T Nation

Single Leg Squats


SLS= with back leg placed on a bench, using full range (knee almost skimming ground)

Which variation do you think correlates to a better vertical/sprint speed?

Using dumbbells or Barbell?

I haven't used the dumbbells in probably a year. But I can single leg squat 225# 3*8 with a barbell.

I haven't been able to use past 60 with dumbbells in the past. I'll probably switch back in my next training cycle.

I might do them twice a week just so I can use both.

I've been o-lifting exclusively for the past few months with a few extra exercises thrown in here and there I can't wait to see the carry over.

I'll be going back to a westside type schedule after i get my protien & zma.


Xen... good job on both accounts.

I love 1 1/2 Bulgarians for a change-up to really hammer the lower range. (All the way down, half way up, back down, up....one rep.)

I also love to do them as Iso-X. Meaning with an Iso hold and then exploding straight upward.

I prefer Dumbells.

I really love this exercise, and see that it correlates well with 10 yard speed very well...

If a person has a huge Bulgarian, then they are usually very strong in a relative sense.

This really has a lot to do with most people not using Appropriated Weight when discussin Squats.....

Even CT didn't discuss it in his article from today. It is vastly different for a 165 lb. guy to squat 405 as compared to a 310 lb guy squatting 405.

If both were to lift 320 for reps (80%) the small guy is really lifting 84% of his max, where the big man is liftin 88% of his max... when their bodyweight is factored in....

The big man will look much more fast twitch naturally....

Maybe he is, maybe not...

Anyway, great barbell work. I use dumbells almost exclusively, but that is my preference.

I also do circle lunges often pretty heavy as I used to pull my groin (vag)almost every year. All gone now....

Anyway, keep on working those legs.



Jumanji , could you describe circle lunges?


225 on single leg split squats. Pretty good man. What other types of SLS's do you do?

I don't do the single leg split squats (back food on a bench), feels too much like a lunge to me. I just do lunges for that. I do my single leg squats on a box with dumbells. I like them better because it helps me improve my balance and feels more like a squat to me than a lunge. I've worked up to 50lb db's in each hand on these, something I am very proud of.

I used to be a sprinter and to answer your question, I don't think it would matter if you used db's or a barbell. That was your question right? What will help me sprint faster and/or jump higher, SLS's with a db or a barbell?


Circle Lunges are simply stepping with your right leg at 12 o'clock, 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1, 12. Hips face 12 o'clock at all times...holding DB's. The do the same with left, except the other side of the clock...

Make sense?

I do these with regular, explosive back up, 1 1/2, and with Iso-X...

Depends on the block emphasis and needs of the athlete at the time...

I also love step-ups and lateral step-ups...

Hope this helps...

BTW~ At first you probably won't get too deep as you approach 3 or 9 o'clock... it all comes with flexibility and strength in those ranges..

Hope this helps...



How are you factoring weight in? I'd say add 165 to 405 and 310 to 405 and get 470 and 715 repsectively. 320lbs would be 68% and 45% repectively with body weight factored in.

I would think with the bar on your back the weight could be distributed a bit differently than with dumbbells (use of posterior chain a bit more, and even the rear leg with bar on back). I don't use dbs too much on single leg stuff (though I think I'll try that soon), but I do place the bar in different positions (front squat placement, overhead squat placement as well as back squat placement).


I figured it out.
(310+320)/715 = 88%

(165+320)/570 = 85%


1&1/2 Bulgarians?

Can't wait to try that variation.


I haven't done other Single leg work in quite a while. I've used the 1 1/2 variation before its KILLER.

I'm going to be doing a lot of single leg work this next 'phase':: Step ups, reverse lunges with front foot elevated, etc. Still keeping some stuff from o-lifting (oh squat, 1 arm o-lifts)...

Thanks for the help, I'm going to definitely try circle lunges, I need to strengthen that area.

Think I'm going to try out for the football team maybe. I heard this year's tryouts all made the team. Of course they're only practice fodder but what the hell.

They get free ipods :-p.



I do lunges sometimes with the bar in front squat position that is a FUN variation... requires a lot of core stability.

OH lunges fucking suck by the way lol



Yep, you got it... except when figuring for the squat, generally you use about 85% of your BW...

It might not seem like much, but it causes variations... that is why the old 3 reps = 92% of your max is not really correct at all... maybe DB Hammer will make an appropriated weight chart for us all. I use a spreadsheet that does all of this for me... so it is a no-brainer.

I really don't focus on MaxS much or I'd do it, because once you are squatting 2-3 times your BW, the returns to athletic performance slow... so focus really shifts to MaxF, RFD, developing the lower end of the force curve, force absorption, and working elastic qualities.

Xen Nova~

The front squat variation sounds nice... I might have to add that to my "untested, but sound very phun" sheet...


xen punk@ss nova,

i just skimmed the thread but didn't see these:

overhead lunges

tried em? i like em real light for a warm up