Why you need to one legged deadlift
Stand up. Take your hands. Place them right on your butt. How does it feel? Does it feel as rock hard and perky as you want it to? Chances are you do all the squats, but your butt still isn’t quite where you want it to be.
No big deal, it doesn’t stress the glute muscles as much as this particular one. When you do a squat, you’re putting more bend in the knee and ankles, which puts less movement on the hips. So while you don’t get quite the butt workout from squats, you do get a little bit of stimulation.
Hip Hinge aka deadlift
The hinge (aka deadlift) requires you to start the movement with your butt. It also involves less knee and ankle movement, which puts your butt through a bigger range of motion. So to perform a deadlift, do the following:
- Stand tall
- Push your butt back to start
- Keep the knee bend minimal (but you can have some bend)
- Pick up a weight off the floor while keeping the spine straight
- Stand back up
The one legged deadlift
To perform the one legged deadlift, repeat the above steps on one leg. If you have exceptional balance and proprioception, you might look like the above photograph.
If you do not, you are not wrong. It is quite all right to scale it down a bit. For instance, if your balance isn’t as good as you would like, use less of a range of motion. If that is still tough, you can bend your knee a little more so that your back is more angular as opposed to parallel to the floor. Either way, err on the side of caution and practice a lot.
I am a fan of this for many reasons beyond the fact that it can help build a great butt. Here are a three reasons why:
- Since it puts more stress on the glutes, it takes a lot of stress off of your lower back.
- It helps with balance. Besides the stress placed on the gluteus maximus, the fact that you are standing on one foot means your glute medius—the side butt, if you will—will have to activate to keep you stable.
- It is one of the more versatile movements in your exercise bank. Like the picture above, you can perform it with one dumbbell or one kettlebell. You can do it with a barbell, or a sandbag, or even without weights at all. Depending on where you are with your skill level, or if you are travelling you can always get in a butt workout.
So, give these a shot. Next time you go gymming, add these in on your leg day and go for 3-4 sets of 5 per leg. Too easy? Up the reps or the weight.
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