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Unilateral Lower Body Strength

Single leg training.

It’s a hotly debated topic in the strength and conditioning world, some say it’s great, others say it’s of little use due to lack of loading.

My opinion, it rules. Especially if your training with bodyweight.

Single leg exercises offer many benefits not least of which is the balance and stability that can be developed.

There is nowhere to hide when attempting these manoeuvres, most of us, unwittingly favour one leg or another, we compensate for lack of function at one joint by passing it to another while double weighted, but switch to one leg and these errors become glaringly obvious.

Take for example the weekend just passed, Steve Cotter was here and spent a good hour or so going over various progressions for learning the Pistol Squat. In the group were two lads who specialise in power lifting, these lads have big numbers in the squat so lifting bodyweight shouldn’t have been an issue.

Yet it was these lads who struggled the most. Tightness’s and imbalances in the hip, mobility issues in the ankle and less than optimal core stability were brutally exposed. While for others in the group it was merely a lack of strength.

Either way, single leg training leaves no excuses, you are either able or you’re not.

In the following videos I show two single leg bodyweight drills that you can use to help redress imbalances and improve strength in the entire lower body. These are the precursor to learning the Pistol squat which I’ll cover in a later post.


Try these with care, always remember quality of movement is vital, focus on this and the drills become self correcting, push for reps and you run the risk of exacerbating any existing conditions. Once mastered you may try these moves with a dumbell / kettlebell in each hand.



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