The Romainian deadlift (RDL) or stiff legged deadlift is a great exercise to target the posterior chain specifically the Glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Nearly everyday we see clients at Cre8 with back pain and more often in the Lumber (lower back). This is often due to tightness from being seated for many hours and the build of muscle imbalances or faulty movement patterns. Many people when feeling discomfort in the back avoid exercises that directly involve the spinal erectors which often makes the problem worse increasing imbalances or does nothing to improve the problem. We sometimes need to work those muscles directly to improve the healthy of spine and the muscles that support and move our backs. If you do have a back problem we do advise you contact us or a professional with good knowledge in the area as exercises such as the RDL may actually be too advanced to start with. If you have a pain free back we still encourge you perform RDL paying attention to good form following the tips below.
RDL’s should be done with a constant 25 degree knee bend, an arch in the lower back and a hinge from the hips.
As you descend you should push your backside backwards trying to push back as far from the bar as possible while keeping the bar close to the thighs.
If you hinge correctly you will feel a stretch in the hamstrings as they lengthen. From person to person the depth of your movement will be different due to muscle tightness and possible imbalances so lower yourself down to the point you can no longer maintain a neutral (straight) back positioning.
Stance should be hip with and grip overhand at shoulders width.
Keep your chin up and try to keep the chest open by pulling your shoulders back.
If your not feeling a stretch in the hamstrings on the descent you may not be hinging from your hips correctly keep practising with a very light weight.
When you have mastered the exercise begin adding some weight to the bar to help injury proof your body and see improvements in running, jumping, squatting, throwing and just about any athletic performance.