Single Leg Energy – Previous Faculty Health club

Single Leg Energy: the leg day resolution for lifters with decrease again points

Most likely the commonest downside I see within the fitness center is decrease again ache.  From occasional minor aches to persistent ache this is a matter that results an enormous variety of lifters, athletes, and on a regular basis individuals.  Not solely is the ache itself a difficulty, however one of many greatest draw backs of decrease again points is that it causes a lot of you to both skip or slack on leg day.

“I can’t squat, it hurts my again”…I’ve heard this so many instances, and I’m not simply pointing fingers.  I personally have 3 bulging discs from an damage over 15 years in the past. I’ve a nasty again and for years I let it restrict what I may do on leg day.  There’s solely a lot machine work (leg press, extensions, leg curls, and so forth.) I may do with out losing interest, and I by no means felt like they constructed the identical practical power as squat actions.  Though I can deadlift with out problem, for years I had hassle with the place, and to this present day any kind of barbell squat – entrance or again – tends to fireside up the muscle tissues round my low again and depart me limping for just a few days.  Sure, my loyal Muscle & Energy household, imagine it or not, I as soon as somebody who copped out on leg day or averted doing an excessive amount of heavy weight out of concern of throwing my again out. What lastly saved me from a lifetime of curling within the squat rack was switching my concentrate on leg day from bilateral to unilateral actions.

Now earlier than I get into the distinction between bilateral and unilateral workout routines, let’s first talk about what’s on the root of the issue for myself and lots of lifters on the market.  Having grown up boxing and wrestling, my physique adjusted to standing in a staggered stance with one foot in entrance of the opposite. In nearly some other sport you progress with a pure gait – one foot in entrance of the opposite.  As a boxer you all the time stand, transfer and combat with the identical foot in entrance of the opposite irrespective of which path you’re going. To additional complicate belongings you constantly twist and rotate your hips to the identical aspect as you throw punches.  So the place am I going with this, and what does it must do with again ache? Effectively all of that exercise spent in a staggered stance can result in some power imbalances as your hips get used to rotating in a single path. Then when an athlete – sometimes a boxer or wrestler – hundreds their backbone in a sq. stance, the hips might torque in a single path if they’ve a power imbalance, resulting in low again ache and damage.

In my case it’s a relationship with my psoas on the left (entrance) and my QL on my proper aspect decrease again that provides me issues.  Because the Energy Coach for the Ohio Regional Coaching Middle for Olympic wrestling I see related issues in a lot of my athletes, from their many years spent competing on the mat in a break up stance.  The answer is to cease loading the backbone and concentrate on unilateral leg workout routines.

The time period bilateral is used when referring to an train the place either side of the physique are loaded evenly, equivalent to a barbell again squat, deadlift or bench press.  Both sides of the physique is symmetrical in place and in weight distribution. Unilateral workout routines, equivalent to break up squats or pistol squats, seek advice from when just one aspect of the physique is doing the “work”.  Unilateral workout routines enable the legs to work independently of each other and since most are completed with dumbbells, you’ll be able to actually tax every leg with out loading the backbone. Is that this the reply for everybody who experiences decrease again ache whereas squatting?  After all not. However I’ve discovered these workout routines to be helpful and tolerable for a lot of lifters with again points, significantly wrestlers and fighters who prepare in a staggered stance.

One other (and separate) problem includes poor heat up.  I’m responsible of this myself infrequently, however for this exercise we’re going to concentrate on getting good and heat and likewise activating our glutes, hamstrings, and adductors.  For those who spend loads of time sitting at a desk or using in your automobile, there’s likelihood that one thing in your posterior chain is shut off or not firing correctly. Use this heat up routine to get the whole lot “on-line” and able to go earlier than the heavy lifting begins.


  1. Bike 5 minutes
  2. Dynamic Stretch: strolling stretch, Lunge Twist, Cross Bend
  3. Activation:

kneeling hamstring holds 3 x 10 seconds

glute bridge 3 x 5 seconds

adductor isometric holds  3 x max effort squeeze

  1. Lunge 3 minutes

Start by biking for five minutes or till your legs are heat.  Subsequent up, carry out three 10 second kneeling hamstring holds. Kneel down dealing with a wall along with your arms out for steadiness.  Level your toes and curl your ft up in direction of your glutes, squeezing the hamstrings as laborious as attainable for 10 seconds.  Subsequent, lay in your again in a sit up place along with your legs bent and ft on the ground. Push via your heels, squeezing the glutes and bringing them off the ground barely.  Don’t arch all the best way up so your decrease again tightens, the objective is simply to activate the glutes. After finishing 3 bridges, keep in the identical place and place a foam curler or towel between your knees.  Squeeze your knees collectively as laborious as you’ll be able to to activate your adductors. Now that your legs ought to be firing on all cylinders, end the nice and cozy up with 3 minutes of strolling lunges.


  1. Break up Squats

10 every leg (no weight)

5/5, 4/4, 3/3, 2/2

  1. DB Lunge – 8/8, 5/5, 3/3

  1. Superset: 4 units

DB Step Ups – 5 every leg

Pistol Squats – 5 every leg 5/5/5 tempo (5 seconds down, 5 seconds on the backside, 5 seconds up)

  1. Superset: 3 units

Single Leg Glute Bridge – 5 every leg, 3 second pause on the high

Single leg hamstring bridge – 5 every leg, 3 second pause on the high

  1. Associate Hamstring Iso-Curls – 3 x 8

  1. Stability alternates – 50 complete either side

Start with 5 units of Bulgarian Break up Squats, with the primary set completed unweighted to get the motion sample in place.  Transfer up in weight on every subsequent set. Comply with the break up squats up with 3 units of strolling lunges holding heavy dumbbells.  Be certain on the units of 5 and three to deal with every lunge as a single – test your step for stability within the center fairly than stepping via.  

Up subsequent is a superset of Dumbbell step ups and pistol squats.  On the Pistols make the most of a 5/5/5 tempo – the rep begins with a 5 second eccentric or damaging emphasis as you decrease down.  Pause for a 5 second isometric contraction on the backside of the rep earlier than taking a full 5 seconds on the concentric (or method up) portion  of the motion. Subsequent up is a superset of single leg glute and hamstring bridges, earlier than ending up with Hammy Tourture aka Associate Hamstring Iso-curls.  Finish the exercise with my favourite train for cross physique core power, Stability Alternates.

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