Speedskaters have strong legs and powerful glutes.
And though technically, you could call this exercise a "Leaning One-Leg Squat," I like to call these "Speedskater Squats" because of the position your body is in when you squat down...and you probably know how large the glutes of a speedskater can get.
The lateral (side) aspect of the hips and thighs is something that is rarely worked in most training sessions...the "go to" exercise for targeting that area is usually the Side Lunge (which is also an excellent exercise, but can be awkward to perform).
What I'm going to show you here today will have you leaning at an angle while you're doing a "lunge/single-leg squat" exercise. By doing this at angle, you work not only the Gluteus Maximus muscle, you also work the smaller Gluteus Medius and Minimus muscles that are responsible for abduction of the leg (which means moving the thigh away from the midline of the body).
In English, it means these exercises are going to build you a GREAT butt...
Technically, the version of the exercise I'm going to show you with the towel wrapped around a solid post is a step-back lunge because you'll touch your back leg to the ground.
I've also got another version (that I show using the cable machine) that keeps that back leg OFF the ground to make the exercise harder (I've got that one for you below).
So first, loop your towel around the pole or other solid object and grasp the ends of it. Stand on one leg and lean away from the post.
Now drop down into a split squat position.
Then push yourself back up - that's it! It's a simple exercise and because you're leaning to the side, this is going target the gluteus medius and minimus muscles and their lateral-movement function (a.k.a. abduction - moving the thigh away from the midline of the body).
So do all your reps on one leg then switch to the other leg.
You can very easily add resistance to this exercise by holding a dumbbell in your free hand. The execution is exactly the same.
Then get even MORE stretch on the glute, set your foot up on a Step platform or other solid flat block and do the exercise. This means your back leg will have further to go before it hits the ground and stops the movement, increasing the stretch on the glutes at the bottom.
That's the exercise! As you can see, this is a good one that you can perform pretty much anywhere...all you need is something solid to loop a towel around and a towel and you've got yourself an excellent lateral-tension exercise.
Speedskater Squats With a Cable Machine
I like this version with the cable because the handle is much easier to hold onto, allowing you to focus on performing the exercise rather than worrying about grip.
If you have an adjustable-height pulley, set it about hip level and attach a single handle. Set the heaviest weight you can on the stack - you're not lifting the weight, you're using it as an anchor.
Grip the handle and stand on one leg. Your leg should be underneath the handle with your body leaning away from the weight stack.
Now come down ALL the way...and when I say all the way, I mean it. Here's the trick...keep your other leg OFF the ground. It'll come close but don't let it touch...we want to keep tension on the working leg.
Do all your reps on one leg then switch to the other.
Same deal - come down but don't let that back leg touch the ground.
When you push yourself back up at an angle like this, it works the lateral aspect of the hips and glutes extremely well, in addition to the gluteus maximus.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I post tons more exercises like this.
The Pistol Side Squat
This exercise is very similar in concept to the two versions above, only your non-working leg will be shooting out in front of you instead of coming around behind.
This is a Pistol Side-Squat, similar to a regular Pistol exercise, but gripping onto a solid object so that you can come down sideways, similar to a speedskating type of squat position. . This is a great not only for the legs and gluteus maximus...the side position targets the gluteus medius and minimus strongly as well. . Make sure you keep your leg and butt off the ground at the bottom for maximum workload on the glutes. #legs #glute #gluteexercises #glutes #squats #squatchallenge #pistolsquat #pistolsquats #legexercise #gluteexercises #gluteusmedius #gluteusminimus #buttexercise #hipexercises #speedskater #speedskatersquat #onelegsquat #onelegsquats #singlelegsquat #legworkout #gluteworkout #buttworkout #bodyweight #bodyweighttraining #calisthenics
Try these exercises out the next time you're working your legs and you'll be amazed at the results you can get from a simple bodyweight movement.
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