Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One-Legged Exercises Improve Power And Balance

Don't neglect one-legged exercises to improve your power and balance. They are important. How important? Well, you run on one leg at a time. Need any other reasons?

Sometimes, too much focus is placed on two-legged exercises. These two-legged exercises, like squats, are needed in your exercise program. But, one of the best physical indicators of athletic success is dynamic balance (rate-of-force production or power is the other).

Having dynamic balance means that you are able to maintain your center of gravity over a constantly changing base of support. You cannot have dynamic balance without muscular balance.

To achieve muscular balance in your lower body, one-legged exercises should be a big part of the athletic training program. These one-legged exercises can be performed as strengh or power (full speed) exercises.

One lower body exercise that should be in your program is one-legged step ups with knee lift (pictured above). This exercise is done one leg at a time to force each leg to work evenly. For example, you would do 10 repetitions with your right leg and then 10 repetitions with your left leg.

The hanging leg should not touch the bench and you should lower your body under control. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells to increase difficulty. Other good one-legged exercises would be squats and lunges. Add more one-legged exercises to your training regimen.

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Other things being equal, a muscular, powerful athlete will outperform a fat, slower or skinny, weaker athlete. Sports Fitness Hut's Fat Blaster Athletic Power Training System will give you your "lean and mean" athletic machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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