How to: To start this exercise you will need to elevate one leg behind you on something sturdy about 12 to18 inches high. The other leg will then need to be positioned so that your foot will be well in front of you. To initiate this exercise you will need lower your hip straight down towards the floor while maintaining majority of the weight through the heel of the front foot. Lower your hips until your forward leg is bent to 90 degrees and then push yourself straight back up to an upright position. It is important that throughout out the exercise that your knee stays aligned with your heel and that you maintain good posture. Keeping your shoulders back and down while sticking out your chest will help achieve a good posture for this exercise.
What is strengthens: This exercise is a multi-joint exercise which means it use multiple muscle groups to perform this exercise. The primary muscle is the quadriceps. And the secondary muscles are the hip flexors and hamstrings. Since this exercise requires you to hold weight this will also strengthen your core, forearms and shoulders.
Equipment needed: Dumbbells or kettlebells, and a box or step to elevate that rear leg.
Modifications: An easier modification for this exercise is to lower the height of the leg that is being elevated and limit the amount of weight being lifted. This exercise is a very challenging exercise as it is, and the only way to make it more challenging is to increase the weight being used without losing good technique.
Applications: This multi-joint exercise strengthens multiple muscle groups that can be very beneficial for work or leisure related physical activity. This is a challenging exercise that will improve strength and power throughout the lower extremities of the body. Another added benefit to this exercise is that it will work on correcting bad posture throughout the upper extremities of the body.