Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeHinge (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Forearms, Glutes, Lats, Lower Back, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Hamstrings Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Single Leg Barbell Romanian Deadlift Overview

The single leg barbell Romanian deadlift is a Romanian deadlift variation and an exercise used to target the muscles of the entire posterior chain.

The main difference between the single leg barbell Romanian deadlift and other Romanian deadlift variations is it’s a unilateral exercise. This allows you to target each side of the body at a time to build a more aesthetic physique as well as balanced strength.

Single Leg Barbell Romanian Deadlift Instructions

  1. Position the bar over the top of your shoelaces and assume a hip width stance.
  2. Assume a double overhand grip just outside of hip width and deadlift the weight into position at the top with the hips and knees locked out.
  3. Begin the RDL by lifting one foot, unlocking your knee, and slowly hinging back into your hip.
  4. Push through the floor and extend the hip as you return to the starting position.
  5. Reset and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Single Leg Barbell Romanian Deadlift Tips

  1. Focus on pushing your heel back as far as possible and hinging into the hip rather than dropping your chest.
  2. Don’t allow the hips to rotate, you should be able to balance a cup of water on your back in the bottom of the movement.
  3. Your chin should follow your chest, don’t worry about looking up in the bottom of the movement.
  4. Ideally you should keep a straight line from your head through your heel.
  5. Keep a soft bend in your knee and don’t allow your arch to collapse as you complete the movement.
  6. Make sure you wrap your thumbs around the handle and don’t utilize a false grip.
  7. Don’t focus on keeping the weight entirely on the heels, you won’t be able to effectively recruit your quads at the beginning of the lift and thus you’ll be slow off the flow. So, to combat this, you should focus on driving through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  8. To learn and master single RDLs, it may be conducive to utilize assisted versions by lightly holding onto a rack with your free hand or hinging with both legs in position like a normal RDL but keep one foot hovering off the floor.