Romanian Deadlift Demonstration





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Uploaded on Jan 31, 2007

Recorded to demonstrate form.

This is a romanian deadlift, not a stiff-legged deadlift. The main distinction between the two is that the RDL is controlled from the hips -- the butt is "punched" backwards causing the torso to lower and then pulled back in to return to upright. In a SLDL, on the other hand, the movement is initiated by lowering the upper body in an attempt to maintain the hips' position in space; the butt is not punched backwards. In either movement, you want to minimize knee bend so that the posterior chain can take the grunt of the load; however, in a RDL, the knees are allowed to bend further if necessary, especially when flexibility is inadequate.

If you're a (Olympic) weightlifter, you will want to modify this basic form in order to better benefit your pulls. You should push the hips backwards like normal to lower the weight, but ensure to keep the bar in contact with the thighs, sliding it down them until you reach a position slightly below knee height. This better emulates the second pull of a clean, keeping the bar in close and placing the shoulders over/ahead it.

FYI, the following link is a good example of an Olympic style romanian deadlift. Notice how the bar stays in close against the thighs and, consequently, the back must maintain a tight arch and the shoulders stay ahead of the bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnBREG...


Note that I use very little knee bend in this video. This is ideal because it places the most emphasis on hip extension. However, if your dynamic flexibility is not as well developed, you will need to use more knee bend or stop your descent at a higher position. As well, if you pull in Olympic style as described above, you will be forced to use more knee bend because of the slightly altered positions.

For the most part, never perform an RDL, SLDL, good morning, etc. (movements that involves hip flexion) with completely straight and locked knees. Unlock your knees and bend them slightly any time your hip is bent and you are externally loading the body. Otherwise, the tendons at the back of the knee can take the grunt of the load, instead of the hamstrings, and the likelihood of injury greatly increases.

Excuse the straps. I filmed this during warm-up and wanted to save my grip. (1/31/07)

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