In this 3 part series we are going to cover execution. scaling and programming of a few popular lower body, bodyweight exercises
Why Bodyweight Exercises for the Lower Body?
While I feel the best way to develop strength and explosiveness for the lower body is through squatting and pulling, there is an extremely neglected component with these exercises in building balance, coordination and useable mobility.
If you are truly interested in health and longevity those components are just as important as strength and explosiveness.
We are staring with my favorite and arguably the hardest single leg bodyweight exercise…. meaning the pistol has nothing on this!
Whatever variation you are working, this is being performed on one leg so we are incorporating balance as well as unilateral strength which prevents favoring one side from another.
Secondly there is an inverse relationship of strength to mobility as you progress this exercise, meaning you need both to advance.
Version 1: Skater
Version 2: Knee
Version 3: Shrimp with counter balance
Version 4: Full shrimp
These generally can be placed in towards the end of a lower body strength day. Meaning if you are doing heavy squatting and olympic lifting, do those first. You can follow those up with
5-7 unbroken reps/leg x 5 sets; rest as needed
I would do these before conditioning, as being exhausted can take away from our balance. The unbroken component makes it so we are choosing a variation well within our capability level and are actually getting a training stimulus.