Learning how to perform Single-Leg RDLs is one of the most beneficial yet most difficult tasks to accomplish. It’s an amazing exercise for building the glutes and hamstrings, and for improving single-leg stability.
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But people screw it up, turning it into a glorified toe touch.
Between learning how to balance on a single leg while the rest of your body is moving and mastering the hip dominance of the movement, many athletes and even coaches become frustrated.
The answer to your frustrations may be much simpler than you imagine, even as simple as a foam roller. Here’s how it’s done:
Stand tall with the bottom of the foam roller on the laces of one foot and the same side hand on top of the roller, pinning it down.
Keeping the roller between your hand and foot as you push your hips back, send the roller side leg back as your upper body comes forward.
The goal is to keep a very slight knee bend and a flat back in order to feel a stretch in the hamstring of the grounded leg.
Once your hips can’t move any farther back, hold the stretch for a moment and snap forward bringing the roller leg back to the ground.
Optimal range of motion would end with your upper body slightly above parallel with the ground, but this differs from person to person.
As mentioned before, the two most difficult aspects to master are the synchronization of the upper and lower body along with the emphasis of hip dominance, or “hips back.”
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If you simply pin the roller between your hand and foot, your upper and lower body are forced to operate together. This discourages excessive knee bend, which is optimal for the Single-Leg Deadlift. Whether you’re using the Single-Leg RDL as a warm-up exercise or a strength training exercise, master the movement with the foam roller first!