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Why Single Leg Training?

by Taylor Tollison

Soccer is played on usually one foot at a time. While running forward do you jump on two feet, like a kangaroo? Of course you donít. You put one foot in front of the other as you move down the field forward and laterally. In addition, the lateral cut (before you laterally move) is done by pushing off a single leg.

This single leg aspect of the game should be planned into your training. Single leg training is not two leg squats. Although the two leg squat is good, it doesnít sufficiently train ďthe single legĒ component. The single leg component can provide massive levels of balance and proprioceptive work which have been shown to reduce injuries. The two leg squat, because itís done on two legs, does not require as much proprioceptive work.

To start incorporating something new into your training think simple and easy first then go advanced. Donít start with max weight on your shoulders while doing a Bulgarian split squat. Do not stop doing the traditional two legged front or back squat. Single leg exercises are great supplements and it could be argued that sufficient work can be done using the single leg exercise theory.

With that as a background step one in your program would start with no weight. Use just your bodyweight first no matter your level of training. You need to ensure mastery of technique before adding resistance. The good thing about the beginning phases of these single leg training exercises is that you can do them anywhere. They are suitable for not only soccer players but everyday fitness enthusiasts and more. Coaches should have their players doing these types of exercises on the field if the players do not get strength training on their own. After youíve achieved technique mastery start adding weight.

Here are some basic exercises to use. This is not even close to an all inclusive list.  You have split squats, single leg squats and more.