Single-leg box squat

The single-leg box squat is a bodyweight exercise that targets the muscles of the lower body, including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It is similar in form to a pistol squat, except that you sit to a box. This allows you to customize the depth of the movement to your movement abilities and mobility level. For this reason, the single-leg box squat is a popular movement for building leg strength in beginning trainees. It can be performed in lower strength-focused rep ranges, such as 5-8 reps per leg, or for higher reps for muscle building.


  1. Builds muscle and strength in the quads and glutes
  2. Challenges and improves balance
  3. Box height can be customized to ability level
  4. Effective substitute for pistol squats, skater squats, or other advanced bodyweight squat variations

Single-leg box squat Images


Single-leg box squat Instructions

Single-leg box squat muscle diagram
  1. Choose a bench or box so that when you sit on it, your knee is bent at 90 degrees. Begin by standing 6-12 inches in front of the boxes, in a hip-width stance and your knees slightly bent (when you descend, your butt should hit the edge of the box). Have your arms down by your side or out in front of you for added stability.
  2. Start with your dominate leg as your stationary, working leg. Fully extend your opposite leg and raise it 6-8 inches off the ground straight in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  3. Bending at the knee of your stationary leg, push the hips and butt back and begin to descend towards the box. As you descend, your other leg will remain hovering off of the ground.
  4. Continue until your butt touches the box. Allow it to gently touch before immediately pushing through your heels and returning to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for recommended amount of repetitions and then switch legs.