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Single leg Romanian deadlift is a great workout to improve posture and balance. (Image via Pexel/Niragire Tresor)

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Exercise: Proper Form, Muscles Worked & Benefits

The single leg Romanian deadlift is an excellent exercise for athletes and people looking to improve performance, build strength, and increase joint stability.

In this article, we will discuss how to perform single leg Romanian deadlifts. We will also have a look at how to progress in the exercise, adjust it for optimal results, and check why the exercise is important for hip function.


How to Perform Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Here's a step-by-step guide to performing a single-leg Romanian deadlift. You can use dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and other types of external loading for the exercise.

Single leg rdl form. (Image via Pinterest)

How to perform the move:

  • Stand with both feet under your hips.
  • Shift your weight to the right leg, and let it relax, but keep your left leg bent with a soft bend in the knee.
  • Bend your left leg, and slowly move it backwards till you feel it touch the wall behind you.
  • At the same time, begin to hinge forward from your waist, and lower your torso till it’s almost parallel to the floor.
  • From a standing position, place your feet together, and bend forward at the waist so that your hands touch the floor.
  • Next, extend your left leg out behind you while keeping it straight.
  • Pull it back in while straightening up, and stand back up to complete ne rep.
  • Alternate between leg lifts on each side.

What Muscles Does Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Work?

Single leg rdl muscles worked, (Image via Pinterest)

Key muscles targeted by the single leg Romanian deadlift include glute muscles like the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and the adductor magnus.

The muscles trained when performing the single leg Romanian deadlift are: hamstrings, gluteal, calves and ankle stabilizers, and obliques (core and pelvic stability).

Benefits of Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

Single leg rdl benefits. (Image via Pinterest)

Here are some benefits of performing single leg Romanian deadlift:

1) Improves Posterior Chain Muscles

In the Romanian deadlift, you engage more muscles in the posterior chain compared to the standard deadlift. That means you not only strengthen your lower back and hamstring but also improve balance and core stability.

2) Better Posture

The single leg Romanian deadlift is a complex movement that requires practice to master, but the effort is worth it. Regularly practicing this movement not only improves strength and flexibility but also makes everyday movements easier and more comfortable.

As it's an unstable exercise, the single leg squat forces you to be aware of your body and its movements. That can lead to postural improvements that carry over into your everyday life. Studies have shown that this type of awareness improves motor skills and sports performance.

3) Adds variety to workout

If you’re looking for a change of pace, try the single leg Romanian deadlift. This exercise helps improve balance by challenging the core, upper, and lower body, all at once. Try adding it to your workout routine to avoid burnout and stay fit.


Mobility is one of the four pillars of fitness, along with strength, endurance, and flexibility. Many bodybuilders focus so much on muscular strength and endurance that they neglect their mobility and flexibility. With the single leg Romanian deadlift, you can achieve better balance, fluidity in movement, and reduced risk of injury.

4) No limits on grip strength

Athletes recovering from injuries or suffering from problems that weaken their grip can do Romanian deadlifts to strengthen their lower back, glutes, and legs. They should be able to lift more weight with Romanian deadlifts than they could with regular deadlifts, as their grip won't give out as quickly.

5) Boosts core strength

In a single leg Romanian deadlift, the core works hard to keep you balanced. The body is likely to rotate inward if you don't train yourself not to twist while performing the exercise.

The lower back does most of the work; the abs, obliques and hips pitch in to keep the upper body stable and aligned so that you don't twist naturally.


6) Improves hip strength

The single leg Romanian deadlift is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles in the hip. These muscles often underwork compared to the leg muscles, which are used when you do bilateral exercises like squats or deadlifts.

The hip adductors help keep the pelvis stable during the exercise, which gives the lower back muscles a stable platform to work from as you bend into the movement.

Overall, the single leg Romanian deadlift as a compound exercise is highly effective and can help improve balance and agility, build strength and stability, strengthen the core, and engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

If you’ve been struggling with a particular activity or movement, because of injury or out of pure stubbornness, you might find that your problem has an easy fix. Give the single leg Romanian deadlift a try.

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