Balance demands increase with single-leg exercises. Your major muscle groups like your quads and hamstrings isometrically contract to take on the brunt of the strength demands, but many other muscles keep you falling over.
Activates Stabilizer Muscles
Single-leg exercises require more muscles to stabilize than two-leg exercises. Stabilizer muscles include your hips, core, calves, side glutes and groin muscles.
Reduces Muscle Imbalances
Single-leg exercises reduce imbalances because we often have one leg that is stronger than the other, either due to injury or just having a stronger side. Always performing 2 leg (bilateral) exercises further the imbalance since the stronger leg will always do more work than the other. Single leg exercises promote strength and balance on both sides because they isolate the right and left side muscles. Having an imbalance in the strength of your limbs forces your body to compensate for one side's weaknesses. This is one of the major contributors to alignment issues.
While you may not feel that same burn you'd feel in an abs-specific workout, you're working all the muscles in your core when you're trying to perform a single leg move because you need to brace your core all the way around to keep your balance.
Single-leg exercises mimic many of the movements we do in everyday life. Walking, running, jumping, hiking, and playing sports are all single-leg movements. Doing this type of exercise in your training is good for your overall functionality because it closely resembles how you are actually moving your body in real life.
These benefits apply to lots of different single leg exercises including single leg squats, lunges, deadlifts, kicks, and hopping on one foot as seen in this weeks Track of the Week “Where Are You Now”.