This exercise is to prepare you to one-leg squats, that are justly considered as an athletes sport form indicator. I remind you: you must easily do 20 full squats before you come to one-leg exercises group. Do net try to skip the classic squats – because to perform even partial one-leg squats you will need all the force of your hips and well developed sense of balance.
Partial one-leg squats
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: take a chair, which you were using for partial squats. Stand tightly backwards to the chair and move all the weight to one leg, getting up the other one, and bending it in the knee. Keep the balance, hold your body straight. Lift up your arms (photo 1). Keeping balance, start to bend your base leg in knee and hip, slowly going down till you touch the chair with rear hip area. You can move bodyweight to heel, but don’t lean back too far (photo 2). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position. When you have done the necessary amount of reps, change the base leg.
Notice: always start the exercise cycle from the weaker leg. As your training level rises, try to squat with your inactive leg straight (hold it approximately on your base leg’s hip) – this will not only give you additional load on the leg, but help you to move the part of your bodyweight from the weaker knee joint to the stronger hip joint (photo 3). Though performing this kind of squats has a danger to fall backwards, use a stable chair or put it tightly to the wall. Remember the right breathe and rhythm: three seconds on going down (inhale) – one second pause at the bottom – two second on going back to the stating position (exhale) – one second to prepare to the next rep.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles.
Performing the exercise: stand on one leg, getting the other one up and bending it in the knee and hip, so that the top of the hip was parallel to the floor. To keep the balance put your arms before you (photo 4). Start to squat, leaning a little forward and bending the base leg in knee and hip. The inactive leg bends only in hip joint: its knee should be on the base leg’s heel level. Go down to the moment, when the knee of your inactive leg touches the floor (photo 5). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Notice: this exercise is for professionals, so do it professionally. Do not try to make it easier by bad technique – you risk to get an injury instead of strength. If it is difficult for you to perform it – go back to partial squats on one leg or decrease the squatting depth by putting the bent towel under your inactive leg’s knee (it also can save your knee from hitting the floor). At the lower point you can help yourself with your inactive leg’s fingers, slightly pushing off the floor, but gradually come to correct technique. You know, you are close to the finish. By mastering this kind of squats you will discover the road to the hardest, but the most effective at the same time exercise for legs – one-leg squats.
Good books to read:
Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.