How to do Single Leg Squats

Back to Exercises

Difficulty: Hard

Impact Level: High

Target Body Parts: calves, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps


Stand on your left leg and lift your right leg up and straight out in front of you. Lift your arms up forwards to about shoulder height and use them for balance and to offset some of your weight as you squat down. Then sit your hips backwards and you bend your standing leg at the knee to lower your self down towards the floor. Stop at the bottom of the movement, when you get to a 90 degree bend in the standing leg. Keep your standing foot flat on the floor, so make sure your heal doesn’t lift up.

From the bottom position, push down through your heal, contract your quads and glutes on the standing leg and stand back up to a tall position. Then switch legs and repeat with the right leg as the standing leg. Make sure you do an even number of repetitions on each leg.

How to make Single Leg Squats easier

You can make this exercise easier by performing it next to a stable post or pillar that you can use to hold on to a little with your arms. This will act as a stabilizer and also allow you to use your arms a little to pull yourself up to standing. Also try our Chair Squats, Half Squats and Squats exercises as a way to progress towards this Single Leg Squat.

How to make Single Leg Squats more challenging

As you get more confident with this exercise, you can progress it by squatting lower towards the floor. In the full version of this movement, the aim is to get your hips down to the back of the standing ankle, whilst your other leg is held out horizontally in front of you.

You can also amp it up by adding in a small jump from one foot to the other at the top of the movement.

Looking to add this exercise to your workouts?

Customize your workouts simply by adding or removing Sworkit exercises. Sign in or sign up to get started.

Try It Out