Posts Tagged ‘single leg strength’

Single Leg Vertical Jump

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Single leg vertical jumping is a very useful thing. I know many basketball players that have a great vertical of two feet but not anywhere close while jumping of one foot. Hopefully I don’t have to explain how important an explosion and elevation of one foot is, when it come to gametime. I will take Lebron James as an example, as the majority of his dunks are of one foot while driving towards the basket. Since you are running it is faster to take of one foot rather than square up and jump off two feet. 

Every type of jump has its advantages though. Jumping off two feet is more effective for rebounding because you will ussualy box out and go for the rebound straight up. Instead of choosing one or the other become good at both. The reason I am talking about it is because I have had the question come up lately and today another player and friend of mine asked me this:

“Is there a way to improve my one foot jumping to equal it to my two foot jump? I would like to have the ability to elevate from one foot of the drive!”

Now, this player has a very good vertical of two feet but not nearly as close that of one foot. So whats the catch? Well, here are some things that will explain and help you improve you one foot vertical: (more…)

Single Leg Strength Training

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Most people don’t even have a leg training day since upper body is the emphasis the majority of the time. For those of you that fall in that category I will write another post, or actually, maybe you should just think!

I also decided to write this because many of the athletes that I have worked with that had great strength and power in bilateral leg lifts but had continuos problems with on the field performance and a string of injuries that kept them from playing for weeks throughout the season. After looking at their programs and training I realized that there was almost no single leg training. Hmmm, I don’t think that is a coincidence.

For those that know training the lower body is of utmost importance, whether you are an athlete or not, I hope you include single leg training in your sessions. I am pretty sure some of you will hesitate to change your hardcore leg session that includes deadlifts, squats (which they should) but if you bear with me I promise I will convince you to include single leg training in your sessions. So let’s look at some of the benefits of single leg training:

Walking Lunges at Hocevar Performace


-Fixing imbalances andd preventing injury: By this I mean improving the balance in strength on both legs. If you only do bilateral exercises, with time you will develop a imbalance which will cause the strength and size of one leg to be better than the other. Some will say big deal, but not only is this a path to a serious injury but it will also hinder your development as an athlete and looking better naked (if that is your goal). Training each leg independently will assure that you are fixing the weak links in your kinetic chain, which will improve performance and maybe even more importantly prevent injury.

- Improve proprioception and stability: What happens when you decrease the base of support from two legs to one? The body has a lot harder time with balancing which means you will be recruiting a lot more stabilization muscles and working on your stability. Now, stand on one leg and tell me you don’t need any single leg training? Single leg training will also drastically improve proprioception – our ability to know where we are in space.

- Strengthening the knee stabilizers: For those that care what the important knee stabilizers are called, here goes: vastus medialis oblique (VMO) and gluteals (or simply "the butt”). These muscles have a huge role in preventing knee inujuries. With tha being said it is important to let you know that full ROM (range of motion) is needed to get these muscles activated as they get more work the lower that you go. So please get your butt close to the ground and drop the weight if you have to (no ego’s allowed if you want to get better).

- Carry over  to sports and life: Last time I checked we walked on one leg at a time and we run one leg at the time and a most jumping is also of one leg. Logic would say that single leg training could then be helpful but since logic is hard to come by these days I will give you a helping hand and say that you should try including single leg strength movements into your training and see how much improvement you make in your performance, lifts and feeling.

Some single leg movements you should consider: Lunges (dynamic, walking, lateral cross over, reverse, overhead), Bulgarian Squats (regular, short, off a box), Single Leg Romanian Deadlift, Step Up (lateral, regular, step down, with hold), Single Leg Squats (to box, pistols)

Start including these movements in your training program and let me know the improvements that you see in the next 8 weeks.