Sl Rdl

Avoid This Single Leg Deadlift Mistake!


I LOVE single leg Romanian deadlifts. I mean really love. Not just because they’re my fav move to build a phenomenal rear end (hello free butt lift!), but because for the ladies I work with at Hurst Strength, they deliver a really incredible bang for our buck: single leg stability plus diesel strength in our glute and hamstrings – two muscles that tend to be alarmingly weak in many women.

A strong backside means less back and knee pain, overall lower risk of injury, more power and speed in your body’s engine, better posture, stable hips, and basically a dip into the fountain of youth.

If you can master single leg RDLs, you can master life.




Single leg RDLs can be tricky and at times downright frustrating to get the hang of. A lot of qualities have to harmoniously come together (core strength, hip stability, ankle stability, upper back strength, balance) in order to perform them effectively.

So today I want to address a really common mistake I see made when doing them: tipping forward instead of truly hinging from the hips.

If you are unfamiliar with the hip hinge (the foundational movement behind all things deadlift): Read this first!


As I demoed in the video, a lot of people mistakenly keep their hip stacked on top of their knee and just bend over at their waist, rather than performing a 1-legged hip hinge and pushing back into their hip while keeping their knee soft.

When you do this, you’ll probably feel it much more in your calves than you do your hamstrings and your glutes. You’ll also put a lot of unnecessary stress on your lower back, especially when you add load, and you won’t get that beautiful hip hinge we’re aiming for.bendandsnap

If you struggle to nail your form on these, try the progression I show in the video or practice single leg RDL isometric holds. These consist of just holding the bottom position of the movement, with full body tension, for 15-30s per side. These are great to add into the end of your warm up.


How To Perform Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts:

-Take your shoes off. Being barefoot will help you root into the floor better, strengthen your feet, and help you get more out of your glutes and hamstrings.

-Tighten your fists to create tension in your upper body and think about squeezing dollar bills in your armpits.

-Shift your weight onto the working leg and start by pushing your butt back, while keeping your abs tight, back straight and chest up. Your weight should shift towards your mid-foot and heel of the working leg.

-As you push back you’ll feel tension in your hamstring, reach back until you run out of “slack”.

-“Pull” yourself back up through your heel to reverse the motion and squeeze your glutes to finish.


Key Points:

-Keep the toes on your non-working leg pointed towards the ground, this helps keep your hips square and in good alignment.

-Avoid letting your shoulders drop below your hip level.  Your chest should stay tall and above your hips in the bottom position.

-Make sure your knee on the working leg stays soft, not stiff or locked out.

-Creating full body tension (tightness) is crucial to getting strong and getting the most out of your strength training. You can’t lift if you’re as loose as a noodle – tighten everything up!

-Squeezing your armpits helps fire up your lats and “pack” your shoulders to put them in a safe position, and prevent you from reaching towards the ground with your arm.

Once you nail your form using just your body weight, add load by holding onto a kettlebell or dumbbell.


And there you have it! Go forth and strengthen some butts!


If you’re a woman looking for a fun, safe and completely individualized training and nutrition program to help you maximize your results, burn fat, gain confidence and reveal your strongest self – let’s chat!

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