Single Leg Exercise Progression

Single leg exercise and other glute activation exercises you should consider to add into your training program.  Some of the exercises would be good to work on for seniors for fall prevention, too.

Why should you add single leg exercises in your training program?

Any single leg exercise requires a certain degree of balance that means your stabilizer muscles have to work harder to maintain your body where it should be. In addition, by executing single leg exercises you may make you notice muscle unbalance. It is so important that your left and right muscles are equally strong.

Single leg reach


Not only does this movement work on your balance but also it activates the gluteal muscles specifically gluteus maximus. Starting from standing position and lifting up one foot, then reach out. It may be helpful to have something in front of you, so that you know where you should reach.  The spine neutral throughout the movement for sure, and making sure the movement comes from the hip but not the spine.  If the back starts to round while reaching out, you are lowering too low.  Elevate the target where you can reach with the spine neutral.

neutral spine position

Single leg reach (multi direction)

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This is a great way to progress from the last one. Again, some objects may help you to complete this exercise.  In a demo, I put two dumbbells in front of me but you can add more direction to challenge the balance.

Single leg reach (foot on unstable surface)

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Unstable surface is the easiest way to challenge your balance. With this exercise, I like to use a square form instead of bosu.  It may look easy but it is pretty tough without failing.

You can add more weights to increase the intensity for glutes activation for this exercise.

More glute activation training here