Double and Single Leg Squat
Ever experience knee pain? This is a great exercise to help strengthen the muscles that support the knee and play a vital role in preventing pain under the patella (knee cap).
This exercise specifically targets knee stability, and helps on many levels, from someone trying to improve balance or prevent knee pain to a high level athlete who wants to improve strength and performance.
Key technique point to keep in mind for all levels:
- Sit back and down like there is a chair behind you. If you squat down in such a way that you would “miss the chair” then you are putting too much stress on the knee joint. As you sit back, lean your chest forward to counter balance the weight of your hips. Most of your weight should be balanced between your heel and the ball of your foot, not out on the toes.
- Keep your knees in-line with your toes. Once again if your outer hip muscles or lower leg stability muscles are weak then your knees will go in. Facing a mirror, draw a vector down from the center of your knee. It should hit your middle toe, not the inside of your big toe.
- Make sure you do not more your lumbar spine by arching your back too much as you squat. Focus on having a heavy tailbone and tight abdominal muscles.
- When doing single leg squats and squat jumps, keep your hips square and level at all times. If your outer hip muscles are weak, the non-supporting hip will drop or rotate in.
Advanced: Single leg squat jump
Intermediate: Single leg squat
Beginner: Double leg squat
Aim for 3 sets of 10 at a level that is challenging, or mix it up starting with the beginner level and then moving on to advanced!
Don’t forget to finish with a quad stretch. (Just pull your foot up behind you stretching the front of your leg.)
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Please consult your physician before starting any exercise program.