In the previous column, I highlighted the benefits of upper body pulling using body weight. This exercise involves single limb support with a contralateral rowing upper body rowing motion. Single-leg stability, balance and trunk control is an integral part of optimal sport performance and running. More importantly, single-leg training helps reduce and eliminate asymmetry or imbalances that predispose clients to injuries.
Execution: Place a kettle bell or dumbbell in your right hand. Balance on the left leg keeping the knee slightly bent (between 30 and 45 degrees) while maintaining a neutral spine. Now, perform one arm rows with a steady and predictable cadence, while working to resist trunk rotation during the movement. Cue the client to keep the right heel pointed up toward the ceiling.
Perform 8-12 repetitions or 30 seconds focusing on quality repetitions with minimal sway or loss of balance. Switch legs and repeat on the other side. Perform 2-3 sets on each side. Early on, it may be helpful to brace the free hand on a table, foam roller or steady object to help ensure proper form.
Regression: Consider a rearfoot supported position (using a step) to alleviate any balance concerns along with upper body support as needed before attempting the unsupported exercise. If this proves too challenging, begin in bipedal stance before moving to the single leg version.
Application: The single-leg one arm row is useful for improving hip strength/stability, postural strength and endurance, balance and trunk control. It is especially useful for eliminating strength and movement asymmetries, while improving core endurance. It is useful for runners and athletes looking to increase performance, improve body control and decrease injury risk.