Jump to content

Effect of One Leg Deadlift on Regular Deadlift

Recommended Posts

I'm slowly incorporating one leg deadlifts in my workouts, but currently, I'm only at the stage of acquiring the balance and coordination to execute the exercise. So I'm currently using fairly low weight and not feeling much effect of the exercise (apart from getting closer to lifting my supporting leg).


So I would like to hear from people with experience with one leg deadlifts.

Do you find it beneficial to you general athleticism/fitness? Does it benefit your regular deadlift? 

Link to post

In general, unilateral exercises are good for correcting muscle imbalances, improving balance, and strengthening stabilising muscles. Single leg deadlifts in particular may help with functional strength and balance for day-to-day activities such as picking up objects off the floor, especially if the load isn't perfectly balanced like it would be for a barbell deadlift. The fact that you are finding single leg deadlifts challenging (even if not from a strength perspective) means that you are probably benefiting from the exercise, even if they don't build your overall deadlift strength much. Since they involve a light load, they are also unlikely to hinder your progress since they won't be very difficult to recover from.


I'm doing some single leg dumbbell deadlifts now as a way to increase exercise difficulty while I don't have access to heavy weights. When I was training with a barbell, I primarily used heavier deadlift variations and accessory exercises like barbell RDLs, deficit deadlifts, paused deadlifts, and pull ups to help me make progress. I still did single leg deadlifts occasionally, but I don't think they helped my barbell deadlift much since the load was so different and I didn't have any major imbalances or stability issues. I am planning to try out a more complex variation (see #2 here) to work on balance for pistol squats, though, so you might also find that they help with other exercises besides your deadlift.


You could also experiment with using light single leg deadlifts as a warm up to activate your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles prior to heavier deadlifts, as long as they don't tire out your core muscles or one side of your body. I personally haven't tried using them in this way, but I do find other unilateral glute activation exercises such as bird dogs really helpful before squats and deadlifts. 

  • Like 1


Challenge 2.1, 2.2

Supple Lioness Mobility


Link to post

Personally I find that one-leg deadlifts are easier with a heavier weight, because holding a heavy weight in the hand opposite from the leg I am standing on makes it easier to balance.


I firmly believe that strengthening the smaller stabilizer muscles in legs and torso make it easier to lift barbells, because form is everything, and stable balance is form. That said, I believe that over time one-leg deadlifts can also help with the standard barbell deadlift simply because they strengthen the glutes. 

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines