Tip: Do the Skater Squat to Get Stronger

It's challenging and it'll make you a better barbell squatter. Here's how to do it.

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This is an accessory movement for the squat with the benefit of building single-leg strength, stability, and coordination. This variation is easier on the knees than pistol squats and may be used in place of them for those with sensitive knees. The "countermovement" aspect makes the exercise easier to perform by shifting the center of mass forward, which increases the lever arm of the hip and decreases the lever arm of the knee.

Dumbbell Skater Squat With Countermovement

Dumbbell Skater Squat

  • Stand on one leg while holding onto two light dumbbells. Bend one knee to 90 degrees so that one foot is behind you.
  • Sit back on the heel of the stance leg and lean forward slightly, then begin the descent. Go as low as possible, touching the back knee to an Airex Balance pad or something of similar thickness while simultaneously raising the dumbbells as in a front raise.
  • Maintain a neutral spine while driving through the heel of the stance leg and return to the start position.

Common Mistakes

  • Going too heavy and allowing the hips to hike.
  • Rounding the back or leaning forward excessively.
  • Allowing the back leg to drift to either side, causing excessive rotation.
  • Reaching for the ground with the dumbbells rather than maximizing range of motion at the hips.
Bret Contreras is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training. He has turbo-charged the fitness industry by introducing effective new exercises and training methods for optimal glute development. Follow Bret Contreras on Twitter