6 Single Leg Exercises

Welcome to AH7, your go-to source for all things fitness! In this article, we’re diving into the world of single leg exercises, bringing you a curated list of 6 potent moves that will set your muscles on fire. Whether you’re a seasoned gym enthusiast or a newcomer to the fitness scene, these exercises are tailor-made to sculpt your lower body and boost your strength. Prepare to unleash your inner warrior as we guide you through these challenging yet rewarding unilateral leg exercises.

1. Bulgarian Split Squat

Let’s kick off our journey with the powerhouse of single leg exercises – the Bulgarian Split Squat. To get into position:

  1. Find a sturdy bench or platform.
  2. Stand facing away from it.
  3. Extend one leg behind you and place your foot on the bench.
  4. Lower your back knee toward the ground while keeping your front knee above your ankle.
  5. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.

Target Muscles: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings


  • Maintain an upright posture throughout the movement.
  • Don’t let your front knee go past your toes.

2. Single-Leg Deadlift

Get ready to engage your core and test your balance with the Single-Leg Deadlift. Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Stand on one leg while slightly bending your knee.
  2. Hinge at your hips and extend your opposite leg behind you.
  3. Lower your upper body while raising your extended leg, keeping your back straight.
  4. Return to the starting position by engaging your glutes and hamstrings.

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower Back


  • Focus on a fixed point to help with balance.
  • Keep a slight bend in your standing knee.

3. Pistol Squat

Prepare for a leg-burning challenge with the Pistol Squat. Follow these steps:

  1. Stand on one leg, with the other leg extended in front of you.
  2. Lower your body by bending your standing knee and hips.
  3. Keep your extended leg parallel to the ground.
  4. Push through your heel to stand back up.

Target Muscles: Quads, Glutes, Core


  • Use a chair or wall for support if needed.
  • Progress by gradually increasing your range of motion.

4. Step-Up

Elevate your leg day routine with the Step-Up exercise. Here’s how:

  1. Find a stable surface or bench.
  2. Step onto it with one leg, pushing through your heel.
  3. Bring your opposite leg up, then lower it back down.
  4. Repeat on the same leg before switching sides.

Target Muscles: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings


  • Control the movement and avoid using momentum.
  • Adjust the bench height to match your fitness level.

5. Skater Squat

Get ready to glide into action with the Skater Squat. Follow these instructions:

  1. Stand on one leg and extend the other leg behind you.
  2. Lower your body by bending your standing knee.
  3. Simultaneously extend your arms in front for balance.
  4. Push through your heel to return to the starting position.

Target Muscles: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings


  • Imagine skating across the ice to help visualize the movement.
  • Keep your core engaged for stability.

6. Curtsy Lunge

Our final move is the Curtsy Lunge, adding a twist to traditional lunges:

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a step diagonally behind you, crossing your trailing leg behind the lead leg.
  3. Lower your body into a lunge position.
  4. Push off the ground and return to the starting position.

Target Muscles: Glutes, Quads, Inner Thighs


Maintain an upright posture and engage your core.
Experiment with step width for varying degrees of intensity.

FAQs about Single Leg Exercises

Are single leg exercises suitable for beginners?
Absolutely! Single leg exercises can be tailored to various fitness levels. Start with modifications if needed and gradually progress.

Can I do these exercises without any equipment?
Yes, all the mentioned exercises can be performed using your body weight alone. As you advance, you can incorporate dumbbells or resistance bands for added challenge.

How do single leg exercises benefit me more than bilateral exercises?
Single leg exercises help correct muscle imbalances, enhance stability, and engage your core for improved functional

Are there any alternatives for the Bulgarian Split Squat?
Certainly! Regular split squats or lunges are great alternatives if you’re looking for variety.

I have weak knees. Can I still do these exercises?
Consult a fitness professional before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing conditions. They can guide you on modifications to protect your knees.

Is it normal to wobble during single leg exercises?
Yes, wobbling is common, especially when you’re new to these moves. It’s a sign that your stabiliser muscles are working. With practice, your balance will improve.

How often should I incorporate single leg exercises into my routine?
Depending on your fitness goals, aim for 2-3 times per week. Give your muscles time to recover between sessions.

Can single leg exercises help with running performance?
Absolutely! Single leg exercises enhance leg strength, stability, and proprioception – all essential for better running performance.

What if I can’t perform a full Pistol Squat yet?
No worries! Use a support like a TRX band or a sturdy object to assist you as you work towards achieving a full Pistol Squat.

Are these exercises only for lower body benefits?
While the primary focus is on the lower body, many of these exercises also engage your core and promote overall body stability.

There you have it – a comprehensive guide to mastering 6 single leg exercises that will transform your lower body strength and stability. Remember, consistency is key, and progress comes with dedication. Lace up those sneakers, give these exercises your all, and watch your fitness soar!

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