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

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D-Rock

Level 5 Valued Member
I have done airborne lunges (king deadlifts) before. They seem to load the hamstrings and glutes more than the pistol and be more of a squat than the SLDL. It seems to me it would be harder to load heavy than a SLDL.

For me personally to be able to do one properly, especially keeping the hips squared and not collapsing at the supporting hip, a SLDL is anything but easy.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@305pelusa SLDL are definitely not easy for many people, even with no weight and even with a very limited range of motion.

-S-
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
@305pelusa SLDL are definitely not easy for many people, even with no weight and even with a very limited range of motion.

-S-
Steve , everything is relative. A planche is easy for a top gymnast while a plank can be impossible to a 70 year old.

I didn't mean that the SLDL is easy in general because obviously you can always find people who find it challenging. Rather, I was giving context that a Pistol is definitely much harder, and hence, gets much more mention as a worthwhile strength pursuit than SLDLs in calisthenics specifically. That's all
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
I have done airborne lunges (king deadlifts) before. They seem to load the hamstrings and glutes more than the pistol and be more of a squat than the SLDL.
That's interesting. I find the Airborne lunge to be particularly taxing on my quads, and that's probably because the knee gets pushed so far forward on them. On Pistols, since you have a whole leg of counterweight in front, you can sit back more (keep the weight at the heel, as Steve Cotter would say), which feels like it loads my hips more.

We're all different though but it's cool to see a different experience
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
SLDL are definitely not easy for many people, even with no weight and even with a very limited range of motion.
I'll agree with that. I can do sets of SLDL w/ 16kg in the opposite hand, but both those and unweighted SLDLs are quite challenging. I can do pistols (singles); these are about the same difficulty to me as a set of 5 SLDLs.

A lot of people don't load the SLDL very well. My favorite drill on this is to face a wall, do an unweighted SLDL with your arms lightly on the wall in front of you, and push yourself back a few inches (I think I saw this in a Dan John video). When you push yourself back (hingeing on the working leg with the other leg straight pushing out through the heel behind you, and hips level) you can REALLY feel the glute and hamstring load up... that is what you're after in each SLDL rep.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Anna C Never tried that, but I like One Legged Dog pose with one leg up the wall and all the cues you mentioned.

Have you ever tried Hip Airplanes. Hinge on one leg as far as you can with good form, hold onto something if you need to. Then open and close the hip joint while maintaining form. It's an awesome drill to help clear hip impingement. All the movement should only come from the hip joint. It is a very effective drill for my needs.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Have you ever tried Hip Airplanes. Hinge on one leg as far as you can with good form, hold onto something if you need to. Then open and close the hip joint while maintaining form. It's an awesome drill to help clear hip impingement. All the movement should only come from the hip joint. It is a very effective drill for my needs.
Hmm, I just tried it, and that does seem like a great drill. Everything around the hip joint feels good! If I'm understanding you correctly it's basically yoga's "warrior 3" and "half moon" poses, which I do sometimes, but moving back and forth between the two.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
Hmm, I just tried it, and that does seem like a great drill. Everything around the hip joint feels good! If I'm understanding you correctly it's basically yoga's "warrior 3" and "half moon" poses, which I do sometimes, but moving back and forth between the two.
Yes, I never looked at it that way. I have been doing it for many years. I learned it from a great Weightlifting coach, but i think McGill has taken ownership of it. It works wonders for heavy squatters, and pullers. When I started doing a lot of heavy carries the TFL's really take a beating. I pulled the Hip Airplane from "The Bag of Tricks", and it really cleans up any hip issues for me.

Make sure to really close the hip joint. Many people only go to parallel and you miss a lot of the movement, and be sure to go slow and controlled, and restrict the movement to only the hip joint.
 

King Cobra Fit

Matt - CSEP-CPT, SFG I, FMS I&II
Certified Instructor
Kettlebells are generally my weapon of choice (hard style and GS) but I've decided to finish the year with a body weight program, with one exception, weighted SLDL.
Day 1 (Mon/Thurs)
pistols
Pistons (OAPU)
1,2,3X3

Day 2 (Tues/Fri)
SLDL (2X24 Kg)
Pull ups
1,2,3X3

Finish both sessions with 10 mins on the Fan Bike at my MAF

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Variety day
Swing clubs, steel mace, getups, light bent press, mobility.
Ok not a strict BW program, but its much more body weight then my usual daily practice.

Anyway, I'm always learn so much when I return to the SLDL, esp with a challenging but manageable weight.
BW SLDL are a good place to start but imho you gotta hold something heavy to get the full effect.
 
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