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The Better Deadlift

If there is something we have talked A LOT about it is how the single leg deadlift is probably the most unsung hero in strength training. When we think of what we want to achieve within a fitness program and a singular exercise it is hard to find anything that competes with what a single leg deadlift can deliver!

-Single leg stability.

-Multi-planar strength.

-Mobility in the hips.

-Core strength

-Connection of kinetic chains.

With all these qualities we often have to wonder why the single leg deadlift is not more of a staple of our training programs. Having coached for 25 years, the answer is really simple. Getting to the point of actually using a single leg deadlift is REALLy tough. You need to possess many of these qualities even in order to do the exercise. Going from a foundational two legged to single leg deadlift is just not possible!

So, how do we go from building to evolving what the single leg deadlift can be? You may guess it, our DVRT concepts will come in and save the day!

Holding Position

One of the first things that make DVRT so different is the various holding positions of the Ultimate Sandbag we can use to make an exercise easier or harder all without changing the weight. Not only do these exercises let you scale the intensity, we can get feedback by creating tension against the weight in various ways to help provide stability and strength to the movement.

That is where our front loaded good morning comes into play! As DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows, compared to the barbell version. The DVRT front loaded good morning helps us brace our core and teaches how to keep our plank as our hips produce strength. Keeping the plank in the upper body and trunk is essential in learning ANY hips hinge pattern!

Body Position

This is just the foundation, once we build the base pattern we start to use this concept of the deadlift to other directions. Being able to replicate the same technique under different environments is a key point in what differs functional training from other methods. In fact, by simply changing the direction of our movement as DVRT Master, Sean Lettero, demonstrates, we work actually different muscles of the body. That is how you can get so sore from doing something different.

Using these two variables gives us the ability to learn so many strength qualities of the single deadlift that transitioning to such a movement gets easier and easier. Especially when we start adding feedback of the band to our training. Why are we using the band?

Almost ten years ago I came up with the concept of using a band with our Core Strap to help people learn how to hip hinge better. While we tend to focus mostly on putting a band around the hips (which is okay), placing a band around the implement works better!

Why? When the band is around your hips, many people end up losing their feet which is where EVERYTHING with any deadlift begins! Having tension against the weight though reinforces using our feet and actually helps us create more tension against the weight which gives us more stability.

This is really great and useful when we go to true single leg as DVRT Master, Drew McConaha, demonstrates.

When we create more tension we get better control over the movement. Especially when we are focusing on breaking the handles apart.

What happens though when we get “there”. To where we can use good load and movement what happens then?! In all honestly, this is where a lot of fun STARTS with the single leg deadlift because we can go heavier, we can use the different holding positions, but we can also start to really challenge how we produce and resist movement at the same time. Why would we focus on that?!

When you look at the real core, you see how diagonal most of our trunk and our glutes are formed. This means we are meant to function in all three planes of motion at once!

50629988 10215445750591823 5616843408053108736 n - The Better Deadlift

yea, how unrealistic does it look to isolate muscles when you see our anatomy for real?!

How do we accomplish this? You can see us building up to these qualities by what DVRT Master, Paige Fleischmann, shows with having the band resistance coming from the side to really challenge how we resist and produce movement!

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Seriously one of my fav drills to do with the USB core strap! @ultimatesandbag Anytime I can get one of my golfers better with single leg stability it starts to translate into their #swing🏌🏼 @dr.casey_johnston is working on deeping his ability to hinge and access his hamstrings better. The hips express power and it is transferred up from the feet first which is why we do strength and stability in barefeet. His brain starts to build a better map of his environment and eventually leads to more efficiency and power transfer. . . . #golfperformance #scottsdalefitness #pfsathlete #jointslikejesus #dvrtstrong #sandbagtraining #doyouevenhingebro #functionalfitness #unconventionalathlete @pfsgolf

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As you see though, whatever we do in DVRT can be progressed. You start to see how the single leg deadlift really becomes the pinnacle of strength, body control, and real world fitness as Cory Cripe demonstrates!

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It’s amazing to think when I was a student at @uwlax going through the Exercise & Sport Science program I had to go through a #fitness assessment and one of the exercises was standing on one leg. I did a horrible job and thought it was stupid because I wasn’t very good at it! . . . Fast forward 17 years later and I have a much greater respect for single leg balance and the tie into #coretraining that comes from it. Realizing it’s not about the task of standing on one leg, but the intent of grabbing the ground with the stance foot to integrate all 35 #coremuscles . . . And when you look at this doozy #dvrt drill using the Core Strap, you might not see it but how the right foot is grabbing the floor is creating mobility at the ankle joint resulting in stability in the knee joint #truestory Creating a healthy knee and more performing exercises that should be impossible to do the older you get!

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My hope is we stop thinking of strength as just the MOST amount of weight we can lift. What the single leg deadlift can teach us is that numbers can lie and weight without any additional information does not tell us the full story of what we are accomplishing in our training!