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More Training Info > Performance of the 1-Leg Box Squat Exercise

Performance of the 1-Leg Box Squat Exercise

The 1-legged box squat, similar to the full range of motion “pistol” movement, is a functional, challenging sport-specific movement that will help you enhance your balance and strengthen the glutes, quads, and muscles around the ankles.

Benefits: The exercise allows you to train unilaterally (one leg at a time) and is a wonderful mid-season exercise to help you increase your range of motion, work out any imbalances that you might have developed in bilateral movements, and is a precursor to doing full butt-to-heel pistols.

Set-up: Start with a 17-20” high box or bench behind you such that you can successfully complete at least 5 repetitions with good form. When you are first trying the movement, test the bench height with both legs without any added weight at all. If you have trouble standing back up with both legs, this is not a good exercise for you to try at this time. Once you have warmed up with a few 2-leg bench squats, you’re ready to try the 1-leg version.

Execution: Sit on the bench with your glutes right near the edge, slightly leaning forward, and place whichever leg you feel will be most challenging directly beneath you so that it is right under your center of gravity (angled slightly inward, like a monopod rather than a tripod.) Hold your hands out in front of you to counter-balance, and the heel of your non-working leg just inches over the floor. Try standing up on the leg directly under you. Come to a fully standing position, then gently lower back to a seated position under control. If you find yourself struggling to stand back up, return to the start position using BOTH legs, then lower on one, until you can successfully do 5 1-leg lowers and lifts. Repeat on the other leg for the same number of repetitions.



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