Are one-legged squats a safe exercise to do?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by onehandbh, May 31, 2007.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Curious if doing one-legged squats are okay for your knees, etc.

    For those who don't know what they are here's a description.
    1) stand on one leg.
    2) raise other leg so that it is perpendicular to the standing leg and about
    waist high.
    3) lower yourself all the way down. Keep foot flat on the ground and
    arms in front of you to help balance. Pause.
    4) raise yourself back up. Repeat.

    Seems like a good exercise that works a full range of motion. Plus you
    can do it anywhere there is flat ground and works the stabilizing muscles.
     
    #1
  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I think developing single leg strength is very important to tennis players. I can't treally do one legged squats without falling over, so I do the easier Bulgarian Split squats instead. They're safe, if you can do them without falling over....
     
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  3. circusmouse

    circusmouse Rookie

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    They're safe if you're doing them correctly. My friend is a personal trainer and recommends them highly. I've been doing them occasionally for a few months, typically after playing tennis. They were hard at first, but now I can do four sets of ten after tennis without trouble. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by lifting your leg to waist height. I assume you mean lifting your thigh to waist height while bending your knee and keeping the lower leg perpendicular to the floor. If you didn't bend your knee, it would be incredibly difficult. Otherwise, I think you've got the form correct. I typically drop down to the point that my lifted foot touches the ground.

    This is a great full leg exercise. I mostly do it to strenthen my thighs, but it makes the buttocks and calves very sore, too.
     
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  4. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I meant keeping the leg that is raised relatively straight so that
    it never touches the ground. Also allows you to go all the way down to
    the rock bottom position where your glutes are at the level of your
    ankles, just a few inches above the ground. By keeping the leg
    raised leg straight it helps to balance and keep you from falling over at the
    bottom position.
     
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  5. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that's very hard to do unless you are flexible in the hammies. I can't do it. :( I can do it with a bent and raised leg. I do lunges for the same thing and get some help with balance and strength that way. I just use two 50 lb dumbbells and do 10 lunges in each direction x 4. Great workout. My butt is tight! :)

    -Robert
     
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  6. circusmouse

    circusmouse Rookie

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    Keeping that leg straight is extremely difficult and requires very flexible hamstrings and strong quads. Try lifting a leg out straight in front of the body and holding it for long enough to do a set of ten squats. That alone is challenging. I would recommend bending the lifted knee and only dropping down until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Anything beyond that is not easy on the tendons of the knees. I don't think that keeping the lifted leg straight is necessary for balance. Holding your hands out should do the trick. Perhaps your legs are much stronger than mine, but I find that one-legged squats, when combined with other leg exercises, like wall squats, seated pose, and horse pose, are a great leg workout. I don't see any reason to seek out the most extreme version of the exercise.
     
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  7. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I keep the raised leg slightly bent. Doesn't seem to require
    much hamstring flexibillity at all. I don't weigh very much so the
    exercise probably is easier for me then many others.
     
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  8. jasonbourne

    jasonbourne Professional

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    onehandbh, I have been doing this exercise twice a week. I learned it from our boards earlier this year. Before this I used to do deep knee squats with 145lbs on my shoulders. I no longer do this. I find I have more leg strength and stability with the one-legged squats. From my experience, these are safe.
     
    #8
  9. TW CSR

    TW CSR Guest

    My legs and knees do NOT like one legged squats. It's weird because I have no problems doing any other leg workout but these make my knee feel like its going to pop.
     
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