5 Uncommon Single Leg Exercises

In my last post I told you why you should be doing single leg exercises.  Since I usually train athletes in a group setting, having them do single leg work with barbells is tough so we usually stick to odd objects, kettlebells or dumbbells. Most of you have probably already seen lunge variations with dumbbells so here are 5 uncommon single leg exercises.

These exercises are for more advanced athletes so make sure you don’t jump right into these if you haven’t done single leg exercises before. Beginners should start with the most basic variations of a lunge, split squat or step up. Basic variations include walking lunges with dumbbells, kettlebell goblet lunges, split squats with dumbbells and step ups with dumbbells.

The great thing about the uncommon exercises below are that they are extremely versitle. You can perform lunges forward, reverse or walking. To add in extra range of motion and help improve help flexibility you can perform split squats or lunges from a deficit. 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps each leg is usually what I recommend for single leg exercises. Always push technique before weight.

Mixed Kettlebell Grip Lunge

This is an exercise that I never really seen anywhere but since we perform a ton of offset kettlebell carries I decided to put this lunge variation together. Its a great exercise because it will improve shoulder and core stability, while also getting your single leg work in. There are 3 positions you can use: suitcase position (at your side), rack position ( by your chest) or overhead. It is an awesome “bang for your buck” exercise.  In the video, Ryan’s front foot is standing on a mat to provide a greater range of motion and a deeper stretch in the hips and he is using the overhead and rack positions.


“Speed Skater” Squats

I first saw this exercise on Joe DeFranco’s YouTube page and in his Super Strength DVD. This exercise is absolutely brutal and will challenge you both mentally and physically. Prepare to be sore for days!!! While that is never the goal, its good to get a nice ass kicking every now and then 🙂


1 Arm Kettlebell Over Head Lunge

Similar to the mixed kettlebell grip lunge, this exercise is done by holding 1 kettlebell overhead. This will improve your shoulder stability while also getting in some single leg work and is a great bang for your buck exercise. Really advanced athletes can do a double overhead kettlebell lunge.


Kettlebell Rack Lunges

Another great exercise to challenge core stability and unilateral leg strength. To put more emphasis on the core use two different kettlebells. In order to keep things balanced,  make sure you always do the amount of weight on both sides. Perform these with 2 of the same kettlebells, 2 different size kettlebells or 1 arm.


Sandbag Lunges

Training with odd objects is a great way to transfer weight room strength to on the field strength. It helps bridge the gap between the weight room and the playing field. Sandbag lunges are awesome because the weight will shift on you and force you to use muscles you didn’t know you had. You can hold the sanbag in  a zercher position, on your shoulder or behind the neck (as seen in the video).


What’s your favorite single leg exercise? Drop a comment below and share:)


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