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How To Do Alternating One Down Two Up Squats With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_ALTERNATING_ONE_DOWN_TWO_UP_SQUATS.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Alternating One Down Two Up Squats With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do Alternating One Down Two Up Squats With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_ALTERNATING_ONE_DOWN_TWO_UP_SQUATS.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>The squat is a foundational move that everyone should have in their exercise arsenal. A compound exercise, squats target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. They also have benefits for your core, arms, upper and lower back. What you may not know is that there are modifications you can make to take those powerful benefits to the next level. Here we’re going to teach you an intermediate variation on the squat that promotes muscle symmetry: the alternating one down, two up squat.</p> <p>The alternating one down, two up squat is a great precursor to more challenging variations. To perform this movement, stand in front of a chair with your feet together. Extend and lift your left leg off the ground. Slowly lower yourself to the chair with your left leg still in the air. Once you’re seated, stand back up using both legs. This exercise works each leg individually. Unilateral work is crucial for ensuring symmetrical strength and size gains in our leg muscles.</p> <p>Because the alternating one down, two up squat is an intermediate exercise, beginners may want to start with the feet together squat. Stand up with your feet together. Next bend your knees and hinge at the hips to drop into a squat. Go as far down to the floor as you can before pressing back up to the starting position. With your feet together, you’ll have much more stability, but this move will definitely work your lower body hard.</p> <p>Once you’re comfortable with the alternating one down, two up squat, move on to the advanced variation: the alternating one leg sit to stand. Place yourself in front of a couch or chair. Put your weight on your left foot and raise your right leg. Hold your arms out in front of you for balance. Hinge at the hips and lower yourself to the chair. Press through your left heel to stand back up, then switch to do the exercise on the opposite side. This exercise takes you halfway towards the one down, two up squat—that means it shares many of the same strength building benefits. </p> <p>Let’s learn how to perform the alternating one down, two up squat with great form.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Stand in front of a couch or chair with your feet together.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-1"> </picture> <li>Lift your left leg off the ground and extend it out in front of you.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-2"> </picture> <li>Slowly lower yourself onto the couch or chair with your left leg still extended. You can put your arms in front of you or place your hands on your hips for balance.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-3"> </picture> <li>Stand back up using both legs.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-4"> </picture> <li>Repeat the movement, this time lifting your right leg off the ground and dropping down from your left leg.</li> <li>Continue alternating until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Make sure to keep your feet pressed into the ground. You want around 70 percent of your weight on your heels and 30 percent on the balls of your feet. Also, grip the floor with your toes. This helps you stay balanced while keeping the muscles along the backside of your body active.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-5"> </picture> <li>Keep your hips balanced. It’s easy for one hip to drop below the other during this move, but you want them to be aligned with one another throughout the movement.</li> <li>Your knees should track over your toes like a normal squat. Because this is a one-legged exercise, you actually want the knee you’re putting your weight on to point very slightly inward. Avoid letting your knees wobble too far in or out as this can cause pain.</li> <li>Don’t hunch your back as you drop into the squat. Instead make sure that your back stays nice and straight and your chest stays up. This keeps your weight distributed in the right way to hit the muscles we’re targeting with this move.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-6.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-6.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-6.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/one-down-two-up-LR-6.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="one-down-two-up-6"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you drop down and exhale as you lift back up to get the blood pumping and to keep your mind focused on form.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The alternating one down, two up squat is a powerhouse variation on the squat that builds lower body strength, improve flexibility, and boosts your balance. Don’t worry about doing a ton of reps of this exercise. Instead, focus on doing smooth, slow repetitions to a count of three to maximize your results.</p> <p>Again, if you’re not quite ready to tackle the alternating one down, two up squat, start with the feet together squat. It’s a perfect move to increase leg strength to prepare you for the intermediate and advanced variations. When you’ve mastered both of these moves, try the alternating one leg sit to stand. If you want to get your glutes and thighs in shape, this move does wonders.</p> <p>You’ve got all the keys to perform the perfect alternating one down, two up squat, so it’s time to test it out! Try incorporating a few sets into your next workout, or do some reps during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show.</p> </section> </article>

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