It seems that most people understand the benefits of performing single leg strength and stability drills. In particular, Single-Leg Roman Deadlifts (SL RDLs) are very popular with physical therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, as well as gym goers. This exercise is popular for targeting the hamstrings, the gluteal muscles, the gastrocs and ankle stabilizers and the obliques (for core stability). With a search of social media, you can find many variations and progressions of this drill. Before you push forward, make sure you are performing the basic deadlifts properly.
To avoid injury, you need to determine if you are able to perform SL RDLs while maintaining proper pelvic control. While it is true that the obliques play a key role in alignment, the hip external rotators assist in keeping the pelvis aligned and stable. In many cases, the hip external rotators are not doing their job properly, allowing for wear and tear of the joint and soft tissues over time.
Lack of hip external rotator control may be due to several dysfunctions. These dysfunctions may include one or a combination of the following:
• Poor hip strength
• Inability to properly recruit the hip external rotators
• Muscle imbalances
• Decreased core stability
• Altered proprioception
• Compromised balance
• Hip pathology
• Normal or abnormal hip structure
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
If you continue to perform your exercises with poor mechanics, you may eventually experience an overuse injury to hip, the back, and/or the legs. Our physical therapists can guide you through corrective exercises to prevent injury and allow you to safely progress your exercise program. After assessing your strength, joint mobility, soft tissue flexibility, balance, range of motion, and proprioception, your therapist will evaluate your lifting mechanics. Upon determining deficits and compensations, your therapist will discuss the findings and provide steps to correct them.
If you would like your performance evaluated or receive guidance on improving your mechanics with single leg exercises, our physical therapists will be happy to work with you.
Call our office today to set up an appointment.