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Since we don’t jump up stairs two feet at a time…. the single leg dip (squat) exercise

November 4, 2013

Most people I speak to about performing leg dips, or squats as they are better know as, talk about the two legged version.

For aging adults I prefer the single leg version for one reason.  It helps to isolate the muscles activated n the movement and build the memory for navigating steps, stepping up and off curbing, for pushing yourself up from the floor, and other similar everyday activities.

The process of this exercise is very simple.

For beginners:

  • Shift your weight to one leg with the knee very slightly bent (soft knee),  supporting 98% of your body weight on that leg.  If you need, stand with a chair next to you and use the back of the chair as a finger tip touch point to help with balance.
  • Raise the heel of your opposite foot, keeping no weight on the toe.  You should be able to tap your toe showing that it is bearing no weight.
  • Using just your support leg, bend the knee and drop into a dip or squat, keeping the following in mind:
    • making sure that your knee does not go past your toe. With your knee bent, you should be able to look down and see your toes.
    • keeping your knee, ankle and second toe in alignment.
    • do not hold your breath…  breath normally
  • Just dip as low as you comfortably can, hold for a count of 10 and press back up to the start.
  • Repeat this 10 times with each leg.

For those who can hold balance on one leg:

  • Shift your weight to one leg with the knee very slightly bent (soft knee),  supporting 98% of your body weight on that leg.
  • Raise  your opposite knee bringing your foot up as high as you feel comfortable.
  • Using just your support leg, bend the knee and drop into a dip or squat, keeping the following in mind:
    • making sure that your knee does not go past your toe. With your knee bent, you should be able to look down and see your toes.
    • keeping your knee, ankle and second toe in alignment.
    • do not hold your breath…  breath normally
  • Just dip as low as you comfortably can, hold for a count of 10 and press back up to the start.
  • Repeat this 10 times with each leg.

 And a little more challenging

  • Shift your weight to one leg with the knee very slightly bent (soft knee),  supporting 98% of your body weight on that leg.
  • Raise  your opposite foot as high as you feel comfortable and kick the leg out in front instead of bent knee..
  • Using just your support leg, bend the knee and drop into a dip or squat, keeping the following in mind:
    • making sure that your knee does not go past your toe. With your knee bent, you should be able to look down and see your toes.
    • keeping your knee, ankle and second toe in alignment.
    • do not hold your breath…  breath normally
  • Just dip as low as you comfortably can, hold for a count of 10 and press back up to the start.
  • Repeat this 10 times with each leg.
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