The single leg squat is a great exercise to help improve strength, stability and coordination in the individual limb, in comparison to a bilateral back squat which can hide weaknesses or stability issues.
If an individual has any type of dysfunction, whether it’s a mobility restriction, or a stability deficit at a specific joint there will be a chain reaction of multiple compensations in the body that will be easily seen in a single leg squat. In addition it’s a great exercise for strengthening the quads and for rehabilitation around the knee joint.
The loading the occurs from single leg squats has been evidenced to reduce patellofemoral pain (Dawson and Herrington, 2015) along with strengthening the ligaments around the knee including the PCL and ACL along with cartilage structures such as the meniscus (Willy and Davis ,2015; Yamazaki et al., 2010)
Quadriceps and glutes activation ✅
Knee and ankle stability ✅
Improved knee health ✅
Eccentric hamstring activation (knee joint) ✅
Safe post ACL surgery / injury ✅
Improved motor control ✅
Stability of the internal and external rotators of the hip ✅
In the video below I am using a light kettle bell in the contralateral side to help counter balance during the movement. The use of a controlled depth also allows for optimal control during the movement. When you become competent performing the exercise the depth can become greater.