How to Do One Leg Bench Squat Properly

The one leg bench squat is a sure-fire way of developing strength and balance in your legs and preventing injury that usually arises from a condition known as the runner’s knee.

This is an exercise that will put your core to work and improve your overall athletic performance. For best results, get yourself a mirror and do this exercise in front of it so you do not fall out of form.

In due time, of course, you will be able to do the exercise without a mirror once you establish good muscle memory by consistently doing this exercise.

If you have your eyes set on balance training, this could be a good inclusion too. This is a great exercise to do on the days that you are taking a break from intensive training.

HOW TO DO ONE LEG BENCH SQUAT

  • Get a bench or a step, or any platform around knee height that you can find, so long as it is stable and won’t move around in the course of the exercise
  • Tighten the torso then get into a forward lunge position, bring one foot back and rest it on the bench.
  • Find yourself a step, bench, or any other contraption that you can rest a foot on, it needs to be about knee height.
  • Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. The knee of the leg in frot front should not go beyond the toes.
  • Drive up through your front heel back to the starting position, again keeping your movements measured.

ONE LEG BENCH SQUATS MUSCLES WORKED

Isolation exercises are good, but exercises that give you a full-body workout are on a different level. This exercise works the quads and hamstrings.

It also engages the glutes, calves, and hip flexors. It engages the core too, as it is needed for positioning and support.

ONE LEG BENCH SQUATS BENEFITS

GREAT FOR RUNNERS

If you run a lot or take part in any exercise that requires running or sprinting, then you must have at least heard of the runner’s knee. That is if you have not experienced it first hand.

Runner’s knee is a painful condition where there is consistent pain at the front of your knee. The pain gets worse when walking up and downstairs.

One of the best ways of treating a runner’s knee is simply not running. If that does not solve it, you may have to have surgery on the knee. Instead of having to do all these, why not prevent it in the first place?

One leg bench squat tones the leg and glutes works on the and makes you more flexible. All these qualities put you in a better place to not fall, victim to runner’s knees, as it also works the same muscles you use when you run. These muscles include the hips, quads, and calves.

NO COMPLEX EQUIPMENT

If there are 99 reasons why you should not do the one leg bench squat, expensive equipment is not one of them. This exercise utilizes your body weight to work different muscles in your body.

The raised platform can be just about anything, even your bed if it is knee height and you can comfortably rest your foot on it.

COMPOUND EXERCISE

This exercise works so many muscles all at once, starting with those you use when you are running. It engages muscles both in the upper and lower body including the core, quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

This exercise goes easy on your spine, as compared to the traditional squat exercise. This study has posited that it is more effective for people who have lower back pain and for rehabilitation of those with sports injuries.
Researchers found that while the participants enjoyed the same load of muscle activity on the targeted muscles, the spine was not affected.

ONE LEG BENCH SQUAT VARIATION

SINGLE-LEG WALL SQUAT

  • Put an exercise ball against a wall and lean on it, making sure your upper and mid-back comes into contact with it
  • Stand on one leg, with the foot of that leg pointing straight ahead, bend the knee of the other leg slightly
  • Roll the shoulder bladed back, and keep the torso upright
  • Shift your weight to the balls of your foot and look straight ahead
  • Get into the squat position while balancing on one leg, while pressing into the ball with your upper back
  • Lower as far as comfortable while maintaining a straight back.
  • Straighten your legs and go back to the standing position.
  • Do as many reps as you wish.

ONE LEG BENCH SQUATS MISTAKES TO AVOID

EXTENDING KNEES TOO FAR

Take care not to extend your knees too far beyond your toes. Approach this exercise more in the lines of sending your hips back instead of the incorrect method of extending your knee forward when squatting.

Do not let your knee collapse outward or inward, rather, align them to your toes.

ROUNDED SHOULDERS

Keep your back straight and your shoulders back. The neck and head remains in a neutral position as long as the exercise lasts.

CONCLUSION

Back injuries are a tad sensitive, thus if you have a back injury you should first speak to your doctor before you start any form of exercise that will demand some level of investment from the back or the regions around it.

Also talk to your doctor if you have a problem with your knees, legs, ankels and hips.

Your doctor may help you settle on the variation of exercises that are less taxing on the back.

While you may feel the impact of this exercise on your muscles, you are not supposed to feel any pain. If you do, stop doing it immediately.

This exercise is relatively safe for expecting mothers, but take extra caution when it comes to balance. When approaching the later trimesters, it is often advised to stay away from exercises performed unilaterally, more so if you are experiencing pelvic pain or struggling to maintain balance.