Performing Single Leg Deadlift with Proper Progression & Loading

Every bodybuilder, from amateur to professional, knows and understands the value of strength training. Deadlifts and good mornings are two of the established exercises known to give added strength and overall durability to the body right down to its very core. Army professionals swear by these two exercises to start their day on a positive footing. Yet some people have still to learn the proper way to do these exercises. Here is a small primer on how to perform the single leg deadlift in the correct manner with proper progression and loading.

The Proper Progression

While starting out this exercise, there are three options on how to place our feet. These are;

1. Feet together as if performing a squat
2. Standing on one foot, a precursor to running
3. The split stance as if performing a lunge

It is best to start off by using the simplest method and then going on to the complex. To warm up for this movement, it is recommended that one go for simple arm and shoulder flexion exercises, before moving on to the lunge or squat.

If you are using the Functional Movement Screen course, you would in fact be following this very pattern and the next step would of course be practicing lunges for a while. Once you have mastered the lunge, the next or third point of progression is the hurdle step. You can do this either by standing on one foot or two but the end point is that you eventually have to be able to bend one leg in a halfway squat position before you can progress to doing it with weights.

Use Leg Lowering as a Midway Point

For reference purposes, let us figure out what kind of supplementary exercise will prove beneficial in getting us ready to perform the simple leg deadlift. Experts have determined that the exercise called leg lowers can aid in this matter quite nicely with leg weights. For doing this exercise, you need to lie down with your back on the floor or exercise mat, then digging your hands into the floor, lift your legs straight up at the hips. Then lower them down to the floor once again. Do a set of 10 movements.

Progression and Loading of the Simple Deadlift

Once you have mastered the above moves, it is time to move back to performing our total exercise called the single leg deadlift. But hold on, first we need to get the exercise done in the proper manner by using a dowel in place of weights but concentrating on the right pattern of movement. Then we replace the dowel with the weights after a week or so.

A Quick Recap

The correct way to approach this exercise is to train for balance with a dowel first, then with light weights in both hands, or a weight in the hand that is opposite to the foot you are bending for the lunge. You can choose which is better for you-both hands or one hand in the same or opposite direction as the foot being bent for the lunge. A little practice and concentrated effort will do it. Don’t give up and keep at it.