How to Do a Kickstand Romanian Deadlift


When done correctly, single-leg Romanian deadlifts are a terrific exercise. The keyword here is “correctly”. Because this variation on a deadlift is a difficult and advanced exercise, it takes time to master or, at least, to execute effectively. You could always stick with bilateral Romanian deadlifts, but your clients will miss out on the benefits of single-leg training. The in-between exercise, or bridge, between unilateral and bilateral Romanian deadlifts that gives you similar benefits without excessive challenges on balance and core tension is the Kickstand Romanian deadlift.

Kickstand Romanian Deadlifts allow the toes of the rear foot to provide stability, while targeting the front leg. Think of it like a training wheel on a bike — you are training the body to prepare for a more advanced skill. You will also be able to work up to more weight being used with less worry of losing balance. Remember, your clients should earn the progression by mastering the regressions. Form always first!

Muscles Used in Kickstand Deadlift

Primary: Hamstrings, gluteals  

Secondary: Rectus abdominis

How to Do Kickstand Romanian Deadlifts

  1. Grab a weight (can be done with a pair of DB’s) and stand with legs hip width apart. In the video you will see one Kettlebell used.
  2. Step the right leg back where the toes are at least in-line or past the heel of the front leg. The heel of the back foot should be off the ground with only toes lightly touching the floor.
  3. Soften the knee of left leg and bear all your body weight on it. 
  4. Hinge at the hips, while maintaining straight back. Be sure to keep the shin vertical the entire time during this movement (left leg). 
  5. Once the hips are hinged back, drive them forward while exhaling and engaged the abdominals to prevent hyperextension. 
  6. Repeat


Give it a Try

Single leg training is great but can be very frustrating for your clients if they haven’t mastered the regressions. Kickstand Romanian Deadlifts are a great way work the posterior chain, one leg at a time, without the greater demand of single leg balance. If your clients are used to doing traditional Romanian Deadlifts then this will be a refreshing way to train this movement pattern. I recommend starting with a single weight in the oppposite arm from the working leg (in front, contralateral position) and progress with a dumbbell in each hand. Before you know it you will be able to make the transition to the single leg Romanian deadlift.

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Ian Nimblett, CFSC, CSCS, NFPT-CPT and is a functional strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer, and author. He is the founder and owner of Premier Fitness Group LLC in South Salem, NY, a world-class functional training facility that provides private, semi-private, and group training.
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