Health & Fitness

How To: Deadlift and Single Leg Deadlift

Deadlifts are an awesome, functional exercise – if you do them correctly. They get a bad rap from people hunching over and picking up crazy amounts of weight.  The key here is to start with light weight and work your way up until you feel confident you’re doing the exercise correctly (put your ego aside for this one).  A lot of people think the primary muscle being worked should be your lower back, but this is not the case.  You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs and glutes.  The tension should stay in these two muscles throughout the entire exercise.

It is very important to learn this prevent future injury since we are constantly bending over to pick things up throughout our days.  Chances are you’re quad-dominant (especially if you’re a runner, cyclist, or you’ve never even thought to do a hamstring-dominant exercise), which can cause lower back pain, knee pain, sciatica, stiff hips, etc. Single leg deadlifts can also help improve balance and issues with plantar fasciitis. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell, or a trap bar, but be sure to keep the weight close to your body.  Check out the most common mistakes I see and the correct form.


Common Mistakes:IMG_9858




Correct Form:IMG_9866

Single Leg Deadlifts

Common Mistakes:

Back hunched
Hips not square to the ground. Usually the hip of the floating leg will externally rotate up.
Planted leg completely straight.  This is more common for people that are hypermobile in their knees.

Correct form


Back flat, hips square to the ground, knee slightly bent, head in line with the rest of your body

Functional Fitness & Injury Prevention

Think about picking up your kid (or your dog!), moving boxes, doing yard work, etc.  Carry this form into every day activities.

Do not do this!
Do this: squat
Do this: deadlift

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