| Article written on February 13th, 2013 at 7:30pm | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
I decided to start adding an exercise of the week to provide people with options when developing their own resistance training programs and to also highlight some of my favorite exercises and why I find them beneficial. Many people know I’m a fan of Strength Coach Mike Boyle and believe highly in unilateral training. That is why I chose the split squat to start with.
The split squat is the best exercise to bridge the gap between conventional double leg exercises and single leg exercises. Obviously it isn’t a true single leg exercise but with the alternated stance it calls on a greater degree of core, hip, knee, and ankle stability as well as hip flexibility. In terms of hip stability, this exercise targets the gluteus medius and minimis to a greater degree then regular squats as it is essential to prevent valgus collapse of the knee. Balance is often a neglected area in many exercise programs as many people rotate from one piece of selectorized equipment to the next and aren’t even in a weight bearing position. That is why we need to get up on our feet because that’s where life happens!!
To perform the split squat, start with the feet in an alternated lunge stance about hip width apart. Instead of lunging forward, focus on bending the back knee under the body which will enable you to drop the hips straight down towards the ground. It is important to watch how the front knee tracks. We want the knee to stay in-line with the 2nd toe and don’t let it pass over the toes which will cause significant stress at the anterior aspect of the knee. With all exercises we want to make sure the back is up straight and shoulder blades pulled back. Lower down until the front thigh is parallel to the ground. Below you will find a good demonstration of how the split squat is performed. Add this exercise to your program to add variety and start on the path towards unilateral training.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART