The One Leg Squat and Reach Exercise

Isolate Your Glutes and Build Dynamic Balance

One Leg Squat and Reach
One Leg Squat and Reach. Photo � E Quinn

The one-leg squat-and-reach exercise builds dynamic balance, ankle strength, proprioception, gluteus muscle strengthening, and trunk stabilization.

Using this type of dynamic exercise challenges your balance while engaging muscles of the glutes and core. It's is also a good way to regain balance and proprioception after an ankle, hip or core muscle injury. By maintaining balance throughout the movement, you will engage a variety of muscles form head to toe, while targeting ankle strength and flexibility.

Muscles Worked: Abdominals, Glutes.

Basic One Leg Squat and Reach

  • Place an object on the floor about 2-3 feet in front and to the left of your left foot.
  • Balance on your left foot; raise your right foot off the ground.
  • Slowly bend your left knee and lower your torso.
  • Reach forward with your right hand and touch the object.
  • Maintain your balance by extending your right leg slightly.
  • Be sure to keep your left knee over your left foot.
  • Touch the object, pause, and return to the start position.
  • Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout the exercise.
  • Repeat the exercise 5-10 times. Switch feet and repeat on the other side.
  • Complete 2 sets.

Advanced One Leg Squat and Reach

  • Because shoes offer additional support, you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by performing it barefoot. This engages the small muscles of the foot and ankle that stabilize the ankle and maintain balance.
  • You can also hold a small, 5-8 pound dumbbell in your hand as your reach forward and slowly reach out to the left as far as you can go, pause 3 seconds and then slowly return, switch hands and reach to the right.
  • Repeat 10-15 times on each side and switch to the opposite foot and hand.
  • Do 2 sets for each side.

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