Don Saladino / Men's Health Composite
Your lower body strength not only comes from your quads and buttock muscles legs, which you should watch out for when you're in the gym like a superhero – your thigh muscles.
When coach Don Saladino designs programs to thrill his customers, Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan look like the superheroes they portray on the big screen and make sure they include exercises that appeal to all the muscles, not just some of the big makers. This means drill down to focus on the thigh muscles – and even one thigh muscle at a time – with movements like the one-legged Romanian deadlift (RDL).
To run the RDL with just one leg, you need a medium-sized dumbbell (you only hold one at a time, so you do not have to grab a pair). The weight should be big enough to be challenging, but not so heavy that you can tip over.
- Stand with the dumbbell in the right hand, the feet are slightly offset, so that the left leg (opposite the weight) is forward.
- Your arm holding the weight should be straight, and your elbow must be locked. Start with a slight knee flexion in the left leg, which you will maintain throughout the movement.
- Hinge on the hips, lower your torso straight down, lift your right leg (on the side of the dumbbell) behind you and lower the weight to about the ankle height on your left leg. If necessary, extend your left arm to keep your balance.
- Hold your spine straight and push your left leg to raise your upper body back to the starting position. The arm holding the dumbbell should stay in the same plane of motion as if it were on a track.
The biggest key to the one-legged RDL is maintaining your posture. Do this by squeezing your core and moving consciously – you do not have to accelerate these repetitions.
If you are familiar with the standard dumbbell version, you can turn the one-legged RDL slightly differently with a dumbbell.
Add the monopod RDL with 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions to your leg day. For more superhero bodybuilding moves, check out all Superhero Fit workouts or Saladino's full program.