How To Do Single Leg Deadlifts With A Pulley – James Fitzgerald


This is Laura (Dickerson) doing a Low Pulley Romanian Deadlift (RDL), aka “stoop.” We’ll refer to this as a single leg bending activity. That does mean that you’ll need a pulley machine in order to do this movement which isn’t always the case in small gyms. Bands are simply not the same as a pulley machine for this unfortunately. The bands won’t hold tension as you get to the bottom of the movement. Just watch Laura; you can see that the tension would reduce if she had a band. This is mainly a balance activity for the single leg You also try to avoid rotating by maintaining a packed scapula throughout the entire movement. Her left shoulder is working to hold that packed position while her hip wants to rotate to compensate for it. The pulley will always try to pull her into that position. It’s good because she’ll need to counterbalance the pulley. The main things for biomechanics, or cues, is to tell them to keep a very flat pelvis top. After she does RDL’s on both sides, I would give her a cue, What you can ask them to do is (waiting to see what leg Laura is going to use – her left) If she could turn her toe in on her right leg as she stoops – notice how her right toe can turn out which means she’s rotating her pelvis – A good cue is to tell her to turn her toe in toward the midline of her body. Sometimes that rights the pelvis position. The tempo she’s using is a 2011 (2,0,1,1 – 2 sec down, 0 sec pause in the bottom, 1 sec up, 1 sec pause at the top). (James counting to confirm the tempo)… The rep range is 6 – 9 reps for her on either side. You can see that she has less range of motion on one leg vs the other which causes her to rotate her pelvis more on that side to “search for” range. You need to make sure you’re getting balance one side to the other. You would do this exercise for intermediate to advanced trainees in their pre-workout setting for a few sets. You’d do it in a pre-workout setting to wake things up or get right to left side patterning activated. For beginners, you’d use this in their weight training session in accumulation phases, and you’d do it at the tail end of their weight training portion of their session. Because those stabilizers are used a lot in this movement, If they are going to do any bending or dynamic movements such as RDL’s, deadlifts, KB Swings or anything more dynamic, you wouldn’t want to do this Pulley RDL movement prior to those movements (for beginners) because every rep of those movements will be more intensive which requires their stabilizers to maintain control. This is the best for beginners to intermediates with good upper body strength and balance, and you’re just trying to find a different range of motion and technique for focusing on single leg bending patterns. Sometimes with DB or Barbell Single Leg RDL’s, without the pulley pulling you, sometimes balance becomes an issue, so this is a great counterweight movement to accomplish it. I’d recommend 8-12 reps at a 2011 tempo as a great prescriptions for many people. Put it in place at the back end of training and you can complement it with a single arm upper pushing activity to make it balanced. That’s the single leg RDL with a pulley. Thanks to Laura for helping us out! Enjoy!

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