I utilize the single leg Romanian deadlifts (RDL) in my dynamic movement prep routines, lower extremity rehab and as part of performance training. It can be effectively used to increase mobility, stability, glute and hamstring strength/power and promote more optimal single leg neuromuscular control. Whether simply using bodyweight or employing heavier loading via kettlebells, dumbbells, etc., this movement should be a staple in many programs.

Using the Activmotion Bar further adds to sensorimotor training in terms of providing an inconsistent lever to balance as the weight inside the bar is constantly moving.

Grasp the Activmotion Bar placing the hands over the white lines on the bar allowing it to hang in front of the body. Balance on the left leg keeping the knee slightly bent (not locked). Next, hinge at the hip as you lower the bar toward the floor maintaining a good neutral spine position. The bar should be maintained close to the body throughout.

Stop the descent just before you start to round the spine or bend the stance knee and return to the upright position. Repeat this sequence 10 times and then switch legs. Perform 1-3 sets as depending on your intended use of the activity.

The single leg RDL is an excellent exercise to improve hip strength, stability and proprioception. Incorporating the Activmotion Bar adds an element of instability to the bar as the shifting weight will force some dynamic adjustments during the movement that further impact the position of the shoulders and torso. Essentially, it adds an element of anti-rotational stability training to the movement.

Consider limiting or reducing the depth of the RDL if control is a challenge at first. Clients may opt to perform a double leg version initially to get accustomed to the weight moving inside the bar and ensure a proper hip hinge takes place.

Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for Athletes' Performance at Raleigh Orthopaedic in Raleigh, NC. Brian conducts live continuing education webinars and presents nationally at professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more information on his products and services, visit


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