Today's Edge: Unless your sport is video gaming or chess, you better be training your hamstrings. The Single Leg Deadlift should be a staple in your training if you want healthy hamstrings. 

BENEFITS: 

The Single Leg Deadlift is a great exercise for training your hamstring and glute strength while in a single leg stance. Strong glutes and hamstrings translate to better balance, speed, agility, jump performance, landing/deceleration skill, and injury prevention. 

COACHING KEYS: 

PACKED SHOULDER - The term packed shoulder refers to keeping the shoulder from dipping to the floor or sagging away from the body at the bottom of the movement. 
FLAT BACK - The low back needs to remain flat instead of rounding out or arching the other way. 
CLOSED HIP - One of the most common miscues with this exercise is letting the hip on the non-stance side fly open. As you lower into the movement it's important to actively keep the hip pointing to the ground instead of allowing it to tip open to the side. 
BENT KNEE❓🔍 - Some people may be pointing in horror at the bent knee on the non-stance leg. I don't have any problem with the non-stance leg being slightly bent. It's very hard for most folks to keep the back leg completely straight without going into low back hyper extension. This is not a beneficial trade off in my opinion. Keep the back leg slightly bent if it allows you to keep a neutral low back position. 

Use the Single Leg Deadlift in your lower body strength work. It pairs well with a double leg glute-focus exercise like a squat or a single leg plyometric exercise like bounding. Shoot for 2-4 sets of 4-12 repetitions.


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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, spent 6 seasons as Head Strength & Conditioning coach of the Lakers and is renowned nationally for his evidence-based and scientific approach to training, nutrition and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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