I LOVE DEADLIFTS. Its no secret. Its one of the best core training exercises on the planet (yes, that’s right, deadlifts are a core strength exercise) and pretty much one of the most functional things any human being can do in the gym.
As Juan Carlos Santana says: “if you do it when you’re awake, do it when you exercise.” Its darn near impossible to go through your day without doing some kind of deadlift movement. Pick something up from the floor and BINGO, you’re deadlifting.
Well, since this is such an awesome exercise, what’s a way to make it even MORE enjoyable? A way to challenge your balance as well as strength, and to some extent, power. Why, do it on a single leg of course!!
Hip hinging on one leg while trying to crush a handle/bar of some kind with your lats, well, it just doesn’t get much better than this in the gym. Want to power up your posterior chain (back half of the body where most people deficient) like a beast? Do this exercise!
Knee and ankle stabilizers
Why its awesome:
There are few ways to hammer the posterior chain than this exercise. If you sit all day, or engage in endurance sports, DO THIS EXERCISE!! It will make your glutes scream in agony, and make you a lot stronger on one leg.
Plus set up correcly it will hit the diagonal loading patterns we need for our gait (walking) muscles. Its also an incredibly easy exercise to regress to do the variation that’s right for you.
You can use:
Suspension trainer straps
Plastic dowel rod
Whatever your creativity can come up with
If you want to see some killer variations of this exercise, Ben Bruno’s youtube page is about as good as it gets. He’s got just about every variation on the planet. You glutes will get sore just watching!
So, start single leg deadlifting, NOW. BUT ONLY AFTER YOU’VE MASTERED THE BODY WEIGHT VERSION.
If you have low back issues, this is NOT the exercise for you until your doc, physical therapist or qualified strength training expert clears you to do it. Once they do, ENJOY YOUR SORE GLUTES!!