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other training
Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 7:19AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't have the strength do do a full squat on one leg, and trying to do so makes me also aware of the fact that one leg is noticeably stronger than the other.
I am sure that if I could gain the strength to do just a single one legged squat on each leg, I could be a better runner.
What about you? give it a try and tell me how you got on.
distance guy
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 7:43AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It won't do much for your running, but you'll be dunking on everyone in no time.
other training
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 7:51AM - in reply to distance guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I am sure that greater leg strength leads to faster running, otherwise the best athletes wouldn't do any gym work would they?
Speed Kills
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 7:55AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
My squat workout yesterday was 3 sets of 6 X 660 on a Cybex plate load squat machine, so I don't have any problem with the strength side.

The problem with 1-legged squats is that it's difficult to go deep enough due to the balancing factor. Most sprinters will do squats half way (thigh parallel to ground), though some go deeper, and you usually can't go deep enough 1-legged. If you're looking to gain leg strength, I'd go the conventional way, and use the 1-legged variety as a supplementary exercise.
other training
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 8:05AM - in reply to Speed Kills Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have done some mega workouts with free weights that even you would be impressed with Speed Kills. But they were half squats, I can't do full squats even with even weights.

My best distance is half marathon. I do a lot of short sprints, and I know the benefit of this work, but my basic leg strength is lacking when my legs are around the 90 degree angle, which they always are during the knee raise phase of our racing stride. Having greate strength during this 90 degree phase will lead to a longer faster stride I am sure.
I bet Bekele can do one legged squats.
adroit181
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 8:27AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think that one legged squats are good not just for strength factor, but also for the balance factor. It forces all the little compensator muscles in your leg to work hard keeping you upright during the squat. I do them for the steeplechase not just for the leg strength, but also for the stability it gives my legs when I need to takeoff/land.
distance guy
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 8:41AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You got some kind of evidence showing elite runners performing one-legged squats?
Eric Heiden
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 9:19AM - in reply to distance guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Before the 1980 Olympics it wasn't uncommon for us to do the following:

Find an old truck tire intertube and cut out about one third of the tire (where the valve is). Seal one end by tying and taping with duct tape.

Fill intertube with either lead shot or pennies until alomost full. Seal off other end. I made several sizes but the biggest ones I figured weighed about 150lbs.

Swing the anaconda on your lower back and assume the speed skating position. Do 1 x 100 squats with each leg. Do that 5 x. Then repeat with both legs. Going down to slightly below 90 degrees.

Right after these we would drop the tube then do 15 - 20 squat jumps as high as you can bringing your legs up to your chest a the peak.

Usually the last one you would fall down because you could not support your weight anymore.

Dang, those were the days...and that was only workout number 1. usually we did 3 workouts a day.

Weights
Dryland skating simulation (duckwalk for 10k)
cycling/running

repeat.

Eric
Dr Kevorkian
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 9:43AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

other training wrote:

I have done some mega workouts with free weights that even you would be impressed with Speed Kills. But they were half squats, I can't do full squats even with even weights.

My best distance is half marathon. I do a lot of short sprints, and I know the benefit of this work, but my basic leg strength is lacking when my legs are around the 90 degree angle, which they always are during the knee raise phase of our racing stride. Having greate strength during this 90 degree phase will lead to a longer faster stride I am sure.
I bet Bekele can do one legged squats.



What exactly are you talking about? First lets define some terms: when you say "1/2 squats", I assume you mean what Speed Kills defined them as: parallel squats, ie, quads parallel to the ground, right? If so, that would create the "90 degree" angle you refer to (the angle at the knee joint, the angle between shin bone and thigh bone, right?

Ok, then you say:
"....my basic leg strength is lacking when my legs are around the 90 degree angle, which they always are during the knee raise phase of our racing stride. Having greate strength during this 90 degree phase will lead to a longer faster stride I am sure."

OK, that's where you lose me, because
A) you already said you do 1/2 squats with impressive weights, so your legs would NOT be weak at the "90 degree angle." And....
B) One's knee joint may be at the 90 degree angle during the "knee raise phase of our racing stride," but how will squats help you there??? It's a complete different motion. How does the knee get to that point? It starts behind the body, the hamstring curls up to your butt, you bring you knee in front of you with hip flexion and start to kick your foot out in front in you. In NO way does the squat motion mimic this movement. One is using HIP flexion to pull the knee in front of the body and upwards a bit, but not quad concentric power, which is what squats are mostly about (yes, squats works one's hams and glutes too, but not that related to the movements in bringing one's leg forward).

Squats mostly mimic, or can be related to the landing phase of running, when one's foot touches the ground your quad and kneed tendons are used to absorb the impact eccentrically (along with foot and ankle muscles/tendons), and then concentrically contract to push the body uwards and forwards. But the knee joint at this point is nowhere near 90 degrees. More like 130 or so.

Squats definitely can help one's power, durability and explosiveness, especially as relates the landing/push off phases of the stride, but I don't think they help much for knee lift (or if the do, it is more incidental, and other exercise would help more).

Last comment, though 1/2 or full squats would help for max power, since the angle (as I pointed out) of the knee when the foot is on the ground is nowhere near 90 degrees, one leg squats at around 100-120 (slightly lower than running angle) would better mimic the running stride. So I would think they would be an excellent exericse for specific leg strengthening for running (and the full/1/2 squats would be used for early season general conditioning, strength base). From one leg squats one could move to plyo's, and then finally to pure sprints (of course each of these elements would not have to be completely seperated, ie, not an absolute periodization would be needed, but the general focus would move in the direction I mentioned).
sarcasm
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 9:44AM - in reply to Eric Heiden Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Eric Heiden wrote:

Before the 1980 Olympics it wasn't uncommon for us to do the following:

Find an old truck tire intertube and cut out about one third of the tire (where the valve is). Seal one end by tying and taping with duct tape.

Fill intertube with either lead shot or pennies until alomost full. Seal off other end. I made several sizes but the biggest ones I figured weighed about 150lbs.

Swing the anaconda on your lower back and assume the speed skating position. Do 1 x 100 squats with each leg. Do that 5 x. Then repeat with both legs. Going down to slightly below 90 degrees.

Right after these we would drop the tube then do 15 - 20 squat jumps as high as you can bringing your legs up to your chest a the peak.

Usually the last one you would fall down because you could not support your weight anymore.

Dang, those were the days...and that was only workout number 1. usually we did 3 workouts a day.

Weights
Dryland skating simulation (duckwalk for 10k)
cycling/running

repeat.

Eric


Okay, so where is the workout part?
On a serious note, try one legged presses on the leg press machine, and do box squats. The box squat will improve explosiveness (ie. kick) in a tremendous way.
jess
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 10:52AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
One legged squats are more of a balancing, stablizing exercise, not a test of pure strength. As a field eventer, I do one set of 7 each leg during a general strength circuit, and they are usually 1/2 squats...ie goal is thigh parallel to ground.
bulldog35
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 11:22AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I do them with my trainer sometimes. The key seems to be slowly swinging the bent leg(the one off the ground) slowly back as you squat down and thrusting it upwards on the way up as if you were going to leap up into the air but your planted foot stays planted. Make sure to have good form and don't lean forward to much. it does build power and confidence in your leg strength and balance.
marijuologist
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 11:33AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

other training wrote:

I am sure that greater leg strength leads to faster running, otherwise the best athletes wouldn't do any gym work would they?


That is not a valid inference. I'm not saying that greater leg strength doesn't lead to faster running, but the fact that (some) elite athletes do gym work does not prove it.
dunes runner
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 11:37AM - in reply to Eric Heiden Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Eric Heiden wrote:

Swing the anaconda on your lower back and assume the speed skating position. Do 1 x 100 squats with each leg. Do that 5 x. Then repeat with both legs. Going down to slightly below 90 degrees.


Eric,

Thanks much for sharing.

You could also use sand for filling the innertubes.

Did you have the other leg behind you and toes to ground while doing the squats?
bulldog35
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 11:38AM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
One other option to 1 legged squats is for the next week when you take a crap hover over the toilet not letting yourself sit throughout the whole experience. You will get a lot of the same benefits as the one legged squat!
Eric Heiden
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 11:45AM - in reply to bulldog35 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Dunes runner.

Typically we did these in a skating position keeping our backs parallel to the floor and keeping your chin in line with the knee of the leg doing the work. The resting leg was slightly behind with the toe just off the floor. Goal was to use all of one leg with no cheating. I would do them either near a wall or table in case I needed to touch something briefly for balance. Arms were usually on my back.

We would be so wasted after these I wasn't sure how I would climb up out of my basement. One flight of stairs was formidable...

Now ask me about the one time I did a wall sit for one hour! That was freakin nuts! I think it was a world record at the time.

Eric
uhh
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 12:27PM - in reply to jess Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
so if a 1/2 squat equals parallel (or 90 degrees if you must, although i don't think i've ever seen a shin angle perpendicular to the ground when the thigh is parallel) then what constitutes a "full squat"? 180 degrees? seems like having your thigh completely collapsed onto the lower leg would make for a rather difficult exercise...
dunes runner
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 12:44PM - in reply to Eric Heiden Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Eric Heiden wrote:

Now ask me about the one time I did a wall sit for one hour! That was freakin nuts! I think it was a world record at the time.

Eric


Yikes!

Did you do these types of weight exercises every day?
Ex-Thrower
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 12:45PM - in reply to other training Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Put the bar on your back/neck. Stand in front of a bench. Place your left foot squarely on the bench. Without using your right foot to push-off the ground (ie- focusing on using your left quad/hamstring to pull your right foot up) stand on top of the bench. Lower your right leg back down to the gronud and repeat ten times. Then switch your right foot to the top of the bench and repeat ten times. Now, you have just managed to do one legged squats with having to worry about blowing out your knees- and by the way, it's called a "Step-Up."
Eric Heiden
RE: Can you do one legged squats? 10/6/2005 1:31PM - in reply to Ex-Thrower Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
We were highballs back then...

We were training at the OTC at the Springs and I think it was 1978 and a buddy challenged me to see if I could do a wall sit for an hour.

Basically in a sitting position with your back against the wall, legs at 90 degrees. Arms hanging down at your sides.

Legs were shaking like a banshee at the end but I did it. Some squirt supposedly bested my time of 60 minutes with 61, but he didn't have a witness... you know how that goes.

Eric
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