17 Apr 2024

At Next Level Physio, we often see a surge in runners combating high hamstring strains, a common yet challenging issue. If you find yourself grappling with discomfort at the sit bones—the origin point of the hamstrings—impacting your daily activities and running routine, the single leg Romanian deadlift (RDL) might just be the transformative exercise you need.

The Power of the Single Leg RDL:

The single leg RDL isn't just another exercise; it's a critical component of our Phase II, Excel phase in the MEI Method for returning to running. This exercise goes beyond typical strength training by targeting each leg individually, ensuring balanced power and resilience in your hamstrings.

Why Single Leg RDLs?

  • Enhanced Lower Body Strength and Power: The single leg RDL zeroes in on the hamstrings and glutes, essential muscles for every runner. Strengthening these areas translates to improved performance across all running activities, from sprints to hill climbs.
  • Boosted Balance and Stability: This exercise challenges your balance, enhancing stability and proprioception. This means better control and confidence on uneven terrain or during quick directional changes.
  • Injury Resistance: While complete injury prevention is unrealistic due to numerous uncontrollable factors, exercises like the single leg RDL can significantly lower the likelihood of injuries by training the hamstrings' eccentric phase and addressing muscle imbalances.

Executing the Single Leg RDL:

  1. Begin standing, weight evenly distributed and knees slightly bent.
  2. Transfer your weight to one leg, maintaining the knee bend.
  3. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back straight and chest up, as you lean forward.
  4. Extend the free leg behind you, aiming for a straight line from head to heel.
  5. Lower until your hamstring stretches, then squeeze your glutes to return to the start.
  6. Complete your set before switching legs.


Pro Tips for Perfect Form:

  • Maintain a flat back to protect your spine.
  • Focus on driving through the heel of your supporting leg.
  • Ensure your shin remains vertical for optimal hamstring engagement.
  • Lower your torso with control to maximize muscle work.
  • Keep the weight close to your body for better stability.

Incorporating single leg Romanian deadlifts into your routine could be the key to overcoming those persistent hamstring issues and enhancing your overall running performance. However, always consult with a physiotherapist before trying new exercises, especially if you're currently injured.

Need Help with Hamstring Pain?

If conventional methods haven't eased your hamstring pain, it's time for a tailored approach. Schedule your free Hamstring Pain Away Physio Assessment at Next Level Physio and get back to running without the pain.

Revolutionize Your Run: The Single Leg Romanian Deadlift for Hamstring Health