Why such little emphasis on single-leg deadlifts..?

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Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello all,

I've seen some talk of SLDLs on the Forum recently, and looked up proper form and so on. I thought that many of the images I found on Google of the 'T' position created by the bottom position of the drill looked really cool and impressive; I tried a couple myself, and found them harder than I thought I would, though I did manage to do them.

My question is, given that StrongFirst has always put hip hinge moves such as the swing and deadlift on the 1st place podium over squats, why then didn't the SLDL at least get a mention in The Naked Warrior? Or even perhaps get put in instead of the pistol (much like how PTTP included the deadlift over the squat)? Additionally, the SLDL isn't listed as one of the 'core moves' in the SFB curriculum...

Does the SLDL get too easy with BW only once one has done them a few times and got the balance/coordination sorted? Or does the pistol simply offer more overall benefits?

Would be great to hear more info about this move/why it hasn't been given much of a spotlight!

Thanks,

Harry
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I can't answer your question directly, but many of us use and teach the SLDL a lot.

Remember we choose our core lifts carefully - a SLDL is an assistance lift for most of us, and the pistol a core BW lift. There are only so many things that we can focus on. To quote Rob Lawrence, if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

-S-
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Maybe they are "under-used" (at least in their bodyweight form) because they are not a pure core lift (contrary to pistol). I guess they are only considered as a mobility / balance drill ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

D-Rock

Level 5 Valued Member
Good observation. Are people doing them but not talking about them, leading to the assumption they aren't used?

Or even perhaps get put in instead of the pistol (much like how PTTP included the deadlift over the squat
Interesting thought. Pistols give so many benefits. But you know what gets tired when I am doing real life? My hammies. A case for SLDL's?
 

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
With this being one of my favorite skills, I am super excited to see this thread. While they are not a core move in the SFB curriculum they are discussed as an accessory skill in both the SFB for Pistols and the SFG for TGU.
IMO they are under utilized for the amount of carry over. I can not speak for others on why they may or may not be using them but I personally will add them into most all programs I design even if only one day a week while working pistols, Heavy SQ or HEAVY DL's on other days..
The SLDL can be done BW, Single KB, Dbl KB then eventually advanced to Barbell, so the sky is the limit.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
We do put a lot of emphasis on SLDLs in our group classes a lot. I personally do them on my rest days, together with other drills like armbars, wimdmills, etc.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
I use SLDL as a warm up drill with a barbell, or kettle-bell. A mini band around the knees adds more resistance to the off leg and glute.
 

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
They were one of the movements taught at the sf one day kb course I attended. I thought it was weird at first but it made sense afterwards.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Are you guys talking about doing a single leg deadlift with no weight in your hand(s)? I'm not seeing how that could compete with the pistols or one arm pushups as a weight lifting exercise. It seems like it's more of a warmup or a coordination movement.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
Anyone ever play with the King Deadlift. It requIres as much balance, and more strength as the SLDL. It is also as challenging as the Pistol Squat.

I used to superset Pistol Squats and King Deadlifs on a suspension trainer as part of warmup or more intensely as a finisher.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Anyone ever play with the King Deadlift. It requIres as much balance, and more strength as the SLDL. It is also as challenging as the Pistol Squat.

I used to superset Pistol Squats and King Deadlifs on a suspension trainer as part of warmup or more intensely as a finisher.
I had to google "king deadlift" since I wasn't familiar with the term. It's the drill I know by the names "airborne lunge" and "shrimp squat."
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Geoff Chafe
Kind Deadlifts require more leg strength than SLDL that is true if we consider them naked. It is a useful move to reach the pistol.

It also requires balance, as the SLDL does. However, to maintain this balance, you need a good ankle flexibility. That is why a SLDL may be a smooth progression towards KD.

Besides, don't you think SLDL works more your core and hips ? (I ask because I did not practice KD a lot ;) )

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

If SLDL is not used in a program in itself, it can still be interesting to do it as a mobility / balance drill ;)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

James Whitmore

Level 2 Valued Member
How does this intriguing exercise compare with one arm swings?
I used to sldl when on rop a few years back. First off sldl is a grind and the swing is ballistic. I don't think high volume sldl would be good as it can really trash your ankles and all the little stabilizer muscles. Definitely good for mobility, prehab, and foot/ankle strengthening. Also a good way to get grind in when you have a limited weight selection.

Anyways though both movements are hinges I don't think they are all that comparable. Their uses/effects are too different. Do both for a balanced training effect.
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
SLDLs are absurdly easy done without weight. I'll bet anything that doing Naked Pistols would translate to a much bigger Deadlift (and really, anything else) than naked SLDLs just from the sheer extra leg and hip strength they require.

If you have weights though, then the question is why it gets little mention. But that's because the DL seems to be a much better bang for your buck. So it gets the nod for the "hinge of choice" in that sense
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

In terms of "total strength" (capacity to lift X kg) you will left less.

If you do SLDL with weight, it can be an intersting skill to have because contrary to the "standard deadlift", you work on your balance and core.

May be SLDL is less impressive in the gym ;)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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