The single leg squat: when to prescribe this exercise

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Chris Bishop with Simon Brierley, Paul Read & Anthony Turner

The single leg squat (SLS) is an exercise that has been the subject of numerous research studies in recent years – primarily in the field of physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation, considering where the majority of literature has been published. The unilateral nature of the exercise has encouraged researchers and practitioners to identify what the key muscles are when performing this movement pattern and the factors that may be responsible for enhancing performance during this particular task. From a rehabilitation standpoint, the literature has tended to focus on the capacity of the SLS to identify issues with kinematic differences (primarily at the hip and knee), the importance of trunk strength, and differences in performance (again most notable at the hip and knee) between injured and noninjured populations. It would appear that any movement compensations that occur typically do so at the hip and knee joints.

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