Side-to-side exercises add durability to your hips and knees by strengthening smaller muscles like the adductors in the inner thigh. That leads to bigger, safer squats. Try this:
Dumbbell Goblet Elevated Lateral Squat
Some lifters will do bodyweight lateral squats in their warm-up or on their off-day for mobility purposes. While this is helpful, it's important to also load this pattern with considerable dumbbell resistance to reap the benefits of stronger adductors. Elevate one foot roughly 3-4 inches off the floor to really load up.
The key here is to get pretty damn strong in this position, especially at the bottom. Why? Well, consider a still-frame image of a lifter at the bottom of his squat. Now, cut that image in half with only one knee visible. The half remaining displays what one leg (knee bent) should look like in the lateral squat while the half missing would represent the other leg in a long position.
Essentially, the lateral squat should mimic what the bottom of your regular squat looks like on one side. Getting brutally strong with the lateral squat carries over to your standard squats.
How to Do It
- Hold a dumbbell in the goblet position with both hands directly against the chest.
- Elevate one foot 3-4 inches off the floor on a bumper plate or similar sturdy object.
- Reach the other foot out wide and long to the side.
- Keep both feet planted the entire time.
- Drop down in the lateral squat position and then drive back up to the top.