T Nation

Single Leg Exercises?

I’ve recently been doing more unilateral work with my lower body training. In fact, I’ve seen tremendous improvement since doing them in strength, both in the single leg movements as well as the bilateral movements.

I was wondering if there is anyone here who has completely ditched bilateral exercises in favor of single leg training? Is there any reason to do bilateral movements if you’re an athlete who does everything one-leg-at-a-time (sprinting, leaping, turning, etc?)

I do all single leg exercises because I feel they are more sport specific (sprinting). They seem to benefit me a lot more than stuff using both legs. I don’t do single leg on jumps all the time though, just most of the time.

The sheer loads of the bilateral movements will make them indespensible IMO. As in you can 99% of the time use more than twice the load on a bilateral then a unilateral so you are getting that extra emphasis.

I would say use them both they both have there place.

[quote]Phill wrote:
The sheer loads of the bilateral movements will make them indespensible IMO. As in you can 99% of the time use more than twice the load on a bilateral then a unilateral so you are getting that extra emphasis.

I would say use them both they both have there place.[/quote]

I understand the sheer intensity of a bilateral deadlift/squat is always going to be higher than that of a lunge or something? I’m thinking about trying something along the lines of doing a 1:2 bilateral-unilateral setup / doing much more unilateral than bilateral training since I’ve been almost completely bilateral dominant for the past two years.

I wonder what kind of weight training elite sprinters undergo? Or high jumpers?

I think they should be used in roughly equal proportions. Unilateral work is awesome, and I will preach it non-stop. My knees feel better, I’m more flexible, and I’m more stable in heavy bilateral movements after getting on the single leg boat a few months ago.

I usually do a single leg movement after the big lift for the day as my main accessory work. I might experiment with using heavy sets of 3 or 5 with high step-ups, as I’ve read some interesting stuff about how the Bulgarians train.

I guess it’s kind of like what Alwyn Cosgrove always preaches, people are too tempted to swing the pendulumn from one extreme to the other. Somewhere in the middle is always your best bet.

I do a max set of box squats or deadlifts followed by 3 sets of single leg excercises. I think it helped me get faster but I never really timed myself. I got this information at Defranco’s Training so it must make you faster because it was intended for football players.

[quote]Lejes wrote:
Phill wrote:
The sheer loads of the bilateral movements will make them indespensible IMO. As in you can 99% of the time use more than twice the load on a bilateral then a unilateral so you are getting that extra emphasis.

I would say use them both they both have there place.

I understand the sheer intensity of a bilateral deadlift/squat is always going to be higher than that of a lunge or something? I’m thinking about trying something along the lines of doing a 1:2 bilateral-unilateral setup / doing much more unilateral than bilateral training since I’ve been almost completely bilateral dominant for the past two years.

I wonder what kind of weight training elite sprinters undergo? Or high jumpers?
[/quote]

I think this is a great Idea