Exercise Library
Single-Leg Dumbbell RDL

The single-leg dumbbell (or kettlebell) RDL is an accessory exercise for hip stability.
Stand on one leg with the knee very slightly bent and the other slightly behind the support leg. Hold a single dumbbell in the hand opposite the support leg (contralateral) or a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at the hip to lean forward while bringing the back leg up, maintaining a straight line along the trunk and lifted leg. Keep the hips square as you hinge, i.e. prevent any rotation or tilting, and maintain the same slight bend in the support knee. Bring the weight as low toward the floor as possible without your back rounding and without allowing the weight to touch and help with your balance. Reverse the motion and stand again for the next rep, ideally without allowing the free foot to touch the floor.
The single leg RDL improves hip stability (if done properly) as well as balance.
Single leg RDLs should be performed at the end of the workout 1-2 days/week in sets of 8-15 on each side. Weight should not exceed what the athlete can use with stable, balanced, controlled reps. Light weight with stability is more effective than heavy weight without.
The single-leg RDL can be done with a single dumbbell or kettlebell in the hand opposite the support leg, or with a weight in each hand. Single arm contralateral will be more demanding on balance. Slow eccentrics or pauses at the bottom can also be added, or the athlete can stand on an air pillow or cushion to increase the balance challenge.

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