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6 Ways to Maximize Your Single-Leg Deadlift

The single-leg deadlift (SLDL) is about an entire lot greater than constructing a robust, tight booty (though I don’t thoughts that aspect impact in any respect!)


It’s about enhancing your general physique perform, power, and efficiency. It improves stability, foot power, ankle mobility, knee stability, hamstring flexibility, hip hinge capacity, posture, shoulder stability, grip power, in addition to power within the hamstrings and quadriceps. And, in fact, glute power and definition.


So, whereas as you may anticipate, the SLDL will improve your power on your squat and deadlifts, it can additionally influence your efficiency on many different power strikes. For instance, at StrongFirst, we use the SLDL as a software to improve stability and power for pistol squats in addition to because the lunge sample for the Turkish get-up. Few different workouts deliver enchancment throughout such a assorted vary as shortly and successfully because the SLDL.


Plus, there are various progressions and regressions for the SLDL, making this train applicable for all power and health ranges—in addition to helpful for many who need to wave the hundreds of their coaching week. Add sluggish body weight reps, weighted reps, and holds at your sticking factors into your weekly coaching program. (You can carry out this motion at a reasonably excessive quantity with out over-working the knees.)


Unfortunately, aside from being extensively underutilized, the SLDL can also be typically carried out incorrectly, placing exercisers on the fast-track to damage.


How to Perform the Single-Leg Deadlift



  1. Stand tall and tight (the best way you’d maintain your physique in a plank, solely standing).
  2. Press your working leg’s foot arduous into the ground.
  3. Slide your non-loaded leg again behind you whereas preserving that ankle dorsi flexed (your toes flexed towards your shin). Your toes ought to be just some inches off of the ground.
  4. Inhaling via your nostril, slowly hinge on the hips to decrease your torso ahead, towards the ground, and concurrently bend your entrance knee. Let your again leg increase so far as is snug whereas ensuring to keep a impartial backbone.
  5. Keep the hips and shoulders degree with the ground.
  6. Exhale with a rigidity breath and press the working foot into the ground to return to standing.

Before including weight, first use solely your body weight to sample the right motion slowly. Practice hinging on the hip whereas sustaining correct alignment and pressure, earlier than including weights.


Essential Tips to Get the Most from the Single-Leg Deadlift

1. Do it barefoot.

By gripping the ground together with your toes you’ll really feel extra rooted to the bottom, which can enhance your stability and strengthen your ft. As you grip and create a extra secure base, this enables you to concentrate on the monitoring of your hip, knee, and toe as you descend into the hip hinge.

It may even assist to improve your proprioception, that’s, your potential to sense the place and motion of your physique elements within the surrounding area, with out having to look. Having good proprioception improves your stability, agility, and coordination, helps you progress extra effectively, and reduces your danger of damage.

2. Watch your knees.

Performing the SLDL too shortly prevents you from proudly owning the “sticking points” (the elements the place, when carried out appropriately, you may wrestle somewhat extra, actually getting caught in these elements). One widespread error I see is valgus collapse, which is when the knee caves inward. While that is typically due to a weak spot or lack of motor coordination within the hip stabilizers (gluteus medius particularly), it will probably additionally occur merely due to performing the descent too shortly, so ensure you take your time controlling the motion.

three. Keep your again leg straight.

Like the deadlift and Romanian deadlift, the SLDL is a hinge with a impartial backbone. Prior to hinging, it’s important to plant the entrance foot and prolong the again leg straight behind you. When you begin this motion with the again leg bent, it will probably trigger you to hunch or spherical your again as you hinge ahead. Rounding your backbone on this place, notably whereas lifting a heavy weight, may cause again ache and tremendously will increase your danger of damage.


four. Bend the entrance leg for larger activation.

As you hinge on the hips, permit the knee of the entrance leg to bend barely for larger depth, to improve recruitment within the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. This proper right here make the SLDL extra environment friendly than a straight-leg (or stiff-leg) deadlift, which doesn’t recruit as many muscle fibers.


5. Keep your physique in a straight line.

It is necessary to maintain the hips and shoulders sq. to the ground and never increase the non-working leg too excessive. Raising the leg too excessive will trigger you to arch your lumbar backbone and lose that essential glute contraction on the again leg.


Instead, take into consideration extending your physique from the highest of your head to the very tip of your heel of the again leg in a straight line. A useful cue right here is to visualize reaching together with your your heel to attempt to contact a wall behind you that’s too distant for you to truly attain. By desirous about reaching behind you towards a wall, you’ll deepen your hinge, keep alignment, and recruit extra muscle tissue.


Keep your again leg straight, bend the entrance leg, keep a straight line from  your head to the heel of your again foot.


6. Check your method earlier than going heavier.

After you could have hung out working towards the sluggish body weight SLDL, document a brief video of your self to see when you’ve got perfected the motion. If you’re assured and cozy, now you possibly can sample the motion loaded with both a kettlebell, dumbbell, or barbell. Remember, particularly when loading the SLDL with a heavy load, to keep the sluggish and aware motion, and ensure you’re not dashing previous a sticking level.

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