Lower Limb Development Plus a Technical Question

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    Greetings Mr Kavadlo and gang!

    Got a couple of questions that are nagging my neurons which I hope you don’t mind helping me with.

    Q1. My left leg seems quite weaker compared to my right. Apart from using assisted one legged squats to beef up the strength in that left leg, are there other accepted beginner/moderate level exercises I can do?

    Q2. I’ve watched the Convict Conditioning DVD on squating principles..one that really sticks in my head is femoral tracking (knee following your toe direction as much as possible when squating). I prematurely attempted a half one legged squat on my right leg…and the tendency was for my knee to track inwards even when my toes were pointing outwards. Is is inevitable for inward knee tracking with a one legged squat given the leverage required for the exercise…or is it purely a matter for me to beef up my strength and flexibility levels?

    Q3. I’ve read all sorts of things you can do to improve hamstring flexibility ( a necessary requirement to do pistols no doubt!) such as the good mornings exercise. What would be the most common and safest activity I can do?

    Q4. There’s so much valuable information in these forums! Any plans to implement a search engine to help people look for stuff? It might save u guys the hassle of answering the same questions over and over again (sorry if I am such a culprit too!)

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

    Al Kavadlo

    1 – Yes! There are lots of other ways to help eradicate your muscle imbalance, including one-legged bench squats, walking lunges and side-to-side squats.

    2 – As the CC DVD says, you want your knees to track with your toes, so if they are bowing inward that’s no good. You might not be ready for one-leggers yet.

    3 – There are lots of great ways to stretch your hammies! I’ve got a book of stretches coming out in January, so I’m going to keep you in suspense til then!

    4 – A search feature is a good idea. I’ll look into that next time I update this site.

    Robby Taylor

    The only thing I’d like to add to what Al said is that one leg deadlifts can be great for stretching the hamstrings, as well as providing an excellent antagonistic movement to the pistol squat. If I were to do 2 leg exercises, it would be these two. Progressively, you will want to have less and less bend in your knee until you can do it with your knee completely locked out…which should not be approach haphazardly. It can be dangerous for the knee, especially if you are picking weight up off of the floor…but if you can safely get there it will be great in building strength and stability in the knees. Some people will never get there, and bending the knee is fine as long as you are able to keep your back straight, shoulders back, hips level, and feel the stretch in the hamstring and the power of the movement in the hip and hamstring. However, the great thing is that one leg deadlifts are much more approachable than pistols so you should be able to start doing them already. Plus, it being a unilateral movement, can only help your bilateral deficit.

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