While in Seattle, the Eurostars stopped in at Ren Fitness. Ren is a consultant to and friend of the UAP. In this video Ren and Izzy demonstrate one of our favorite single leg strength exercises.
Single leg strength determines your ability to perform athletically because more of your movement occurs with only one foot in contact with the ground at a time. Deceleration, changing direction, having balance and control are all enhanced with a focus on single leg strength training.
The rear foot elevated split squat is an excellent exercise for developing functional strength. Unlike a single leg pistol squat, the leg on the back bench allows for more stability. This enables the athlete to load use more weight because the athlete can maintain a neutral spine in this position. The quarter rep at the bottom in this version creates more time under tension in the deep part of the movement. This activates more muscle fibers in the glutes and provides an extra challenge for stabilizers around the knee.
The quarter rep variation is always a bit of a surprise for my athletes in the UAP. Choose a weight much less than what you’d use for a regular split squat or lunge. As you can see in Izzy’s demonstration, she starts of strong with a full range of motion and stays low in the quarter reps. But as fatigue sets in, her quarter rep turns more into a half rep as she struggles to stay deep in the position.
The quarter rep variation is difficult but will give you large payoffs in strength and stability. This is a plateau busting move for those of you who already have a lot of single leg strength training experience.
This exercise can be done with a barbell, a kettlebell or with dumbbells.
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