One Legged Squat Exercise

One legged squat or single leg squat.

One legged squat is unilateral leg exercise that primarily works your quads, glutes and hamstrings, as well the hip stabilizing muscles such as the glutes medius, adductors and the core muscles.

Although this is a squat exercise, it works your legs a little differently.

It is more functional than a regular squat because you are also training for the balance and getting the leg muscles to be more asymmetrical.

In other words, this unilateral squat works to correct any muscle imbalances that exist between the two legs. 

It may sound strange to hear the need for muscle imbalance correction, but it is actually more common than you think, and we can see this problem in people who only do regular squat exercises.

With regular squats where both of your feet are on the ground, one side (usually the dominant side) tends to do more work than the other weaker side.

This one side compensating the other situation gets repeated, it can naturally develop muscle imbalances. 

The way to prevent and correct that is to perform unilateral exercises such as this one legged squat exercise.

Exercise Table

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It not only takes away the dominant leg dependency by having each leg work independently, but it also helps to strengthen the weaker side by increasing its workload slightly by adding reps or extra set.  

How to do it:

Stand on one foot in front of a bench (or chair), then squat until your glutes touch the seat. 

Stand back up, using only the leg you’re balancing on. 

Do 8-12 reps on each side. Aim for 3 sets. 


  •  Keep torso as upright as possible throughout the exercise.
  •  Lower back should be naturally arched 
  •  Brace your core. 
Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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