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Home / Fitness and Health / One-legged RDLs help men over 40 with leg strength and balance

One-legged RDLs help men over 40 with leg strength and balance

Writer, fitness model and trainer Kirk Charles, NASM-CPT CES, knows that life can get more complicated as you age. But that shouldn’t stop you from being at the top of your game. He will help you answer the tough training questions that come with age so that you too can live to be over 40.

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I was a little reckless with my body. I took pride in not having anything to fear when it came to sports and exercise, and physical contact didn’t bother me at all.

But now, in my late fifties and after a few too many missteps, I am much more conscious of losing my balance and falling. When walking or standing, I don̵

7;t feel as stable as I did years ago. What convinced me that my equilibrium was losing was the one-legged stance test. Just standing on one leg is getting harder and harder for me – and when I close my eyes it’s almost impossible to stand for more than a few seconds without losing my balance. This is also a major concern of all of my senior clients when I test them and they are unstable too. The older someone is, the more I focus on core and lower body exercises to improve balance.

One exercise I use a lot to build strength and balance in the lower body is the Romanian One-Legged Deadlift (RDL) with resistance bands. First, stand on the belt with your right foot. Take the tape with both hands and stand with your feet about 6 inches apart. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and support your core. Next, shift your weight onto your right leg with your right foot lying flat on the floor. Lift your left heel off the floor while keeping the toes of your left foot on the floor to maintain balance.

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From this starting position, pivot forward at the hips. When your torso bends forward, raise your left leg behind you, but only as much as it naturally moves with your hinge. As you continue to pivot and your torso bends forward, bend the knee of your right leg slightly and firmly anchor your right heel to the floor. In addition, you should only descend to a point that is comfortable for your freedom of movement. Once your hamstring feels tight or your back starts to round, stop to count.

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When you’ve reached your range of motion and take a break to test your balance, squeeze your glutes to return to your starting position (standing upright) and hip extension. Stop at the top to count, then place your idle foot back on the floor to reset before the next rep. Once your balance is on point, you can try doing multiple reps at once.

As you struggle to keep your balance, you feel your core and lower body in total contact. Challenge yourself to two sets of 10 repetitions per leg, two to three times a week. Do the repetitions slowly with each leg to get more time under tension.

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