The RDL (Romanian Deadlift) is a compound hinge movement focusing on the hamstrings (back of legs), specifically the eccentric (way down) part of the exercise where we are trying to achieve maximum stretch through the hamstrings.
The starting position is holding the bar at hip level with a pronated grip. Your shoulders should be pinned back, your back neutral and your knees slightly bent.
Once you have a strong starting position, you’ll be ready to start the movement. Lower the bar by pushing your bottom back as far as you can. Keep the bar as close to your body as possible (it should slide down your legs) and keep your shoulders pinned back.
You’ll know when you’re doing it correctly as you’ll feel an incredible stretch in the hamstrings. Once you’ve reached full stretch (generally just below the knee), you can then start to bring the weight back up by driving your hips forward and locking out at the hip joint to achieve full squeeze of the glutes. Make sure your back stays straight through the full range of motion.
Key Coaching Points:
- Shoulder blades pinned back
- Slight bend in the knees
- Push your bottom out/push to the sky
- Keep the bar close to your body