Single Leg Deadlift Variations

A lot of athletes program single leg dead lifts as a way to strength their hamstrings, their glutes, and their low back, but they often find that the balance requirements of your standard single leg deadlift tend to be the biggest limitation of their ability to progress that more so than the load that they have on the bar. And if our goal is to use that from a strength or hypertrophy perspective, then we maybe want to decrease the balance requirements to allow us to overload those muscles. So, we’re going to go through four different exercise variation on the single leg deadlift that will help you overload the muscles and reduce the balance requirements.

Hand Assisted Single Leg Deadlift

So, the first variation that we’re going to use to reduce the balanced requirements is going to be simply a hand assisted single leg deadlift. So, I’m performing our standard motion, but I’m holding onto the uprights of a rig and notice I’m just sliding my hand up and down it. I’m not grabbing it and using that hand to pick myself up and down, just a small bit of assistance.

Slider SLDL

Another option that we have is, instead of hand assist, we can do a slider single leg dead lift. So, I’ve got my foot on a little furniture slider, and I’m simply going to slide that back as I do the same motion. That’s going to give me just enough balance, assistance, to make me a little bit more stable in that motion.

Rear for Elevated Single Leg Deadlift

Third variation is going to be a rear foot elevated single leg deadlift. So, I’m going to get one foot back on a box as if I’m doing like a Bulgarian Split Squat, but I’m going to do a single leg deadlift here, very similar to the slider. But what you’ll actually tend to find a lot of times is that this variation kind of hits the glutes quite a bit more.

Landmine Single Leg Deadlifts

The final variation of single leg dead lifts that I like to reduce the balance requirements is going to be doing a landmine single leg deadlift. So, I’ve got my Stronger Than You landmine set up over here. I’m going to keep that into the barbell on the ground, and I’m going to do a single leg deadlift just like that, where the landmine gives me just enough balance assistance that I don’t feel like it is stability limited. It will allow me to overload those muscles. So, I hope that gives you four new exercises to train that posterior chain if you struggle with the balance requirements of single deadlift and that doesn’t let you overload the muscles.