Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL

Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL

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The Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL) is a highly effective exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It’s a variation of the traditional RDL but with the added challenge of performing the exercise on one leg.

What is a Single Leg RDL Dumbbell?

The Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL is a compound exercise that involves hinging at the hips while maintaining balance on one leg. It primarily targets the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae. By isolating one leg at a time, this exercise helps to improve strength imbalances and stability.

Benefits of The Single Leg RDL

1. Strengthening the Hamstrings

The Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL is a fantastic exercise for strengthening the hamstrings. As you perform the movement, the hamstrings on the working leg are engaged to control the descent and initiate the ascent. This exercise can help improve hamstring strength, which is crucial for various daily activities and athletic performance.

2. Improving Balance and Stability

Balancing on one leg during the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL challenges your stability and proprioception. It requires you to engage your core and activate the stabilizing muscles in your hips, ankles, and feet. Consistently incorporating this exercise into your routine can enhance your overall balance and stability.

3. Developing Core Strength

The Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL places a significant demand on your core muscles to maintain stability throughout the movement. Your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back muscles work together to keep your torso aligned and prevent excessive rotation. This exercise can help develop a strong and stable core.

4. Enhancing Hip Mobility

Performing the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL requires a good range of motion in your hips. As you hinge forward, your hips go through a deep stretch, which can help improve hip mobility over time. This exercise is particularly beneficial for individuals who sit for prolonged periods, as it counteracts the negative effects of prolonged sitting on hip flexors.

One Leg RDL With Dumbbell: How to Perform

1. Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand.
  2. Shift your weight onto your left leg and slightly bend the knee.
  3. Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine.
  4. Slowly hinge forward at the hips while simultaneously lifting your right leg straight behind you.
  5. Keep your back flat and the dumbbell close to your leg as you lower the weight toward the ground.
  6. Pause when you feel a stretch in your left hamstring.
  7. Push through your left heel and return to the starting position, focusing on using your hamstring and glutes to drive the movement.
  8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides.

2. Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid rounding your back or arching excessively during the movement.
  • Don’t let your knee cave in or wobble sideways.
  • Avoid using excessive momentum or swinging the weight.
  • Maintain control throughout the exercise and avoid rushing through the repetitions.


1. Kickback

To add an extra challenge and engage your glutes further, you can incorporate a kickback at the top of the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL movement. As you return to the starting position, extend your right leg behind you and squeeze your glutes before repeating the exercise on the opposite leg.

2. Row

To target your back muscles and add an upper body component to the exercise, you can perform a row at the bottom of the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL. As you lower the dumbbell, pause and pull it towards your ribcage, engaging your back muscles before returning to the starting position.

Dumbbells Single-Leg RDL into Your Workout Routine: Incorporating

1. Full-Body Workout

Include the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL as part of a full-body workout routine. Pair it with exercises like push-ups, squats, shoulder presses, and planks for a well-rounded workout that targets multiple muscle groups.

2. Leg and Glute Workout

Focus on your lower body by incorporating the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL into a leg and glute workout. Combine it with exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, and hip thrusts for an effective lower-body strengthening session.

3. Functional Training

Integrate the Single-Leg RDL into functional training routines that mimic real-life movements. This exercise is particularly beneficial for activities that require stability and balance, such as hiking, running, or playing sports.

Precautions and Safety Tips

  • If you have any pre-existing lower back or knee issues, consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL.
  • Start with light dumbbells and focus on mastering the technique before progressing to heavier weights.
  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
  • Listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain or discomfort.


The Single-Leg RDL is a versatile exercise that offers numerous benefits, including hamstring strengthening, balance improvement, core development, and enhanced hip mobility. Incorporating this exercise into your workout routine allows you to target multiple muscle groups while challenging your stability and coordination. Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase the intensity as your strength improves.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I perform the Dumbbell Single-Leg RDL without weights?

Yes, you can perform the exercise without weights by using only your body weight as resistance. However, adding dumbbells can increase the intensity and effectiveness of the exercise.

How many sets and repetitions should I do?

It is recommended to start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per leg. Adjust the sets and repetitions based on your fitness level and goals.

Can beginners do the Dumbbell RDL?

Yes, beginners can do this exercise, but it’s important to start with lighter weights and focus on maintaining proper form throughout the movement.

Is the Dumbbell RDL suitable for people with balance issues?

While the exercise can help improve balance over time, individuals with significant balance issues or mobility limitations should consult a healthcare professional before attempting the exercise.

Can I perform the Dumbbell RDL every day?

It is recommended to allow at least one day of rest between workouts that target the same muscle groups. Overtraining can lead to muscle fatigue and an increased risk of injury.

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