Smith Single Leg Split Squat

Smith Single Leg Split Squat

The Smith Single Leg Split Squat is an excellent exercise for targeting the muscles of your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise is a variation on the traditional split squat, but using a Smith machine instead of free weights provides additional stability and control. To perform the Smith Single Leg Split Squat, start by positioning yourself under the Smith machine bar and place one foot in front of the other, with your front foot a few feet in front of the machine. Your back foot should be positioned behind you, and the toes of both feet should be pointing forward. The bar should be resting comfortably on your shoulders, with your hands gripping the bar for stability. Lower your body down by bending at the knees and hips, ensuring that your front knee stays directly above your ankle and doesn't extend too far forward. Your back knee should be lowered to just above the ground, forming a 90-degree angle with your front leg. Keep your torso upright and avoid leaning forward or backward. Once you have reached the bottom of the movement, push through your front heel to extend your legs and return to the starting position. Perform the desired number of repetitions on one leg before switching to the other leg. The Smith Single Leg Split Squat can be easily adjusted to accommodate your fitness level by adding or removing weight on the bar. Additionally, this exercise can be modified to target specific muscles by adjusting your foot positioning. By focusing on proper form and gradually increasing the weight as you become more comfortable, you can effectively strengthen your lower body and improve overall stability.


  • Start by standing in front of a Smith machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Position yourself under the Smith bar and place the barbell onto your upper back and shoulders, making sure it rests securely.
  • Lift one foot and place it a step or two behind you, keeping your toes pointing forward.
  • Lower your body down by bending your front knee and hip, keeping your chest up and core engaged.
  • Continue lowering until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, or as low as you can comfortably go.
  • Pause at the bottom, then push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs and repeat.

Tips & Tricks

  • Start with bodyweight and focus on perfecting your form before adding any external resistance.
  • Engage your core and keep a straight spine throughout the entire exercise.
  • Keep your front foot flat on the ground and your knee aligned with your toes to prevent excessive strain.
  • Have a controlled descent by slowly lowering your body down and engaging your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Focus on pushing through your front heel to activate your quadriceps and glute muscles.
  • Maintain a consistent rhythm and avoid rushing through the exercise to ensure proper muscle activation.
  • Consider using a mirror or filming yourself to check your form and make necessary adjustments.
  • Practice proper breathing techniques by inhaling during the eccentric phase and exhaling during the concentric phase.
  • Incorporate unilateral exercises like the Smith Single Leg Split Squat to improve balance and stability.
  • Listen to your body and adjust the range of motion or intensity based on your fitness level and any potential limitations.


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