LESSON 3:
7 Reasons Single Leg Training
for Volleyball is Important

1. Single leg training results in less back stress due to the reduced loads. In the traditional two-legged back squat, the back is the limiting factor. At some point the low back doesn't allow you to transfer any more weight through your legs.

2. Single leg training is more "functional" for volleyball. You do almost everything in sports in a split stance, or by pushing off one leg from a parallel stance, so it just makes sense to train your body that way.

(The exercise in the video above is a variation of the single-leg box squat.)

3. The back is often the weak link in bilateral exercises like squats. The reason bodybuilders perform exercises like the leg press is because they are able to work their legs real hard because they are bracing the back. Because of the greater amount of weight they can use, the result is much stronger and bigger leg extensors (the quadriceps).

A greater load is possible during the leg press because the weight isn't moving through your back to get to your legs.

This isn't to say that the leg press is good for your back. With the squat, the spine is being compressed. During the leg press, the spine is being rounded which can create problems over time.

4. To build bigger, stronger legs, it's best to target those muscles without having to place heavy loads on the spine. A great single leg exercise is the Bulgarian Split Squat.

Beginners will develop balance and hip flexibility, along with strength and size. This rear-foot-elevated split squat will develop the all-important ability to endure a high level of discomfort while training.

You want to rest the top of your back foot on the bench, even though it may be uncomfortable for you. You'll likely be uncomfortable being in this position if you're used to doing this exercise with your toe on the bench. It may be easier for you to do it that way with lighter loads, but with heavier loads it's not because the range of motion is longer, and your balance will be worse.

5. You can apply huge weights to your leg muscles with limited spinal compression. The Bulgarian Split Squat for example, advanced lifters can get dramatic results when they apply heavier loads to the exercise.

6. The back is the weak link in squatting. The traditional two-legged back squat doesn't allow you to get maximal work capability out of your lower body. The place you lose squatting is in the back. What gets injured most often in squatting? The back. If you can bypass the back, your legs can handle much heavier weights. So how do you train your legs with heavier loads, with the goal of increasing strength and size? Bypass the back with single leg training.

7. Single leg training is likely a better way to get results with half the weight. Single leg exercises aren't as sexy as the traditional back squat, but by training one leg at a time, you save yourself the back-sparing effects of using lighter loads.

Leg Training for Volleyball

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› Lesson 2: Single Leg Training for Volleyball



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