Single-arm side deadlift

The single-arm side deadlift is a compound exercise that strengthens the glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, and core. It has more of a core stability and anti-rotational component than other deadlift variations. The side deadlift is usually done for low to moderate reps, such as 5-8 reps per side, with a focus on posture and movement quality.


  1. Develops full-body strength and coordination
  2. Serious core challenge to resist tipping to the side
  3. Significant challenge to grip
  4. Excellent accessory movement for the deadlift

Single-arm side deadlift Images


Single-arm side deadlift Instructions

Single-arm side deadlift muscle diagram
  1. Stand to the side of a barbell next to its center. Bend your knees and lower your body until you are able to reach the barbell.
  2. Grasp the bar as if you were grabbing a briefcase (palms facing you since the bar is sideways). You may need a wrist wrap if you are using a significant amount of weight. This is your starting position.
  3. Use your legs to help lift the barbell up while exhaling. Your arms should extend fully as bring the barbell up until you are in a standing position.
  4. Slowly bring the barbell back down while inhaling. Tip: Make sure to bend your knees while lowering the weight to avoid any injury from occurring.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  6. Switch arms and repeat the movement.

Caution: This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems. Also, jerking motions or doing too much weight can injure your back.

Variations: The exercise can also be performed with a dumbbell as described above.