The Romanian Deadlift
Form talk starts at about 9 minutes into the video. The first 9 minutes explains the rationale behind doing them.
If you’re like me and sit most of the day your hamstrings are probably as tight as an 18 year old Korean girl’s snatch. I started doing Romanian deadlifts as part of an olympic lifting program (MSU Experimental program). They’re great and I can feel my formerly weak and tight hamstrings getting stronger. I’m feeling more explosive out of the bottom of my squats, deadlift numbers are going up and its helping with the snatch and clean+jerk movement patterns. I am by no means an expert, so watch some videos, read some articles or ask a coach to see if you’re doing them right. I am only raising awareness about this exercise.
- Start with a light weight, the RDL is an assistance movement to strengthen and stretch the hamstrings. Don’t do it if you want to throw around big weights, that’s what the deadlift is for.
- Get into a conventional deadlift stance: feet hip width apart, double overhand grip at all times and a grip just outside your thighs. Lift the weight up and hold it in the hang position. (You can also start from a rack)
- From the hang position unlock your knees (at no point should you be bending them more than this)
- Drive your ass back, keep your shoulders tight and your back flat. Driving your ass back will lower the weight for you, don’t try to lower it like a normal deadlift.
- The bar must be in contact with your thighs at all times, pull it in with your lats.
- Drive your ass back and lower the bar until your back is completely parallel. You don’t want to have the weight touch the floor as it will break the tension in your hamstrings. The bottom position is when you start to feel your back unlocking.
- From the bottom position raise the bar back to the hang position making sure your knees are only unlocked and not flexing.
There you have it, a relatively simple movement designed to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings. Because it is an assistance exercise do sets of 5, 8 or 10 and do them relatively light. Avoid lifting with your ego at all times, if you go too heavy then you defeat the purpose of the movement. Start light and slowly add more weight. My last session I did 185lbs 3×5 and my deadlift 1RM is 405lbs.
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