What are some common mistakes to avoid when performing the single-leg deadlift?

single leg deadlift single-leg deadlift mistakes

A Single Leg Deadlift is a hip-hinge movement that strengthens the back, core and legs. This variation of a traditional deadlift involves one leg lifting off the ground and extending out behind you. The more complex movement works even more core muscles as well as the standing leg, which help to improve balance.

Here are some common mistakes to watch out for when doing the single-leg deadlift:

  1. Rounding the back:
    Make sure to keep a flat, neutral spine throughout the movement. Avoid rounding or arching your back, as this can put unnecessary stress on the spine.

  2. Knee valgus:
    Your standing knee should stay aligned over your foot, not caving inward. This knee valgus can lead to knee pain and instability.

  3. Excessive forward lean:
    Resist the urge to lean too far forward at the hips. This can shift the weight too far in front of your base of support, making it harder to maintain balance.

  4. Raising the opposite leg too high:
    The non-working leg should lift just high enough to keep your hips level. Avoid lifting it up excessively, which can throw off your balance.

  5. Letting the hips drift:
    Focus on keeping your hips square and stable, without letting them rotate or sag to one side as you lower down.

  6. Using too much weight:
    Start light, especially when first learning the movement. Prioritize control and technique over heavy loading.

  7. Rushing the movement:
    Slow down and focus on the eccentric (lowering) portion in particular. Rushing through the rep can compromise form.

  8. Locking out the standing knee:
    Keep a slight bend in the standing knee - don't lock it out fully, which can strain the joint.

  9. Looking down:
    Keep your gaze fixed straight ahead, not down at the floor, to maintain proper spinal alignment.

  10. Inconsistent foot position:
    Make sure your standing foot is in the same position from rep to rep for consistency.

Focus on mastering the fundamentals first before gradually progressing the weight or range of motion. Proper form is key to getting the most out of the single-leg deadlift.

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