The single leg deadlift (or one leg deadlift) is one of the best exercises for building strong, stable, injury-resistant legs. Not only is this a great exercise for athletes like myself, but it is an amazing exercise for nearly all-levels of trainees who are looking to build a healthy and functional body.
The single leg deadlift is a great exercise because it is a hamstring-dominant hip hinge, which is the antithesis (opposite) of the majority of exercises we do.
When performing the single leg deadlift, you work the posterior chain muscles of your back, hips and legs extensively. These sets of muscles, especially the gluteals (which is comprised of three muscles), and hamstrings are strongly involved in all running, walking, and jumping activities.
Want to learn more about the benefits of the single leg deadlift?
Keep reading below!
Benefits of the Single Leg Deadlift Exercise
Here are some of the main single leg deadlift benefits and reasons you should do single leg deadlifts:
One Leg Deadlifts Reduce Muscle Imbalances and Develops Single Leg Strength
One of the key benefits of single leg exercises is that they promote more overall muscle growth and strength, since each leg can be targeted on their own.
Generally, people are slightly left or right-side dominant.
When exercises are done bilaterally, like jump squats or deadlifts, the muscles activated are normally only the “prime movers”. Although functional bilateral exercises like goblet squats are good and useful in many ways, they leave much room to be desired for complete leg development.
For those that are not active, this imbalance does not really matter.
However, if you play a sport or you are an avid exerciser, then left-to-right strength imbalances can lead to inferior performance or possible injury.
By exercising unilaterally, you will have the opportunity to diagnose any muscle imbalances. Along with this, if you notice any imbalances, you will be able to formulate a plan to address the imbalances.
One of the main overall benefits of the single leg deadlift is that it works not just the primary movers, but also the stabilizers and neutralizers of the leg!
If you want to treat a muscular imbalance in your lower body, you can consider doing an extra set, or extra reps, on the weak leg; to help you re-establish balance within your body quickly.
The Single Leg Deadlift Improves Your Ankle, Knee and Hip Stability
Joint stability is your ability to keep your joints aligned properly, and eliminate extraneous movements when exercising.
If your joints are allowed to wander off course while exercising, you will increase the risk of injury and make your movements less economical.
One major benefit of the single leg deadlift is that it requires and develops knee, ankle, and hip stability.
This is beneficial because you can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your joints, and make nearly all athletic movements easier to perform.
If you are someone suffering from issues such as Jumper’s Knee, doing single leg deadlifts will improve the strength of the stabilizing muscles around your knee, reducing the pain you are dealing with.
You can even make this movement more effective for improving your ankle, knee and hip stability by performing it on a BOSU Ball!
The One Leg Deadlift Will Help You Become Incredibly Strong!
Improving the ability of each leg to work and produce force will help skyrocket your back squat and deadlift numbers!
Not only does the single leg deadlift help build strength in each leg, but these strength gains are multiplied as you will see your bilateral leg strength explode!
Furthermore, is impossible to properly perform a single leg deadlift without proper posterior chain and core strength, which means this is one exercise you do not want to miss out on!
Lastly, to build perfect glutes you need to target these muscles from several angles with a variety of exercises, and there is no doubt that one of the best movements to do this is the single leg deadlift.
Doing single leg deadlifts might not seem as impressive as back squats or deadlifts, but your core, posterior chain, and entire lower body will certainly become stronger than ever from mastering them!
Concluding Thoughts – Single Leg Deadlift Benefits
The single leg deadlift is one of the most useful lifts that any athlete can perform.
This singular movement can help add muscle mass to your body, correct imbalances, improve your strength and stability, and make you more effective at nearly every athletic movement.
Regardless of your goals with fitness, the single leg deadlift is one movement that you will want to make sure you are not missing out on!
Additional Reading: Snatch Grip Deadlift Benefits