Master the One Leg Stiff Deadlift Technique

Lexi Lutz
Reading Time: 7 minutes
one leg stiff deadlift
Table of Contents

Are you in search of a challenging workout that targets various muscle groups simultaneously? Introduce yourself to the one leg stiff deadlift, also known as the single leg stiff deadlift or straight leg deadlift with one leg. This individual leg exercise focuses on strengthening your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core, offering a comprehensive full-body workout.

Let me walk you through the right technique to ace the one leg stiff deadlift. I’ll break down the steps, fill you in on the perks, and throw in some tips to keep you injury-free and ensure a safe workout.

Before we dive into the details, let’s take a closer look at what the one leg stiff deadlift is and why it’s worth incorporating into your fitness routine.

What Muscles Does the One Leg Stiff Deadlift Work?

The one leg stiff deadlift is a powerful exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the body. Understanding the specific muscles worked can help you optimize your workout routine and achieve the best results. The exercise primarily engages the following muscle groups:

Primary Muscles WorkedSecondary Muscles Worked
HamstringsQuadriceps
GlutesErector Spinae (lower back)
Lower backAbdominals (core)
Adductors (Inner Thigh)Quadriceps

The one leg stiff deadlift primarily targets the upper and lower posterior (backside) chain muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core muscles. These muscles work in unison to maintain balance and stability throughout the exercise, building overall strength and endurance. Additionally, the quadriceps and abdominals serve as secondary muscles worked to further support the movement and enhance the overall benefits of the exercise.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Perform the One Leg Stiff Deadlift

Performing the one leg stiff deadlift requires correct form and technique for maximum effectiveness and safety. Here is a step-by-step guide to executing the exercise correctly:

  1. Starting Position: Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your right foot slightly off the ground, balancing on your left leg. Place your hands on your hips and engage your core muscles.
  2. Hinge motion: Slowly hinge forward at your hips while simultaneously lifting your right leg straight back behind you, forming a straight line from head to heel. Keep your left knee slightly bent and your back straight. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement.
  3. Return to Upright Position: Slowly return to the starting position by contracting your glutes and hamstrings, straightening your standing leg and lowering your right foot back to the ground. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs and repeat.

It’s essential to maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise, avoiding any rounding or arching of the back. Keeping your core engaged and your gaze fixed on a point in front of you can help maintain proper form.

Also, ensure that the movement is controlled and deliberate, avoiding any jerking or bouncing. Start with a light weight or no weight at all to master the exercise’s form before progressing to heavier weights.

one leg stiff deadlift

Benefits of Incorporating the One Leg Stiff Deadlift into Your Fitness Routine

There are numerous benefits to adding the one leg stiff deadlift to your workout routine. Not only does it target multiple muscle groups, but it also promotes balance and injury prevention.

  • Improves Balance: The one leg stiff deadlift is a unilateral exercise, meaning it only works one leg at a time. This helps to improve balance and stability, particularly on the supporting leg.
  • Strengthens the Posterior Chain: This exercise primarily targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. By strengthening these muscles, it can enhance overall posture and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Enhances Hip Mobility: The one leg stiff deadlift also engages the hip flexors, which can help increase mobility and range of motion in the hips.
  • Promotes Injury Prevention: By strengthening the muscles in the posterior chain and improving balance, the one leg stiff deadlift can help prevent common injuries such as hamstring strains and lower back pain.

Incorporating the one leg stiff deadlift into your fitness routine can lead to greater overall strength and a reduced risk of injury.

one leg stiff deadlift benefits

Injury Prevention Tips for the One Leg Stiff Deadlift Exercise

While the one leg stiff deadlift is a great exercise for improving strength and mobility, it’s important to always keep safety in mind. The wrong form or too much weight could result in an injury. 

Maintain Proper Form

It’s critical to maintain proper form during the one leg stiff deadlift exercise to avoid any strain or sprain. Keep your back straight, core engaged, and focus on hinging at the hip while keeping your knee slightly bent. Avoid rounding your back or lifting too much weight, which can lead to injuries.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Common mistakes like rushing through the exercise or not engaging the correct muscles can cause discomfort and injuries. Always take your time, focus on engaging the hamstrings and glutes, and perform the exercise in a controlled manner.

Progress Gradually

It’s essential to begin with light weights and gradually increase the weight and intensity of the workout. Over-exerting the muscles can lead to soreness and injuries, so I suggest progressing slowly and steadily to avoid any discomfort or pain.

Incorporating these injury prevention tips into your one leg stiff deadlift routine can help you avoid any unwanted injuries and ensure that you achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

FAQ

What is the one leg stiff deadlift?

The one leg stiff deadlift, also known as the single leg stiff deadlift or single leg straight leg deadlift, is an exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back while improving balance and stability.

How do I perform the one leg stiff deadlift?

To perform the one leg stiff deadlift, start by standing on one leg with a slight bend in the knee. Hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back straight and extend the lifted leg straight behind you. Lower the torso until it is parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes and standing upright. Repeat on the other leg.

What muscles does the one leg stiff deadlift work?

The one leg stiff deadlift primarily targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core muscles. It also engages the hip abductors, hip adductors, and quadriceps to a lesser extent.

What are the benefits of incorporating the one leg stiff deadlift into my fitness routine?

Including the one leg stiff deadlift in your fitness routine offers several benefits. It improves balance, strengthens the posterior chain, enhances hip mobility, increases core stability, and helps prevent injuries by improving stability and proprioception.

Can I injure myself while performing the one leg stiff deadlift?

Yes, improper form or using too much weight can increase the risk of injury. It is important to maintain a neutral spine, engage the core, and perform the exercise in a controlled manner. Gradually increase the difficulty and weight as your strength and technique improve.

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