GGS
7 Comments
Apr
18
2014

Exercise Spotlight: Single Leg Deadlift

 

Why the Single Leg Deadlift is referred to as the non-surgical butt lift…

The single leg deadlift should be in every strong girl’s training arsenal (and in every strong male’s for that matter).

This exercise is unique in that it allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of learning how to stabilize on one leg, while training each side of your body without favoring or over-compensating. Although I’m a huge fan of the traditional deadlift, my opinion is that the benefits and versatility of the single leg deadlift outweigh those of the traditional deadlift.

The single leg deadlift teaches you an impressive array of skills. Right from the start you learn how to root your bare foot to the ground and hinge in a pattern that fires up the entire posterior chain.  Might I add that this exercise creates a phenomenal and strong rear end.

GGS Co-Founder Molly Galbraith gets in on the Single Leg Deadlift action.

GGS Co-Founder Molly Galbraith gets in on the Single Leg Deadlift action.


 
(As an added bonus, many of my students have reported to me that they’ve noticed a decrease in cellulite since incorporating this exercise into their training. If that alone doesn’t get you doing this exercise, I don’t know what will!)

In this article I’m going to give you an overview of how to do the Single Leg Deadlift.

I recommend learning this entire movement before picking up the kettlebell.  Once you’ve mastered the movement, you can use one kettlebell or two kettlebells to increase the difficulty of the exercise.

Single Leg Deadlift

1. Root your foot by gently stomping your foot on to the ground. In order to complete a successful rep you must have all 5 toes on your stabilizing leg and your heel firmly planted on to the floor.

2. Slowly hinge your hips back while also hinging your knee until you have a very flat back.  (No rounding of the back is permitted!)
The moving leg should be straight out behind you with minimal knee bend to keep your spine aligned properly.  Remember that the torso and the back leg have a seesaw relationship so the higher your back leg goes, the lower your chest goes, being careful to never let your chest drop lower than your hips.

3. As you hinge back and sit deep in to the single deadlift position, feel for the bell that is placed right outside your stabilizing foot.  Note: Do not look down at the bell. Your vision should be straight ahead or on the floor 4-6 ft in front.

4. Firmly grip the handle of the kettlebell, make sure your shoulder is pulled back so your lat engages properly during the entire movement.

5. Hinge your hip forward while bringing the bell with you. Lock out your stabilizing leg and squeeze your glute.

Single Leg Deadlift - Front View

Single Leg Deadlift – Front View

Now that you know how to perform a Single Leg Deadlift, here are a few suggestions on how to incorporate this amazing glute strengthening exercise in your workout.

1. Place this exercise in the beginning of your training session. This is considered a “grind” lift, therefore you want to feel very fresh attempting this exercise, especially if you’re a beginner.

2. Beginners should focus just on the movement pattern alone with a very light weight or no weight at all. Reps can range from 6-10 per side when learning the pattern.

3. Intermediate/Advanced trainees can use much heavier weight, whether it be with one or two kettlebells.  The suggested rep range for moderate to heavy (weighted) Single Leg Deadlifts is 4-6 reps per side.

Single Leg Deadlift - Side View

Single Leg Deadlift – Side View

Sample full body workout incorporating the Single Leg Deadlift for a beginner:

A1) Elevated/Incline Push-up x 6-10 reps

A2) Single Leg Deadlift x 6-10 reps per side

Perform both exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest in between.  Repeat 2-3 times

B1) Inverted Row x 8-10 reps

B2) Goblet Squats x 8-10 reps

B3) Weighted Glute Bridge x 8- 10 reps

Perform both exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest in between.  Repeat 2-3 times

Sample full body workout incorporating the Single Leg Deadlift for an intermediate or advanced lifter:

A1) Push-ups x 5 reps

A2) Single Leg Deadlift 5 reps per side

Perform both exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest in between.  Repeat 3-4 times

B1) One Arm Rows x 6 reps per side

B2) Goblet Squats x 6 reps

B3) Heavy Swings x 10 reps

Perform both exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest in between.  Repeat 3-4 times

 

Hope you enjoy this exercise as much as I do.  Please let me know how it goes!

 

Lauren Brooks Headshot

 

Lauren Brooks, Senior SFG, is the owner of On The Edge Fitness in Encinitas, California.  Teaching a variety of men and women, especially mothers, how to be strong, empowered, and ready for life is what she does.

Lauren is the creator of The Kettlebell Body DVD, along with the popular series Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells.

Lauren, mother of two little girls, continues to lead by example. You can find out more about Lauren by visiting her website ontheedgefitness.com or her blog, kbellqueen.blogspot.com, which includes recipes, workouts, and continued inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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