Try This Trap Bar Deadlift Variation to Build Single-Leg Strength

This seemingly impossible exercise is actually quite doable, and very helpful for building speed and explosive power.

At first a Trap Bar Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift might seem impossible. You'd ask, "Won't my rear leg hit the back side of the trap bar?" But worry not. It won't.

What you will do is build strong glutes and hamstrings, help eliminate strength imbalances between your left and right sides (a common cause of injury if left unaddressed), and improve your hip hinge pattern by teaching your core to maintain stability when you're on only one leg. Also: You'll look cool doing them.

When you do a Single-Leg RDL with a trap bar, the dynamics of the exercise totally change. The weight is centered on your body rather than being out in front of you like it would be with a dumbbell or barbell. As a result, you place less stress on your lower back and more emphasis on your quads.

The result is a powerful lower-body exercise that trains the same muscles you need to sprint faster, jump higher and, in general, become more a explosive and dominant athlete.

Here's how to perform the Trap Bar Single-Leg RDL.

Trap Bar Single-Leg RDL

Step 1: Start in a staggered stance with your left leg in the center of a trap bar and your right leg behind it. Bend at your hip and knee and grasp the handles. Stand up.

Trap Bar Single-Leg RDL

Step 2: Lift your right foot off the ground.

Trap Bar Single-Leg RDL

Step 3: Keeping your core tight, sit your hips back and slightly bend your knee to lower the trap bar toward the ground until your torso is just above parallel—or as far as flexibility in your hamstrings allows.

Trap Bar Single-Leg RDL

Step 4: Drive your hips forward and straighten your knee to stand up and return to the starting position.

You can perform this with a heavy weight for low reps or light weight for high reps, depending on your training goal. I personally like to have my athletes use a lower weight, control the descent over 2-3 seconds, then explode up to teach body control and build explosive power.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock