Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredKettle Bells
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeHinge (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Lats, Lower Back, Quads, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Hamstrings Muscle Anatomy Diagram

1 Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift Overview

The single leg 1 kettlebell deadlift is a deadlift variation and an exercise used to target the muscles of the entire posterior chain.

The main difference between the 1 kettlebell single leg deadlift and other deadlift variations is it’s a unilateral exercise. This allows you to target each side of the body at a time to build a more aesthetic physique as well as balanced strength.

1 Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift Instructions

  1. Begin with a kettlebell in one hand contralateral (opposite) to the stance leg.
  2. Begin the movement by lifting one foot, unlocking your knee, and slowly hinging at the opposite hip.
  3. Hinge until your chest is almost parallel to the floor and don’t allow the kettlebell to drift forward excessively.
  4. Push through the floor and extend the hip as your return to the starting position.
  5. Reset and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

1 Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift Tips

  1. Focus on pushing your heel back as far as possible and hinging into the hip rather than dropping your chest.
  2. Don’t allow the hips to rotate, you should be able to balance a cup of water on your back in the bottom of the movement.
  3. Your chin should follow your chest, don’t worry about looking up in the bottom of the movement.
  4. Ideally you should keep a straight line from your head through your heel.
  5. Keep a soft bend in your knee and don’t allow your arch to collapse as you complete the movement.
  6. Make sure you wrap your thumbs around the handle and don’t utilize a false grip.
  7. Don’t focus on keeping the weight entirely on the heels, you won’t be able to effectively recruit your quads at the beginning of the lift and thus you’ll be slow off the flow. So, to combat this, you should focus on driving through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  8. To learn and master single RDLs, it may be conducive to utilize assisted versions by lightly holding onto a rack with your free hand or hinging with both legs in position like a normal RDL but keep one foot hovering off the floor.