The one leg step-up is a simple and effective leg exercise that strengthens leg muscles while building balance and leg-muscle control.
Stand facing a flat bench with your arms up at the sides of your head with elbows bent, your hands gently cupping the sides of your head, and your feet hip-width apart.
- From the starting position, step your left foot up onto the flat bench (see Photo 1).
- As soon as the left foot is on top of the flat bench, use the muscle of the left leg to bring the right foot powerfully up onto the flat bench (see Photo 2).
- As soon as the right foot is on top of the flat bench, reverse motion and bring the right foot back down to the floor. Leave the left foot up on the flat bench and perform an entire set with the left leg in the top position (see Photos 3 and 4).
- When you have finished a set with the left leg in the top position, reverse feet and repeat with the right leg in top position (see Photo 5).
The dumbbell variation of the one-leg step-up is a more advanced version of the weights-free one-leg step-up. To do the dumbbell variation, simply hold the dumbbells in each hand at your sides with your palms facing inwards, then perform the steps outlined above.
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.