Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

By Mike Duran

The single-leg Romanian deadlift, or SLRDL, effectively works both strength and flexibility of the hamstring muscles, as well as improving balance and proprioception. This exercise also helps strengthen your core as you tighten muscles to maintain proper posture.

The SLRDL lengthens and then contracts your hamstrings -- the same cycle that your leg goes through while running.  

When done correctly, you will feel an engagement from your hamstrings, ankle, calf and core. Because the exercise is done on one leg, the weight is far lower than a traditional barbell RDL, which means less stress on your back. The exercise can be easily modified to make it appropriate for all fitness levels.

Two coaching tips to keep in mind while performing a SLRDL:

  1. On the way down, during the eccentric phase, bend at the hips while maintaining a neutral spine. Keep your head up.
  2. Do not go too far down. While holding a dumbbell and leading with your chest, let the weight trace your leg down to right below the knee. Keep the "free" leg - the one in the air behind you -- tight and relatively near your other leg while contracting your glutes and core to maintain a center of balance. This will create a mild stretching feeling in the hamstring. You do not need to do an arabesque like a ballerina to execute a successful SLRDL!

If you would like a live demonstration of a SLRDL speak to me or one of the other ARX trainers.