Single Leg RDL

AKA for my yogis, Warrior III …

This is one of my all time favorite exercises to give in clinic AND to do independently. This move really fires up your posterior chain (remember that? AKA gluts & hamstrings), but as a bonus, it really works your core and focuses on single leg stabilization.  Being in a single leg position really challenges your body’s balance system to keep from falling or losing balance.  The eccentric load put on the gluts and the hamstrings really helps to build strength and power.  Additionally, there are so many variations of this exercise to make it more challenging, or easier, if need be.  The most important key is to keep a soft bend at the knee and keep the core TIGHT.

How to perform:

  • Standing on one leg, make sure a soft bend is on the stance leg.
  • Tighten core and ensure that the spine stays straight.  This again, is super important.  I often tell my patients to imagine a rod has been (sorry, this does sound aggressive, but it gets the point across) shoved down their spine.
  • HINGE – this is the key component to the exercise.  Hinge at the HIP and lower the trunk towards the ground.  Only go as far as you can go with correct form.
  • Use your backside to return you to stance.

As mentioned before, this exercise can be used in a number of different ways.  In clinic, I often have patients do 2-3 sets of 10 on EACH leg.  Personally in the gym, I use either a kettlebell or free weights to add in a level of difficulty and perform 2 sets of 15 each.  You can perform this exercise with yoga intent and focus more on holding for time to really ramp up your stabilization and core.  Endless possibilities, but be safe, work safe and move safe

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