If you’re trying to build a set of massive, indestructible legs, then there’s no doubt that you’ve heard the old mantra that “squats are king”.
However, not all trainees are built for deep squats and as a result they have built a side reputation for causing injuries. That's when single leg variations can be a very powerful option for building an impressive set of wheels.
Get ready to kill it, one leg at a time!
Oh and also welcome Mark as a new writer for Wannabebig!
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Good read...I've been unable to squat for some time due to an knee injury and have been doing multiple versions of lunges,step ups,and assisted pistol variations.Quick question..do these single leg variations significantly hit the VMO (Vastus Medialus Oblique) as compared to a squat? Or perhaps the single leg variations are even better for vmo?
6'0 170..Trying to get to 185!!!
Nice one, Mark. And welcome to WBB as a new writer!
I've actually got an article I'm working on as well about single leg training. When I first encountered a series of lower back and hip strains from squats, I switched to unilateral work for 8 weeks or so and it was the best fix I've ever experienced.
Thanks JCD and Daniel.
I totally agree. Single leg training is great for addressing mobility/stability issues in the hip and leg.
OK, how the hell do you do these?
I tried some yesterday and even when I'm supporting myself with a firm grip on a rack I can barely do a quarter squat.
My knee wobbles all over the place, my upper-body doesn't stay balanced and my leg fails to support me. I honestly felt like I was going to injure my knee I was that unstable. Is it just a case of practice, practice, practice?
Do more. Lighter weight at first. Single leg squats, lunges, splits, etc. require you to balance, as well as execute the movement. It's all good. Progression is key. Even better, do them barefoot. Get all the foot and lower leg muscles and tendons stronger. If nothing else, it will help your big lifts. It will also reduce risk of injury from running, and reduce risk of a fall later in life. Shoes are bad for people. Lose them when you can.
The Gods taught us to forge Iron so that we would not be slaves-----old Germanic saying
buy a chin up bar, sell the arm curl bar---Roddy
Nothing hits my glutes like heavy ass walking lunges. Great movement and safe for the back.