One of my favourite exercises is the barbell front racked reverse lunge. Now, one cool thing you can do with this exercise is to elevate your front foot. Don’t make the mistake of elevating the front foot too high though – just 2-4 inches is enough.
I use a 25kg weight plate as my elevator but most people use one of those plastic exercise steps. (I have a garage gym so I have to be creative with the equipment and space I have!)
Why this elevation is so good? The hamstrings and glutes are stretched even more (between reps as well as during reps). This is an excellent simple modification therefore for working the posterior chain even more than when the front foot is flat.
How do you know where and how to place the external load (the weight) when you’re doing single leg exercises? Hopefully this blog post will give you some clues.
The four main options are
- Barbell front rack
- Barbell back rack
- Dumbbells by your sides
- Dumbbells overhead
I wear different shoes depending on what exercise I’m doing. Here is a brief breakdown of what shoes I wear for which exercises and why.
Weightlifting shoes – for snatches, clean and jerks, squats and overhead work
I use Olympic weightlifting shoes for most exercises. It goes without saying that I use them for the snatch and clean and jerk and their variations, and I use them for squats and overhead work as well.
I prefer weightlifting shoes for anything overhead (not just the jerk, but also the push press and strict press). I use dumbbells or a barbell. Weightlifting shoes feel solid for pressing and help remind me to use my glutes. I like having my heels raised for overhead work, it seems to help me activate my glutes more. Whenever I press with a barefoot shoe, I don’t feel I am able to generate as much power and my body/core doesn’t feel as solid. Continue reading
The way my programming usually is is that I have ‘Leg Days’ and on these days I tend to start with heavy low rep squats and then after that I do some sort of single-leg exercise, such as lunges or Bulgarian Split Squats. So my Leg Day programme may look like this:
- First exercise: Front Squats 5×5
- Second exercise: Lunges 3×10
For the single-leg exercises I normally do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. I do this despite knowing that 1-5 reps are better for building strength. Here are some of the reasons why you might also use high reps for single leg exercises: Continue reading