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Take your Leg Day Workout to the next level!

We hear a lot about Leg Day Workout, this workout that fires up the legs and glutes and develops muscles. But is your training intense enough? Go for a more challenging and intensive leg workout with these unilateral exercises (in which you work one leg first, then the other).

Indeed, your legs are generally not balanced. During unilateral exercises, your weaker leg is no longer aided by your dominant side, helping to compensate for lateral differences. In addition, you can lift more weight than during bilateral exercises (such as classic squats or deadlifts) and thus build strength more effectively during your leg workout. In science, this is called a bilateral deficit . Michael Boyle , an American strength and conditioning coach, defines the bilateral deficit as "the difference between the sum of the actions performed with your left and right limbs, and the weight you can lift bilaterally." However, according to a meta-analysis of 785 participants, if you work one side, the other is also stimulated, which is particularly interesting after an injury.

Find the benefits of unilateral training here . But let's start with the five types of single-leg squats you absolutely must try for a sustained session.

All exercises can be adapted to your fitness level: it's up to you whether you use dumbbells or kettlebells, or train with bodyweight.

1 – Split Squats

Traditional split squats (lunges) may already be an integral part of your training. If not, it's high time you added them. Start standing, take a step back with your right leg and bend your knees so that your right leg is close to the ground. Push off the ground with your front foot to stand up.

Caution: shift your weight onto your front leg. Contrary to popular belief, your knee can be slightly above your toes. On the other hand, pay more attention to the stability of your knee, so that it doesn't turn inwards.

2- Reverse Lunges

In this other type of lunge, you perform the same movement as in traditional split squats. However, you always return to your starting position after one repetition. In this way, you work more intensely on your stability, balance and muscular endurance, compared with split squats.

Caution: if you lose your balance, slow down. For strength training, it's more important to perform the exercise correctly than to be fast.

3 - Lateral squats

Again, you start in a standing position. Take a big step aside with your right leg. Keep your feet aligned, toes facing slightly outwards. Bend your right knee and bend your left to make a side slit. Return to your starting position and change sides or, for more intensity, do all the repetitions on one side first, then on the other.

4 - Curtsy Lunges (cross-slots)

Also start in a standing position, with your trunk contracted. Take a diagonal step behind your supporting leg with your right leg. From this position, land on your back knee and bend your front knee at around 90 degrees, keeping your upper body straight. Push off the ground with your front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement.

5 - Step Ups

Stand in front of a weight bench or plyo box. Step up onto the bench with your right foot and press down hard. Drop back down to the floor using your left foot. Here too, you can alternate side-to-side movements, or warm up your muscles by working first one side and then the other.



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