How to Do a Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlift

How to Do a Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlift

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Dumbbells provide a simple, yet progressive challenge.

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The single-leg dumbbell deadlift is often referred to as a Romanian deadlift since your leg remains straight during the exercise. The single-leg deadlift strengthens your glutes and hamstrings while at the same time, improves your balance. Dumbbells add resistance and are progressive since you can easily exchange a light dumbbell for a heavier one as your strength improves. As with most exercises, the single-leg deadlift has different options depending on your abilities and your goals.


Stand tall with your feet together and your toes facing forward. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, or hold one in each hand.


Position your hands on the front of your thighs with your arms straight. Face your palms toward your legs. If using only one dumbbell, hold the weight slightly to the right side of your hip and face your palm in, toward your outer thigh.


Tighten your stomach by pulling your navel toward your spine to protect your back. Look straight ahead to keep your neck in line with your spine.


Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot slightly behind you.


Inhale and fold forward from your waist as you keep the dumbbells close to your legs. Keep your arms straight as you continue to fold forward and lower the weights toward the floor. Raise your right leg straight behind you as you move forward into the deadlift.


Keep your back straight as you fold forward. Continue to look straight ahead throughout the exercise. Fold forward until the dumbbells reach the floor, or until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your left leg. Bend your left knee if you are extremely inflexible; otherwise, keep your left leg straight, but not locked at the knee.


Exhale, contract your left glute and slowly return to the starting position.


Perform eight to 12 deadlifts on your left leg. Switch positions and perform an equal number on your right leg. Complete one to three sets on each leg.


Add the deadlifts to your leg workout routine every other day, with a day of rest in between.


  • Select a weight that tires your muscles on the last two repetitions of each set. Once you are able to easily complete three sets of 12 repetitions, increase the amount of weight.
  • Using one dumbbell increases the balance challenge of the exercise. Continue to use a heavy amount to fatigue the muscles.


  • Speak with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.