Hacking the Split Squat | The Fitness Show

Balance is an obstacle for a lot of members, so it's our job to give them the tools to succeed!

In this episode of The Fitness Show we explain why split stance exercises are important then give you 3 ways to hack the split squat to start building single leg strength. Then we give you some insight into resistance training concepts for the weekend warrior!

Check below for more details!

Hacking the Split Squat:

If you've been watching The Show (and the Coach's Corner) lately, we've been talking a lot about getting a healthy mix of patterns and positions into your workouts. For the lower body, a lot of people squat and deadlift but what about single leg, unilateral exercises? They tend to be avoided for two reasons: balance and strength differences between right and left side. 

How can you start to train single leg exercises? Split squats!

If you've avoided them previously, here are 2 ways to start learning them:
1) Grab a pad. Building the floor up to your level of comfort helps you learn the movement much faster.
2) Engage the lats and core. Creating tension through the hands and arms can help engage the lats which will help fire the core. If the core is working, we're more stable and confident.

Coach Mike uses a cable machine to engage the lats for a split squat and crushes the Ultimate Sandbag for stability in his back lunge. Spreading a mini-band or crushing a medicine ball can replicate the same tension strategy.

 

Progressive Resistance Training aka How to Get Stronger!

What is progressive resistance training? It’s in the name. It’s the concept that variables need to change regularly for the body to continue to adapt.

The variables we tend to focus on are:
1) The weight you’re using;
2) The amount of sets and reps AKA training volume:
3) Tempo, moving the weight faster or slower.

Now, what do most people do? They count to ten, lifting a moderate weight at a steady pace. There’s nothing wrong with this, but over time, the body will adapt. 

How can beginners work this into their routine?

1) Set a rep range for everything you're doing.  Pick a weight that you can perform safely for 8 reps (with one left in the tank), and work with that weight until you hit 12 reps.  Once you hit the top end of your range, simply up the weight.
2) Transition quickly from move to move, while still respecting your heart rate training protocols or rate of perceived exertion.  If you pick up the tempo over time, and only rest as much as you need to, your overall training volume will increase.

If you’re watching this and you have some exercise experience:

1) Start including isometrics. Do a spilt squat and hold the bottom for 3 seconds. 
2) Perform rep ladders. Ascending or descending rep ladders are another fun way to challenge the body.
3)Learn more advanced skills that allow you to safely move weight faster.  Learn to kettlebell swing and max lunge.
4) You can just do the old fashion thing too and continue to manipulate sets and reps. It never gets old.

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