Bodyweight training is my bread and butter, but deadlifts are still one of my favorite exercises. The single leg deadlift is a nice alternative to traditional barbell deads and can be done with nothing but your own body.
Much like a pistol squat is exponentially harder than a regular air squat, single leg deadlifts are more challenging than you might think. Doing a deadlift on one leg takes strength, balance and flexibility.
While I consider the one legged deadlift a full body exercise, the main muscles involved are the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
The movement of a single leg deadlift is not unlike that of a drinking bird. As you lean your upper body forward, reach your opposite leg out behind you. This will not only help you balance, it will also further engage your lower back as well as the leg that’s in the air. I like to touch my hand to my opposite foot at the bottom to keep from externally rotating at the hip.
Watch out that you don’t bend your spine on the way down, but rather take the stretch in your hamstrings. Check out my deadlift tutorial if you’re not sure what the difference is.
It should be noted that single leg deadlifts can be done with weights once you get the hang of the movement pattern. However, using just your bodyweight can be challenging if you do enough reps and pay careful attention to your form.
Watch the video below for more: