A Brief Tutorial on the Single Leg Deadlift

Posted: August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Everything must be balanced out in our training. We need to push, pull, hinge squat and carry things around. Now as you may be aware that doing all of these moves can be a tall order to do in a session or in a particular phase of training. You may have also noticed that if you always do the same exact movement over and over again without an intelligent progression or some kind of variation, that you will burn out and stop progressing. In fact, you will most likely get weaker and worse. We often refer to this concept in the world of training as the “law of diminishing returns.”

This occurs when the brain and body have had too much stress from the same exact motion over and over again and need some time to recover. This could mean that you will need to take so time off from training in order to recover.er. Or that you will simply need to utilize the same but different concept in order to get your “groove back” while getting stronger.


The single leg dead lift is extremely useful for this phenomenon to take place.  It is challenging enough due to being on one leg and lifting sufficiently heavy weights to challenge the pattern. Yet at the same time is different enough to make the brain perceive it as a lighter or a back off move. This will enable you to recover and get stronger on your symmetrical deadlifts. Once again when it is used appropriately, it is a win-win move!


Now that you have my sales presentation, (lol) let’s get into the how to of today’s move. The single leg deadlift is done by:

  • Hinging back on one leg while maintaining your weight down the middle of the leg that is on the ground.
  • Push your leg that is off the ground back towards the wall behind you.(make sure to not let it go up as you do)
  • Tighten up your abs, lats and glutes as you hinge and stay tight until the lift is finished. (The load is back on the floor)
  • Drive your heel down into the floor to stand up and continue this technique until your set is over.

 If you know how to do a regular deadlift this technique shouldn’t be hard for you. The only thing that you may struggle with is the balance part. However, that can be taken care of by staying tight and following the cues that I just gave you above and in the video. It is really that simple, take your time perfecting the move and making it easier as you train it. You will not regret the time you spend training it in conjunction with your regular deads or as a standalone move.


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