One of the best exercises for runners, whether recovering from an injury or trying to prevent one, is the one leg squat.


  1. Balance on one leg. Flex the knee of your non-weight bearing leg so that the foot is pointing toes down, behind you. This is a similar position to the recovery phase in running.
  2. Keep the arms loosely out to the side to assist in balance. Don't grab on to anything for support.
  3. Bend at the knee, and lower yourself. Go down to approx. a 90-degree bend at the knee, and then back up again.
  4. Keep your balance, and observe if you have more difficulty with one leg.
  5. Watch yourself in a mirror. Concentrate on keeping the pelvis in a stable plane. Look for an abnormal side-to-side tilt, or ant/post tilt.
  6. Usually, 3 sets of 20 for each leg is sufficient Color
  7. As you get better at this, add some weight. You can do this with hand held weights, or a bar across the shoulders.

Mr. Bones the animated skeleton demonstrates the one-leg squat. This short QuickTime movie (667 k ) is best viewed by having your movie-player continuously loop back through the cycle (or just repeatedly press the play key)

jenky@rice.edu (last updated 1/97.)