The single leg box squat is a great exercise to use for any athlete who competes on his or her feet. Depending on strength and ability, this exercise can be used in a warmup, as a supplemental exercise, or even as a main lift in a lower body strengthening program. The only piece of equipment required for this exercise is a box, chair, coffee table, or anything else that is about knee height.
Start seated at the edge of the box with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Shift all your weight to one leg and stand up, maintaining good upper body posture. From here you will slowly lower yourself back down and attempt to tap the box and return to a standing position. This exercise is much more difficult to perform properly than it sounds, so some regressions include standing up with both legs and lowering with one, lowering with one and resetting in a full seated position each repetition, or even performing the whole exercise on two legs. As this exercise becomes easier, a kettlebell(s) can be added to the hands, the height of the target can decrease, or you can eliminate the target completely. Some visual cues to look for: toes are pointed forward, foot stays flat, knee is out over your toes, chest and head are both up.
This exercise is great for many reasons. The first is that if performed correctly, it is an effective method for strengthening the hip muscles. These are our primary lower extremity stabilizers and are important in injury prevention for all sports. The second is that the box serves as a target for the hips to reach. Having a target behind you will force you to shift some of your weight to your hips, which allows for an effective balance between the hip and knee. This hip hinge is an important movement to learn and master for any athlete who is resistance training, regardless of age or experience.