Own the Single Legged Deadlift

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Own the Single Legged Deadlift | Week 38 | Movement Fix Monday

The "What"

The single legged deadlift is a great tool that serves many purposes. It is underutilized, in my opinion, in many people's training. You need to own the single legged deadlift.

A good benchmark of ownership is being able to slowly and controlled perform 10 reps each leg with 70lbs for males and 53lbs for females. That will take some time and work for many people.

The "Why"

This exercise can be used to:

  • Improve single leg strength and motor control of the hip
  • Improve trunk rotational control
  • Actively "stretch" your hamstrings to improve range of motion
  • Teach your brain how to control hamstring range after doing passive or active stretching
  • Create stiffness and contraction from your lat to opposite glute
  • As part of a warm up flow (this is demo'ed at The Movement Fix Workshop)
  • And many more

The "How"

I always begin teaching the single legged deadlift by using a dowel placed on the back and being in contact with three points.

Those three points are:

  1. Back of the head
  2. Mid back
  3. Just at or below the belt line

There should be space between the points. For example, you should be able to place your fingers between the dowel and your low back. These three points must be maintained during this movement to ensure that you can control your spine and move at your hip.

There are a few common errors that occur with this lift that are covered in the video. To recap:

  • The lifted leg doesn't get driven high enough to the ceiling
  • The shoulder is 'disconnected'
  • The shoulder is held too tight and the kettlebell is pulled backward
  • Three points of contact are not maintained

It is tempting to go fast with this lift. Don't go fast. Train this lift slow and controlled at first. Own every degree of range of motion and don't go to the point of no return! Any depth you descend to in this lift you should be able to recover from under control.


- Ryan

Need more hip and low back mobility? Start with Day 1 of our Hip/Low Back Mobility Program for free:

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