Hi! I’m Tamara Kas, DPT and I’m a physical therapist at our Grand Rapids City Clinic. If I had to pick my absolute favorite exercise, it would be the SL RDL (Single Leg Romanian Deadlift).
Why?- Because it works SO many different things at the same time and can be used in rehab for several different purposes! It can be modified to make it easier or advanced to include an upper-body component for an extra challenge. I like to be creative and adapt it to the personal goals of the patient and what they want to get back to doing.
Here are 4 variations of the Single Leg RDL exercise. Feel free to modify to a Bilateral Deadlift, with both feet on the floor if needed. Give them a try and let us know which is your favorite!
Position: Begin by balancing on one leg with a level pelvis with a chair positioned in front of you. Movement: Hinge forward at the hips with your weight mostly in the standing heel to midfoot. Bend your standing knee as much as needed for comfort, but make sure the movement is mostly happening at the hips, not a single leg squat. Keep your back as flat as possible. Tip: Keep looking up at the chair to help maintain a flat back. Slowly work your way down to a horizontal position, gently tap the chair and then slowly return to the starting position. Try to maintain your balance on one leg for the entire set.
Position: Begin by balancing on one leg with a level pelvis with dumbbells in hands.
3. Single Leg RDL with Single Arm Row:
Position: Begin by balancing on one leg with a level pelvis with a band attached to a door or with a cable machine. Hold the band in the opposite hand of the leg you are standing on. Slowly lower down towards the door or cable until you are at an approximately horizontal position with your back. Next, return to the starting position as you squeeze the opposite shoulder blade on your back with a single arm row. Try to maintain your balance on one leg for the entire set.
Position: Start by placing your whole foot on a step. Lean forwards and primarily use the top glute to slowly push you up and not momentum. At the top of the step, perform a SL RDL. Next, shift weight backward and slowly lower down, and finish by stepping back into a reverse lunge. Repeat as directed one side at a time or alternating. Option: Hold dumbbells.
I’ve used this exercise to successfully rehabilitate ankles, knees, hips, low back, and even shoulder injuries. Give it a try, and be sure to follow up with a Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapist if you would like some additional guidance!
Are you in pain but not sure how to manage it? Call 616-256-8679 to schedule your FREE consultation today and learn how physical therapy could help you. For more information please visit any of our Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy locations or check out our website at www.hjphysicaltherapy.com.