≡ Menu

How To and Why Single Leg Deadlift + Weekly Workouts

Earlier this week I shared a video on Instagram of two exercises that I love to train stabilization, glute strengthening and glute firing.

One is the single leg deadlift. When I train clients I usually have them spend 5-10 minutes working on stabilization exercises which frequently include things like single leg squats and deadlifts. I always joke with them that I’d be so much better off if I made myself do these exercises half as much as I have my clients do them so I included them into my workout this week.


Why single leg deadlift?

  • To train ankle, knee and hip stabilization
  • Strengthen the glute and hamstring
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Correct imbalances between sides of the body

How to single leg deadlift:

  • Begin standing on one leg and soften the knee so it’s not locked out.
  • If you’re just starting out place something like a cone or a water bottle in front of you to tap with you fingertips as you lower down (working body weight only). As you improve, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell for more of a challenge.
  • Start to reach down by hinging at the hip and either bring the dumbbell towards the top of the foot or tap the object in front of you with your fingertips
  • Keep your hips square as you move through the exercise. The tendency is to open the hip on the non-working side to compensate for balance.
  • Point the toes straight towards the floor on the leg that’s lifting.
  • Press into the grounded heel and engage the hamstring and glute on the working side to lift and lower.
  • Don’t round the back. Maintain a straight spine.

Suggested reps/sets:

  • 5 sets of 5 on each leg
  • 3 sets of 10 on each leg

Here are this week’s workouts!


1 mile run + strength

Peanut Butter Runner Total Body Superset Workout

Loved this total body strength workout. It took me about an hour to get through it all.



Peanut Butter Runner 20-10-5 CrossFit Workout

This was a great mix of cardio and strength between the barbell movements, bodyweight exercises and burpee box jumps. I think the first set of work took me about 12 minutes and the second set took 11 minutes. I used a 75# barbell for both.


Hot yoga


3 mile run

I had a very limited amount of time to get this run done and ended up running 3 miles in 23 minutes…it was a fast pace!



4 mile run

I ran around Sunset Beach. I don’t usually run on the beach but it’s so wide and flat here so it’s totally doable. Love running on this beach!



Beach yoga

We taught each other a class on the top deck of our house. My friend taught warm up, I taught standing and her daughter (who just finished teacher training!) taught the floorwork. It was the most amazing practice overlooking the water with the sunshine and breeze.



4 mile run + paddle boarding

I did my four mile loop around Sunset Beach again and then hit the paddle boards. It’s a killer core and upper body workout when you’re working against wind and tides.

And that wraps up this week’s fitness topic and weekly workout recap. Let me know if you have any questions.

Do you include any single leg training into your workout mix? Do you like to run on the beach? Have you been paddle boarding before?

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Cassie Tran July 26, 2015, 11:53 am

    Great workout! Deadlifts are super effective, I agree!

    • Jen July 26, 2015, 10:37 pm


  • Mary July 26, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Ohhh single leg stuff gets me ALL the time! I always forget about them, then I do it and I’m sore for days haha.

    I love running on the beach! It’s a lot easier to do here in CA rather than my home (Martha’s Vineyard, MA) because the beaches are wider and not as sloped. I love it. and I wish I could paddle board more!! I’m a liiiiittle too far from the ocean to justify buying one, and renting is kind of expensive… but maybe someday I can do it more.

    • Jen July 26, 2015, 10:38 pm

      Running on the beach in California sounds pretty perfect to me!

  • She Rocks Fitness July 26, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Love deadlifts and I am actually planning on doing them tomorrow morning before clients! Looks like some great workouts and some great views…So beautiful! I love running by the beach…Pure bliss! XOXO

  • Sara July 27, 2015, 6:28 am

    I’m 22 weeks pregnant and struggle to find full body strength workouts that work for me. This one did just the trick! I made a couple modifications: swapped out trx rows for barbell rows, swapped out weighted bridges for weighted squats (holding the weight between my legs), and for core I got on all fours and lifted the opposite arm and leg, 10 on each side, and then a side knee lift thing, 10 on each side. Got a great sweat going! Those lunges killed me!

    • Jen July 28, 2015, 8:36 am

      Yay! So glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Emily @ My Healthyish Life July 27, 2015, 7:43 am

    Single leg deadlifts are one of my favorite moves. No matter what weight I use I’m always sore the next day! I don’t like running ON the beach, but rather near it on a path. Have a great week!

  • Samantha July 27, 2015, 7:48 am

    Love these! It’s helpful to find sample workouts to do! Sometimes its difficult to create my own so I just end up on the treadmill for an hour without any strength training which is so important!

    Blue Eyed Adventurer

    • Jen July 28, 2015, 8:37 am

      Happy to hear it!

  • Amanda July 27, 2015, 8:07 am

    Single-leg deadlifts are so effective but I always feel so weak doing them. Which is probably why I need to do them more. haha

    Question – I’ve noticed that you sometimes do strength and Crossfit on back-to-back days. I’ve always been told to leave a day between strength sessions, do you do anything different when you’re doing them back-to-back?

    • Jen July 28, 2015, 3:38 pm

      Strength training on consecutive days is perfectly fine as long as you don’t work any one muscle group really hard with the same movements two days in a row. I purposefully didn’t do any squatting or heavy pulling movements in Monday’s workout knowing that I wanted to incorporate heavier barbell work the next day.
      I think things like kettlebell swings, burpees, mountain climbers, sit ups, etc are totally fine to do on consecutive days.

      • Amanda July 28, 2015, 4:55 pm

        Thanks! That’s really helpful for thinking about new ways to structure my workouts during the week 🙂

        • Jen July 28, 2015, 5:08 pm

          I’ll address this in further detail in a future post!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt July 27, 2015, 8:28 am

    I feel like a run on the beach is just what I need right now 🙂
    Glad you had fun!
    Single leg deadlifts are pretty awesome!

  • Elise February 4, 2016, 1:53 pm

    The total body superset workout sounds awesome! I would love if you could somehow incorporate a description of the moves, as some of them I’m a little unsure of (triceps press for example). I really liked how you added pictures of each move in your Dumbbell Superset Workout. I’m going to try this tomorrow nonetheless. Can’t wait!

Leave a Comment