Two Great Single Leg RDL Variations

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Just about a year ago I shared a few blog posts showing landmine single leg RDLs and cross body landmine single leg RDLs (the links will take you to those posts).

Using the landmine has changed the way I feel about single leg RDLs. I’ve never quite liked how they feel with the barbell, but the landmine feels really good to me and it allows you to load it up a lot heavier than you could using a single dumbbell, and I’ve also experienced some really good success using it with clients that struggle to do single leg RDLs in general because the landmine seems to help with balance a little bit. I also just like the benefits you get from offset loading.

The only issue—and it’s a good problem to have—is that when you get better at it, it becomes tough to hold the weight. Using straps helps for sure, but only to some degree, and even if you hold the heavy weight, I’ve found that going super heavy with offset contralateral feels a little sketchy on the lower back.

So to circumvent those issues, I’ve done a few things to make it harder so that less weight is required.

One method is to start from the bottom up and do each rep from a dead stop. I feel these a lot more in my hamstrings too, which is nice.

Like this:

The other method is to slow down the eccentric. These really challenge stability.

If you’re fairly proficient with single leg RDLs but aren’t quite down with the barbell version, these might be something to try. I think they could potentially also be a good option for those with smaller hands and/or weaker grips that struggle to load any considerable weight on the landmine.

I personally like the first one a little better than the second, but both are good. You can also do both versions with the “cross body” setup I showed last year, but I personally don’t like that as much. Different strokes for different though, so try it both ways and see what you like better.

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