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  1. kyle
    April 2, 2012 - 7:58 am

    Is the non-working leg supposed come straight back or across with the arm?

  2. Peter
    April 3, 2012 - 8:31 am

    How different is that from a DB single leg romanian Deadlift? It looks pretty similar

  3. tom
    April 3, 2012 - 8:39 am

    thanks for the article Eric. As a competitive tennis player, i can really benefit by adding this.
    My question is, when i peform this move with my left leg as the support, my knee collapses inward.
    It also happens on pistol and single-leg squats.
    Doesn’t happen on my right side.
    I’m coming in Saturday, i’d like to have you evaluate. but any thoughts now?

  4. Eric Cressey
    April 3, 2012 - 8:48 am

    Peter – more of an emphasis on the frontal and transverse planes.

  5. Eric Cressey
    April 3, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Tom – could be a number of things, most likely some hip stiffness on the left side.

  6. Ed Northcott
    April 3, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing this one, Eric.

  7. Tracy Ryckaert
    April 3, 2012 - 8:50 am

    I have been utilizing this squat (but call it a posterior reach), for strengthening the glute and it is excellent. The only additional cue I recommend is really watch for hanging on the piriformis. If they have not established the correct feeling of the glute med engaging, they think the piriformis is glute activation. I have found cuing to pull the hip in vs the knee out to be more effective. Start them next to a wall so they can jut the hip out.

  8. Chuck S
    April 3, 2012 - 11:38 am

    Peter, I think RDL above stands for Romanian deadlift.

  9. Marie
    April 3, 2012 - 11:45 am

    Thanks for the article. I have not be using this activation exercise – just RDL – and will start incorporating this immediately.

    I am curious about Tracy’s comment “to watch for hanging on the piriformis.” What does hanging on the piriformis look like?

  10. Heath
    April 3, 2012 - 11:55 am

    The balance alone makes this a nasty exercise – I like it!!!!

  11. Harsh
    April 3, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    I’ve been using the supine bridges for glute activation as warmups before any sort of activity. Eric is it safe to say that if I do these Bowler Squats I don’t need the supines anymore?

  12. Eric Cressey
    April 3, 2012 - 1:25 pm

    Harsh – I’d still do both.

  13. Jody
    April 3, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    Eric, what about the 2 April clinics mentioned in your email?

  14. Eric Cressey
    April 3, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Hi Jody,

    Sorry, that was an auto-correct by my Mac; doh! Didn’t mean to include that in the subject line, but you can learn more about my speaking schedule at:

  15. Chris
    April 4, 2012 - 7:54 am

    Great article Eric! Love the bowler squats and have included them in all my programming (they replaced reverse spider lunges in the w/up).

    Harsh, good to see you over here mate, definitely leave the glute bridges in there. Eric is the MAN, and I hope you jump in and follow one of his programs (i would go with Show and Go) and follow it. You wo’t look back.


  16. Cody R Camp
    April 5, 2012 - 12:17 am

    I am a huge fan of unilateral training in strength & conditioning programs. Single-leg deadlifts are fantastic for developing strength (I like to hold a kettlebell while I perform these), stability, and mobility. These types of movements easily translate into functional assets while in movement. Keep up the great work Eric!


  17. Dani
    April 7, 2012 - 7:54 am

    The other day at work I picked up something from the floor with a bowler squat, and it made me think, it’s also excellent to mobilize the sciatic nerve as Shacklock shows it in his book on Clinical Neurodynamics: Flexion, internal rotation and adduction of the hip to go more specifically for the sciatic nerve! (

  18. Goi
    April 11, 2012 - 1:41 am


    I’ve a right glute/lower back injury that causes some glute pain during back squats(less on front squats), and especially deadlifts. Bowler squats on my right leg are significantly more challenging balance wise than on my left leg. I can bang them out rep after rep on my left, but doing them on my right leg feels like I’m on a bosu ball. In addition, I feel pain in my butt while doing it. Should I continue this and try to correct the imbalance, or is the pain a contraindication?

  19. Eric Cressey
    April 11, 2012 - 5:58 am

    Goi – you should never train through pain. I’d encourage you to see a medical professional in your area.

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