Skip to Content

Single Leg Deadlift Workout Exercise 2023

The Single Leg Deadlift is a lower-body workout exercise targeting the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles, engaging the core and helping to improve balance and stability. 

Single leg deadlift is the second exercise in Conditioning Drill Three. This exercise develops strength and flexibility in the lower back and lower extremities. 

There are nine more exercises in Conditioning Drill 3:

I will break down the exercise as it would be conducted in a formation at a slow cadence.

Conditioning Drill 3, Exercise 2: Single Leg DeadLift


  • This exercise develops strength, endurance, and flexibility of the lower back and lower extremities. 

Starting Position

  • Straddle stance with hands on hips.

Cadence SLOW


  1. On Count One: Stand, maintain balance on the left foot, and bend forward at the waist. Reach straight down towards the ground in front of your body while raising the right leg to the rear.
  2. One Count Two: Return to the starting position by tightening the buttocks and driving upward.
  3. On Count Three: Stand, maintain balance on the right foot, and bend forward at the waist. Reach straight down towards the ground in front of the body while raising the left leg to the rear.
  4. On Count Four: Return to the starting position.
Single Leg Deadlift
Single Leg Deadlift

Check Points:

  • On counts 1 and 3, the hands are slightly in front of and below the shoulders with fingers spread (middle fingers point straight ahead) with the elbows straight, not locked.
  • Maintain a natural arch in the back and move the legs straight forward and backward, not at angles.
  • To prevent the trunk from sagging, tighten the abdominal muscles and maintain this contraction throughout the exercise.
  • The head is aligned with the spine, and the eyes are directed to a point about two feet in front of the body.
  • On counts 1 and 3, attempt to keep the heel on the ground.

Precaution: N/A

How to do the Single Leg Deadlift Exercise at Home

Performing a single-leg deadlift requires attention to detail and proper form. 

Follow these steps to perform this exercise with good technique:

  1. Begin by standing on your left foot with your right foot slightly behind you.
  2. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand and let it hang at arm’s length in front of your thigh.
  3. Brace your core and hinge forward at the hips, lifting your right leg off the ground behind you as you lower the weight toward the floor.
  4. Keep your left knee slightly bent and your back straight as you lower the weight toward the floor.
  5. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then reverse the motion and return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired reps, switch sides, and repeat the exercise with your right leg.

In summary, to do this exercise, you will stand on your right leg with your left leg in the air behind you, keeping your shoulders back and your back straight, hinge forward, and reach your hands toward the ground. Return back up and repeat 12 to 15 times.

Benefits of Single Leg Deadlift Exercise

Incorporating single-leg deadlifts into your strength training routine can yield several benefits, including:

  • Improved balance and stability
  • Increased muscle activation in the hamstrings and glutes
  • Reduced risk of injury by addressing muscle imbalances
  • Enhanced core strength and stability
  • Improved running performance by targeting the posterior chain muscles

Single Leg Deadlift Variations

Here are some variations of single-leg deadlifts that you can try:

Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlift

  • Perform a standard single-leg deadlift while holding a dumbbell in each hand. 
  • This variation requires greater upper body strength and stability.

Barbell Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlift

  • Perform a stiff-legged single-leg deadlift while holding a barbell in both hands. 
  • This variation targets the hamstrings and lower back more intensely.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

  • Perform a Romanian deadlift on one leg while holding a weight in the opposite hand. 
  • This variation places more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes.

Best Deadlift Techniques

To get the most out of your single-leg deadlifts, follow these tips:

  • Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement.
  • Focus on keeping your weight balanced on the standing foot.
  • Avoid rounding your spine or arching your lower back.
  • Lower the weight slowly and under control rather than allowing it to drop.
  • Breathe in as you lower the weight, and exhale as you lift it back up.

Single Leg Deadlifts vs Regular Deadlifts

What is the difference between Single Leg Deadlifts and Regular Deadlifts?

Comparison CriteriaSingle-leg DeadliftsRegular Deadlifts
Target Muscles– Posterior chain muscles– Posterior chain muscles
Stability and Balance– Require more– Less required compared to single-leg deadlifts
Strength Building– Less overall strength, more focused on balance and stability– More overall strength and power
Muscle Imbalances– Ideal for addressing muscle imbalances– Less targeted for muscle imbalances
Improving Stability– Excellent for improving stability– Not as focused on improving stability
Single Leg Deadlifts vs Normal Deadlifts


Adding single-leg deadlifts into your workout routine can help you build stronger, more stable legs and improve your overall athletic performance. 

By following proper form and incorporating variations and techniques, you can challenge yourself and continue to see progress over time. 

George N.