The name single-leg Romanian deadlift may sound intimidating, but I assure you that it’s a great addition to your workout arsenal.

Why Should I Do It?

Single leg Romanian deadlift (T Nation).

If you’re a gym buff who could easily down 400 lbs on a deadlift or a marathon runner who could run 40 kilometers per hour, you’d be surprised to find out that a single-leg Romanian deadlift could still be challenging for you. Strength or mobility imbalances are things that regular exercises don’t usually address. Working out on a single leg allows us to work on these imbalances that could cause performance issues or injury risks, especially for active individuals like athletes. Aside from working on your balance, here are other reasons:

Better Backside

Single-leg RDL engages your posterior chain— the muscles on the back of your legs and hips. More specifically, the hamstrings and glutes. These two are greatly involved whenever we walk or run, or jump, which are activities done one leg at a time. So when you perform single-leg RDL, you train these muscles to perform well while doing these common activities.

Stability

In conjunction with what was mentioned above about fixing strength imbalances, this workout helps you be more stable when jogging or playing basketball. It works because ankle, knee, and hip stability were also developed while doing single-leg RDL.

Hip Health

Your non-weight-bearing leg is extended behind you whenever you perform this workout as you lean forward. This motion requires good hip mobility and hamstring, and hip-flexor flexibility. These muscles could feel tight due to extended periods of sitting. Thus, if you care for your hips, that’s one more reason to do a single-leg Romanian deadlift.

Okay, you’re convinced, and you want to add it to your routine. How should you do it?

Step 1: Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Raise one foot off the floor while flexing the knee on your standing leg. This standing leg is important to be slightly bent and not locked out.

Weighted single-leg RDL (T Nation).

Step 2: Bend at your hips and slowly lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor while keeping your back naturally arched.

Step 3: Pause for a few seconds, squeeze your glutes, and then slowly raise your torso back up and back to your starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps and then do the same on the other leg.

Additional notes: If you’re having difficulty keeping your balance, you could start by reaching onto something in front of you first until you’re comfortable enough to stand on one leg. And once you’re ready to incorporate weights like dumbbells or kettlebells, start with something lighter first and work your way up to the heavier ones.

As always, it is important to seek professional guidance if you’re performing the workout for the first time to avoid injuries. If you’re interested in more gym exercises, check out this article.

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