast one single leg movement per leg workout day. Good article!
    Last edited by TXslapshot; 01-12-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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  9. #9
    Hungry like the wolf. Dgro's Avatar
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    at risk of getting yelled at... would single-leg leg press accomplish the same thing here?

  10. #10
    Senior Member getfit's Avatar
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    Split squats are amazing.I've been doing them for awhile now.Super tension in your quads and glutes.
    You will soon see Getfit in OngII Flying Knee Thingys of Doom see if the feisty greek can survive the kicks of Steel Leg From Shaolin Soccer,Dim Mak(def touch) from ChungLee,and Flying Crane by Daniel-san-El Pietro

    Spray it with windex greek!-the famous El Pietro

    You be quiet or i'll clean and press your narrow francophone self-Callahan

    Lift for gains,not glory.Control your ego and the weight

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  11. #11
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by getfit View Post
    Split squats are amazing.I've been doing them for awhile now.Super tension in your quads and glutes.
    This.

    Bulgarian split squats are just brutal but they work wonders, they look so easy....that is until you try them
    Last edited by View 1; 01-12-2010 at 02:08 PM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member getfit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by View 1 View Post
    This.

    Bulgarian split squats are just brutal but they work wonders, they look so easy....that is until you try them
    Absolutely!

    I like the "brutal" feeling I feel after I 've done them.
    You will soon see Getfit in OngII Flying Knee Thingys of Doom see if the feisty greek can survive the kicks of Steel Leg From Shaolin Soccer,Dim Mak(def touch) from ChungLee,and Flying Crane by Daniel-san-El Pietro

    Spray it with windex greek!-the famous El Pietro

    You be quiet or i'll clean and press your narrow francophone self-Callahan

    Lift for gains,not glory.Control your ego and the weight

    What a strong girl! This leads me to believe you can severly injure most of the male population-Nick Hatfield

    You're blazing white hot,anyone ever tell you that? Sometimes i think you have fingers faster then Superman when it comes to posts on WBB forums.
    Hot in terms of both speed and... well new hotness- Stash

    gain 50lbs-Anthony

  13. #13
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    Just last week I started doing Bulgarian split squats again. I'd forgotten how tough they are. Worst DOMS I've had in a long time.

  14. #14
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have troubles with grip on dumbells on step ups?

    Step Ups are actually part of my leg routine and I am using 60lb dumbells for reps of 8 on each leg but I have to do them rest pause with straps just to get them done!
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    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

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