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Hard Time With Single Leg Squats

Am having a hard time doing single leg squat without wall assistance. Any tips on how to progress on this exercise so I can do it without help? thanks

Do you think it is a strength issue or a balance issue?

To be honest, it was much easier for me after I was able to correctly squat my bodyweight 10 times.

But the articles I have read say the natural progression is
Lunge, split squat, split squat with weight, bulgarian squat, bulgarian with weight, then single leg squat slowly trying to get lower.

yes: keep doing them until you can do them without help.

You’re doing the right thing in using the wall for assistance for right now. One thing to look at is muscle imbalance.

I had a hard time doing these too when I first started and part of the problem was my calves weren’t up to par with my quads. Obviously they’re not designed to be the same in size, but the calves definitely needed to get stronger to complete the movement. After building up some strength in the calves, it became a bit easier to stabilize myself and do the exercise.

Try holding a 10lb plate out in front of yourself like a steering wheel. It seems counter-intuitive to add weight, but the plate will help you balance when at the bottom of the movement.

You can also try doing them while standing with one leg on an elevated surface and one leg hanging off the side. It’s much harder to do a pistol (a single-legged squat with your leg held out in front of you) because balance is such a big part of it.

[quote]swivel wrote:
yes: keep doing them until you can do them without help.[/quote]

Absolutely! This is what I am doing, using a door actually, but the same concept. I use the assistance less and less.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
swivel wrote:
yes: keep doing them until you can do them without help.

Absolutely! This is what I am doing, using a door actually, but the same concept. I use the assistance less and less.[/quote]

That’s definitely a good assistance exercise and it was one of the progressions that I used to working up to doing pistols.

The other exercise that I really found helped were negatives. Here is the progression of negatives that I used to work up to being able to do a pistol.

  1. Perform a negative and try to stop yourself at various positions during the descent (hold each position for a second of two). Once you can stop yourself at any point during the descent move on to #2.

  2. Perform very slow, controlled negatives. Try to take a whole 20-30 seconds to perform each negative.

Once you can routinely perform 20-30 second negatives in complete control, try a positive pistol. Of course, don’t do sets of the negatives first, try it when you’re fresh.

From there work on your form often. But, only perform one pistol per leg, until it becomes easy and you have total control of the movement.

Then, test your max and work on increasing your number of reps.

Once you can perform sets of 10-12 per leg, start adding weight, then try doing them explosively (jumping), then weighted jumping, jumping onto a box, weighted jumping onto a box, etc…

Hope this helps,

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
pat36 wrote:
swivel wrote:
yes: keep doing them until you can do them without help.

Absolutely! This is what I am doing, using a door actually, but the same concept. I use the assistance less and less.

That’s definitely a good assistance exercise and it was one of the progressions that I used to working up to doing pistols.

The other exercise that I really found helped were negatives. Here is the progression of negatives that I used to work up to being able to do a pistol.

  1. Perform a negative and try to stop yourself at various positions during the descent (hold each position for a second of two). Once you can stop yourself at any point during the descent move on to #2.

  2. Perform very slow, controlled negatives. Try to take a whole 20-30 seconds to perform each negative.

Once you can routinely perform 20-30 second negatives in complete control, try a positive pistol. Of course, don’t do sets of the negatives first, try it when you’re fresh.

From there work on your form often. But, only perform one pistol per leg, until it becomes easy and you have total control of the movement.

Then, test your max and work on increasing your number of reps.

Once you can perform sets of 10-12 per leg, start adding weight, then try doing them explosively (jumping), then weighted jumping, jumping onto a box, weighted jumping onto a box, etc…

Hope this helps,

Good training,

Sentoguy[/quote]

That’s good advice I like it, and I’ll try that myself. Negatives I never thought of before. I to am working up to mastering them, I hope it’ll also slowly help the imbalance in my legs.

my 10 pistols vid

[quote]Doenitz79 wrote:
my 10 pistols vid

Good stuff.

[quote]Lorne wrote:
Am having a hard time doing single leg squat without wall assistance. Any tips on how to progress on this exercise so I can do it without help? thanks[/quote]

The best advice I can give is to actively pull yourself down with your glutes. It makes the whole movement much easier and fluid.

[quote]Doenitz79 wrote:
my 10 pistols vid

For me,I could do 1 pistol the first time I tried doing it but it was a very hard attempt.

To get where I am today(10+ pistols per leg),I grease the groove.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
swivel wrote:
yes: keep doing them until you can do them without help.

Absolutely! This is what I am doing, using a door actually, but the same concept. I use the assistance less and less.[/quote]

Would using a rope around a post (similar to a water ski handle) to help balance be helpful

You have to make sure you really get your hips back doing these, that can be an easy fix alot of times. Many people are reluctant to swing their hips back as far as they would with a back squat because there is no support there and they feel vulnerable.

There is a large abdominal component as well in that if you can hold your off leg out straight very easily you should have an easier time. Having strong abs can help with this, especially at the bottom.

Do bulgarian split squats for a while until you can do them with some weight.

Greasing the groove is a good idea also.

When doing single-leg squat, is it OK to let the thigh rest on a calf for a split of a second? As in making a short pause, but without holding the tension.

There’s a great article from Mens Fitness by Alwyn Cosgrove on his site about pistols. Gives a whole training progression and everything.

[quote]the_frazman wrote:
There’s a great article from Mens Fitness by Alwyn Cosgrove on his site about pistols. Gives a whole training progression and everything.[/quote]

Then how about you post the link to that?