Single-Leg Sit To Stand

This month, your challenge is to practice this move three days a week, in at least three different locations. This is a great move to sneak into your everyday routine, since the only equipment you need is a surface to sit on. Experiment with surface height and firmness to challenge your nervous system and recruit more muscle fibers. Anything from a toilet seat to a couch will work!

Muscles Worked

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Medius and minimus
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

How It Helps

This move strengthens your gluteus maximus for a more powerful stride, while also working your gluteus medius and minimus for improved single-leg stability. The lowering part of the movement works your hamstrings eccentrically, protecting against hamstring strains.

How To Do It

Try this exercise first on a firm chair or bench that is about hip height.

  1. Start seated on the chair with knees bent at 90 degrees and lift your left foot slightly off the ground.
  2. Lean slightly forward and drive your right foot into the ground, keeping weight in your midfoot to heel. Exhale as you rise to standing. Aim to keep your foot, knee and hip aligned.
  3. From this single-leg stance, inhale as you slowly reverse the movement to return to a seated position. Avoid plopping and focus on maintaining foot, knee and hip alignment.

Make it easier: Keep most of your weight in your stance-side leg, but use your other foot as a kickstand to help you push off and rise to standing.

Make it harder: Use a lower and/or softer surface.