Top 10 Single Arm / Single Leg Exercises


Here at Made 2 Move, we love exercise and we love efficiency. If you put those two things together, then you're very likely speaking our language. There are quite *literally* thousands of potential exercises you could choose to get you stronger and I am sure that all of them could be beneficial in some capacity.


However, here are our favorites in terms of single arm or single leg exercises. This doesn't mean they're better in really any objective manner. They're just solid, efficient exercises that we know will get the job done. We threw in some generalized sets and reps that will work for most people. Find something moderately heavy and give these a try!



1. Single Arm DB Bench Press

The Bench Press - The holy grail of the globo gym. Look, we all love to bench press and if you don’t you are just weird. This is a great exercise to help improve your horizontal pressing abilities.

Additionally, this exercise is great for challenging your midline and translates well into other activities like running and swimming.

Add into your training with 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps on each side.

2. Single Arm Overhead Carry

Are your shoulders nagging you? Do you feel like you need to get your shoulders really warmed up before you use them for you main lifts?

This exercise is a great way to warm up your shoulder and rotator cuff but it can also be used as a stand alone accessory exercise to help bulletproof your shoulders.

Add into your training as a warm up on shoulder day using 1-2 sets to fatigue or use as a stand alone accessory exercise and complete 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps on each side.

3. Single Arm Landmine Press

The People’s Exercise! This exercise is great because we can go as heavy or as fast as we want. It has built in stability and doesn’t require a ton of shoulder range of motion.

Load this one up pretty heavy and challenge yourself to move the weight quickly.

Use this as a main lift or as accessory work on shoulder day. 3-4 sets of 4-8 reps would be great.

4. Single Arm DB Row

The last 3 exercises were all pushing. The fact is, we must put a heavy dose of pulling exercises into our daily and weekly routines.

Outside of the pull-up, this exercise may be the best pulling exercise out there.

Make it a staple of your routine and go heavy with it.

Add to your routine 1-2 times each week and complete 3-4 sets of 5-12 reps on each side.

5. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

This is my favorite exercise and is one that crushes me in the gym (in a good way???) every time.

What to be faster on your runs? Want to jump higher or further? Would you like to squat and deadlift more weight? Maybe you just want to improve your running and reduce injury risk.

Then this exercise needs to be part of your routine. 3-4 sets of 5-10 reps each side.

6. Single Leg RDL

Hamstring pain? What about low back pain?

Your posterior chain may be the problem and this exercise is one of the best ways to attack that weakness. Make your posterior chain stronger and you are likely to fix your hamstring, glute or low back pain.

Use as a warm up to get ready for squatting and deadlifting or as glute/hamstring accessory work.

Add to your routine with 1-2 sets to fatigue as a warm up or hit 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps as accessory work.

7. Single Leg Hip Thrust

The best things in life start with hip extension. Plus this one is great for runners looking to fix IT Band and Knee pain.

Get that pesky glute mead pulling its weight and increase performance while reducing injury risk.

Use in your warm up with 1-3 sets of 30 seconds or as accessory work and load up with a barbell or bands and hit 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

8. Single Arm DB Snatch

This one is all about power production. Pick a weight that you can move well and move quickly.

If you go to heavy you will go too slow and won’t be able to take full advantage of this exercise.

Use this exercise to increase your capacity in running, jumping, biking or almost any other athletic endeavors.

4-6 sets of 3-6 reps on each side will be enough.

9. Single Leg Hurdle Hops

If you are a runner, you need to have the capacity to hop on a single leg for an extended amount of time. You also need to be able to jump over a 6 inch hurdle multiple times.

Use this exercise to address the lower leg and your ability to maintain power and position while running.

Start slow with 25 jumps on each side and work up to a point where eventually you can do 50-100 hops on each leg (not at once but throughout a session or workout).

10. Suitcase Carry

Heavy carries are a great way to get super strong without a ton of wear and tear on your body.

Carries are also a great way to develop midline stability as well as superior glute med strength.

Runners, this one has to be a consistent part of your routine. Find a heavy load and carry it 50 meters. Repeat on each side 6 times.