Skater Squats are a great single leg movement that, in my opinion, is often underutilized especially compared to the much more popular single-leg exercises like lunges and step-ups.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Skater Squats, what the benefits are along with a few alternatives in case you need them.
How To Do Skater Squats
- Squeeze the shoulder blades and engage the lats to create a stable back to help with bracing the upper body
- Step backward with one leg, but do not place the foot back down on the ground.
- Instead, keep the chest as upright as possible and drop the back knee until it lightly touches the ground.
- Now drive through the heel and midfoot of the front foot to drive yourself back up tall.
- Repeat on the opposite leg and alternate back and forth until all reps have been completed.
Coaching Points (Fixes to Common Mistakes)
Keep the front foot flat on the floor when in the lunge position. One of the most common mistakes is raising up onto the ball of the front foot.
If you’re not able to do Skater Squats with good form, switch to a regular Reverse Lunge until you’re ready to do Skater Squats with proper form.
Benefits of Skater Squats
Single Leg Movements like Skater Squats are an extremely important addition to any athlete’s workout regimen, regardless of sport (They’re also extremely beneficial for day-to-day activities for non-athletes as well).
Many (if not most) athletic movements are often done on one leg. This includes sprinting, jumping and cutting.
Single Leg Exercises help improve leg strength, balance, stability and also show any strength imbalances the lifter may have from one side to the other. Single Leg Exercises can also be part of the solution if and when an asymmetry is found.
Skater Squats have the added benefit of reducing some stress on the knees. Stepping backward takes away the forward momentum that is generated during forward lunges. This can make a notable difference in the amount of stress you feel on the knees.
Skater Squat Alternatives
If you can’t do Skater Squats, for whatever reason (you don’t have dumbbells for example), here are a few alternatives that you may be able to try out.
You may be able to try Barbell Reverse Lunges instead. Barbell Lunge is a very similar movement but involves placing a barbell on the back similar to a back squat and placing the back foot on the ground.
The only instance that I would hesitate against using Barbell Lunges is if the athlete cannot hold an upright torso. Some athletes, due to mobility issues, hinge forward heavily at the hip during lunges.
In these cases, I would recommend sticking with dumbbells (Dumbbell Reverse Lunge) until the lifter’s mobility is improved.
If DB Lunges are uncomfortable for you, then Dumbbell Step-Ups may be a good single-leg replacement. Some athletes find that Lunges, even with proper form, to be hard on their knees.
Sometimes, Reverse Lunges may be a solution, but other times I’ll just have them switch to Dumbbell Step-Ups. It’s still a great exercise to get in the needed single leg work, but without the same amount of stress placed on the knees.
Another good single-leg alternative for Skater Squats – that doesn’t require any equipment at all – is the Pistol Squat.
If you’re really good at them you literally need no equipment at all, but at most you’ll only need a box or chair to sit down to.
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