CFSC Single Leg Squat Progression

CFSC Single Leg Squat Progression

The single leg squat is personally my favorite lower body exercise and one I believe to be hugely beneficial across all populations. In truth, they’re very difficult and many clients hate doing them but I think a sound progression to proficiency can make them a little less demoralizing and slightly more enjoyable.

Following mastery of the basic goblet split squat I‘ll often progress clients somewhere into the following single leg squat progression depending on their balance and hip stability. I always have clients squat to a box rather than free single leg squat or “pistol squat.” This allows me to to control the depth of the squat and avoid potentially dangerous bouncing at the bottom.

1️⃣Hand Assisted Single Leg Squat:
Starting out with a hand assisted single leg squat using a TRX or rings gives the client plenty of support and a feeling of security. Have the client hold lightly with just two fingers so they don’t lean backwards and overly rely on the handle. If needed start above parallel so that the client can establish control before squatting deeper.

2️⃣Foot Assisted “Kickstand” Single Leg Squat:
Moving on to a foot assisted variation requires the client to keep all of their weight over their feet but allows them to gain slight stability from the kickstand foot. I prefer using a tennis ball so that the client can’t push too hard through the assisting foot. I find this progression j a necessary step to bridge clients from hand assisted to a normal single leg squat.

3️⃣Single Leg Squat to Parallel:
This progression is the minimum standard I like to see all of our adults and athletes reach. Following a knee injury, we like to see that our athletes can perform 10 single leg squats to parallel on each side before returning to full activity.

4️⃣Elevated Single Leg Squat:
This is our terminal single leg squat pattern at @bodybyboyle. We squat to an 18 inch box while standing on a 6 inch step to elevate and allow clearance for the free leg. If the athlete looks good here I would progress them by adding a vest or using goblet loading.