How to do Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (Single Leg) Correctly and Safely

 
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INTRODUCTION

Single Leg Training is a movement pattern that is often overlooked in many training programs. Exercises that allow you to train one side of your body individually are great for unilateral strength development while allowing you to identify any imbalances between the two legs. Furthermore, single leg training lends itself to many real-world applications.

 

DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT (SINGLE LEG) FORM VIDEO


BENEFITS OF THE DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

  • Strengthens and tones the hamstrings, glutes, and low back muscles unilaterally

  • Teaches cores stability and improves overall total body balance

  • Exposes any potential imbalances that exist from side to side

 

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

  • Hamstrings

  • Glutes

  • Low Back

  • Spinal Erectors

  • Upper Back

  • Core

  • Forearms/Grip Muscles


PERFORMING THE DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

  • Pick up two dumbbells and position them in front of your body.

  • Set your stance with your feet close together and your feet pointing forward

  • Stand up tall and brace your core

front-rack-reverse-lunge

 

  • Begin the movement by bending at the hips (NOT the spine) and pushing your butt backward

  • Simultaneously lift the non-working leg straight behind you as you continue to bend at the hips

  • Do not let the leg deviate out to the side. Keep it straight behind your body

  • Keep the working leg relatively straight with a slight bend in the knee

  • The dumbbells will help you keep your balance, keep lowering the weights down in front of your body as you continue bending at the hips

  • Stop once you feel a strong stretch along the hamstring of the working leg

  • Keep your core engaged, as you will need to stabilize your body in this position

 
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  • Do not let you spinal alignment change. Only go as far as you can keep your back straight.

  • Once you reach your end range, reverse the movement by extending at the hips and returning the non -leg back down next to your working leg as you are exhaling

  • It's easier to keep working the same leg for the desired amount of reps before switching sides

 

SUMMARY OF THE DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS (SINGLE LEG) TECHNIQUE

Click on each blue circle to view the key technical aspects of this exercise

 

COMMON MISTAKES
 

EXCESSIVELY BENDING THE KNEE OF THE WORKING LEG

  • The Romanian deadlift is primarily a posterior chain exercise. The majority of the emphasis should be placed on the hamstring muscles. If your knees are bent, the quadriceps get more involvement then is necessary
     


BENDING AT THE SPINE

  • There are no circumstances where your spine should bend. Maintain your spinal alignment at all costs. Lower the weight if necessary

 

LOSING ALIGNMENT OF THE BACK LEG

  • When lifting the non-working leg behind you, try your best to keep it aligned directly behind your body. Letting it deviate to the left or right will change your spinal alignment and distort appropriate balancing

 

CHALLENGE

  • Perform 50% of your bodyweight for 8 repetitions each leg

 

DUMBBELL (SINGLE LEG) ROMANIAN DEADLIFT ALTERNATIVES