Activate Your Hamstrings and Glutes with These Single Leg Exercises

Activate Your Hamstrings and Glutes with These Single Leg Exercises
Training one leg at a time or single leg training has many benefits. One big reason trainers prefer programming single leg training over bilateral (both at the same time) is due to the carry over to everyday life activities such as walking.

Lunges in grip socks from Pedestal Footwear.

We don't hop around on two feet like a kangaroo to get from place to place, but instead we put one foot in front of the other and move forward. Doing single leg exercises will help you pinpoint imbalances from one side to the other. Another added benefit is the enhanced core stability and balance required to complete the movement.

While single leg training has many benefits, one of the most popular issues people have is cranking through the lower back. In other words, their glutes and hamstrings are not doing the required work and instead they feel the exercise in their lower back. This is largely due to the instability and added core requirement when performing these exercises. This is especially true during single leg deadlift movements.

Another big issue is rounding the shoulders during a deadlift movement. This is  due to an improper hinge pattern, where the lifters first movement is down with the head and shoulders instead of moving back with their hips.  A great cue is to imagine chopping your hips with your hands from the front and essentially pushing your hips back behind you.

Whether you are doing split squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts, or just need a great warm up exercise give these two variations a go and I promise you will be feeling it in the right areas. And either way, you should be doing your deadlifts and other exercise while barefoot!

Exercise #1 - Bowler Squats

Stand about a foot from a wall and extend with the outer arm while hinging back with the same side leg. Try to touch the wall with your arm.

Exercise #2 - Bulgarian Hip Hinges

Do reps with weight in the left and right hand to target both the outside and inside of the standing leg.

Hope these exercises help you get that back side all fired up!

Much love,

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