Hip Stability and Low Back Pain

Video by Dr. Tanner Tunskey

Low back pain is something we see a lot in our East Dallas clinic and can be debilitating for some people. They try to ice or heat the low back, or they might even try to stretch or foam roll the low back but with little to no long term pain relief. The constant work with no relief can leave some feeling defeated, and often times focusing our efforts on just the low back leads us to a dead end. Luckily, there are other regions of the body that helps stabilize the low back as well. These areas include the hamstrings and all of the muscles that make up the glutes. If these muscles do not have the mobility or stability, the low back as the make up for this lack and lead to chronic issues that plague to many people That is where the single leg deadlift comes into play.

The single leg deadlift is a movement that can be progressed and regressed to fit almost any person with any skill level. The reason that this movement is so effective is its effect on the hamstrings and glute musculature. When performing the movement, the glutes and hip musculature had to stabilize the pelvis from rotating, as well as ground the patient so that balance is not lost. Along with the hip stabilization and glute activation, this movement also targets the hamstrings in a stretched position which is beneficial in developing eccentric control and stability throughout the hamstring musculature.

A study by Diamant et al., compared muscle activation of the glutes and hamstrings in the single leg deadlift and the traditional bilateral deadlift. The study stated that “SLDL showed significantly higher average concentric NEMG values of the GMED (77.6% vs. 59.3% [p = 0.002, ES = 1.0]) and BF (82.1% vs. 74.2% [p = 0.041, ES =

0.6]).” The conclusion shows that when compared to a standard two legged deadlift, the single leg deadlift (SLDL) had higher muscle activation in the glute medius and the biceps femoral (one of the hamstring muscles).

Adding the single leg deadlift to your normal workout routine will not only increase your hip and hamstring musculature, but will also improve your hip and hamstring mobility. All of these benefits will work to decrease the work that the low back has to do, leading to a decrease in low back pain. Performing 8-10 repetitions, for 2-4 sets, 1-2x per week with a weight that you can perform the repetitions with good form is a great starting spot.

Here’s to mobile hips and a healthy low back!


Diamant, Wiktor & Geisler, Stephan & Havers, Tim & Knicker, Axel. (2021). Comparison of EMG Activity between Single-Leg Deadlift and Conventional Bilateral Deadlift in Trained Amateur Athletes -An Empirical Analysis. International journal of exercise science. 14. 187-201.

Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our East Dallas Doctors, located in Lakewood at the corner of Mockingbird Ln. and Abrams Rd., are here to teach you that taking care of your mental health and getting the proper nutrients are just as important as the chiropractic adjustment to stay healthy, lower inflammation and limit pain.