When strength training, it is important to incorporate variations that improve weaknesses. Many athletes have a dominant side in their lifts—like when their right leg is stronger than the left and takes more of the weight in a squat, for example. Without correction, muscle imbalances can cause devastating injuries. One way to train both sides of the body equally is to do single-limb work.
Throughout the years, I have had had clients attempt exercises such as single leg deadlifts to strengthen their legs and improve any deficiencies. However, not everyone can do a single-leg exercise properly (especially without falling over). Sometimes the issue of balance is so great that the exercise does more harm than good. Using a B-stance is an excellent solution to this problem.
A B-stance exercise is one in which the working leg bears the majority of the weight and does the movement, and the other leg holds a supporting role in a kickstand position. To achieve this: stand with your weight on your right foot. Place left foot slightly behind the right and off to the side. You should remain on the ball of the foot on the supporting leg. The weight distribution should be 90% on the working leg, 10% on the supporting leg. In this position, you can perform squats, RDLs, deadlifts, good mornings, etc. This allows the lifter the benefit of single-leg movement without compromising balance.
Some benefits of B-stance training include:
- Unilateral strengthening with better balance
- Reduces strain on working leg
- Improves any asymmetries
- Can reduce pain in joints
- Allows lifter to strength train around injury
If you haven’t yet tried using B-stance, I encourage you to give it a shot. Start with just bodyweight or an empty bar. Get your stance comfortable and the movement perfected before you add any weight.