At Superior, the performance of our athletes is the top priority for us. SO when we choose an exercise, a weight, a rep, or a tool, we are choosing it because we believe that this selection will have a carryover to the biggest need: results on the field.
So, with this in mind, when we ask an athlete to do a single leg exercise, we insist that an athletes knee NOT touching the ground.
Some coaches and athletes believe that allowing the knee to touch the ground ensures that proper depth has been achieved. However, in most cases this insistence on depth is overblown. While the range of motion is important, the benefits that we lose and risks we take create an overall negative situation.
First, the negative
When an athlete is doing a single leg exercise like a rear foot elevated Split Squat, we want the athlete to get through their full range (as best as possible) and return upright. However, if we keep dropping fully to a single knee, we run the risk of injuring an athletes knee on impact. This repetitive impact, and the risk of a bigger impact if the athlete goes up in weight and isn't used to decelerating make the knee touch too risky.
The big reason the back leg shouldn't touch down in regards to performance is the loss of training the underlying musculature that supports the hip at the pelvic floor and surrounding support systems.
By stopping before an impact, athletes are responsible for stopping themselves under progressively heavier weights. These weights teach the stopping and cutting and impacts that happen on the field.
For an example, check out this post from our Instagram
In that video, you will see one of our athletes doing a single leg exercise with over 110 lbs of additional load, and making it look easy. We want this athlete to run and jump faster and higher, so we need the muscles and tendons that do that to be strong and resilient.
Whenever we are looking at improving the process, we need to think good/better/best. Here, the best thing we can do is teach what full range is, and control our way to it. That's how we make a savage.