Test Your Single Leg RDL and Hip Hinge with The Blindfold Test
Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.
Want to know if you’ve mastered the single leg RDL and unilateral hip hinge? One of the main tests you’ll need to pass is the eyes closed or blindfolded variation of the single leg eccentric isometric RDL. That’s because it eliminates the visual system thereby forcing the lifter to rely predominantly on his or her somatosensory feedback from muscle spindles and other proprioceptive mechanisms.
The single leg RDL is difficult enough as is to balance and stabilize under normal conditions. However performed in an eccentric isometric eyes-closed fashion ups the ante several notches.
Unless movement mechanics, technique, stability, mobility, symmetry, posture, motor control, and overall positioning are spot on, this will result in a loss of balance and inability to perform the drill every attempt. Several perfect repetitions on each leg with either bodyweight or very light loads will give you all the feedback you need when assessing your single leg hip hinging proficiency.
Before you even attempt this you’ll want to become efficient at the standard eccentric isometric single leg RDL under eyes open conditions before venturing into the tricky eyes-closed test.
My full-length article on the single leg RDL covers this and much more. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, check it out here. In addition, it got the top article slot of the week at the Personal Training Development Center (PTDC), which isn’t too shabby considering the tough competition it was up against with articles from some of the top fitness experts in the world.