Romanian Deadlift 🍑🔥 ▪️ The Romanian Deadlift (or RDL), is one the if the best accessory movements for developing the Deadlift. RDL’s teach us how to correctly perform the hip hinge (necessary for deadlifts and squats). The goal of this movements is to keep your spine completely neutral - look above at my head position - I’m NOT looking at myself in the mirror, but looking neutral so as to maintain a flat back. If I was looking at myself, the top of my spine would be under extra pressure and there is a higher chance of seeing lumbar lordosis (a caving in, or ‘duck butt’ effect) from the lowest point of the spine to the glutes.
To do this lift efficiently and safely, you want to keep the dumbbells, or barbell, as close to your body as possible. You do this by actively engaging your lats. Imagine your trying to pull the dumbbell/bar into your legs at all times. 🚫 I often see RDL’s being performed very poorly. Some of the biggest mistakes I see are:
❗️Rounding if the back, and simply bending forward, allowing the dumbbell of barbells to hang in front of them. This shifts the load of the exercise from the glutes and hamstrings, to the lower spine.
❗️People performing this movement with straight legs AND a curved lumbar spine. If this is you, this doesn’t mean that you can never do an RDL, Deadlift it squat, but I definitely recommended you hire a coach to help you develop your movement patterns before attempting again.
❗️People not bracing. As this movement is so heavily reliant on your posterior chain, to minimise any risk of injury to your lower back, you must practice correct bracing and breathing techniques.
3 tips I have for improving your RDL are:
1️⃣ Never use the same weight that you would use for a Deadlift, always go lighter.
2️⃣ As much as this will develop your hamstrings and glutes, your back also plays a large role in helping you perform this lift. To maintain tight lats throughout the movement, remember to ‘squeeze your armpits’.
3️⃣ Practice your breathing. Brace at the top of the movement by breathing through your abdomen, when you’re on the concentric (up) phase, breath out sharply for a stronger lockout.