Deadlifts are one of the most significant strength workouts for a variety of reasons. They necessitate and develop core strength, which aids in the development of safe motor patterns, trunk stabilisation, and coordination and agility. As a result, they’re popular among bodybuilders and athletes looking to improve their performance.
Deadlifts are also popular with folks who seek to make their daily routines easier. They can increase hip and knee range of motion, improve joint stability, and boost bone density. Plus, they’re a flexible, adaptable exercise with a variety of variations that allow you to customise your workout to your specific needs, goals, and talents.
Continue reading to discover more about the various varieties of deadlifts, as well as the muscles they target, the benefits they provide, and the risks they pose.
The Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift (or RDL) is a traditional barbell exercise that targets your posterior chain muscles, such as your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.
It’s normally done with a barbell, but it’s also done with dumbbells and kettlebells.
The Romanian deadlift is a time-saving addition to many training programmes since it is a compound exercise that trains numerous muscle groups at once.
Deadlifts in Romania vs. Deadlifts
The Romanian deadlift differs from the regular deadlift in two major ways.
- From the top to the bottom. The Romanian deadlift begins and ends with the lifter standing upright. The normal deadlift begins and ends on the ground.
- Knees are locked in place. You lock your knees at a modest bend (approximately 15°) and simply bend at your hip in the Romanian deadlift.
By keeping your knees nearly fully extended during the exercise, you are transferring almost all of the work to your back muscles while emptying your quadriceps.
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts vs. Romanian Deadlifts
The stiff-legged deadlift and the Romanian deadlift are very similar in technique, with the exception that the stiff-leg deadlift normally starts and stops with the barbell on the floor.
This is not necessary in the Romanian deadlift; you can reverse the rep before hitting the floor and only put the bar back on the floor (or in a rack) when your set is complete.
Advantages Of The Romanian
According to Ward, the Romanian deadlift is especially beneficial for improving posture because it “un-hunches” the shoulders by anchoring your lats (a major muscle that runs along the back of your body) down and back.
The Romanian deadlift encourages people who have a hard time engaging their core when lifting heavy to brace their abs to avoid arching or rounding the low back, which is why it’s such a terrific core stabilising activity.
The Romanian deadlift, unlike the traditional deadlift, is performed with only a minor bend in the knees. According to Roxie Jones, a NASM-licensed personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning coach, “the stiffer leg stance in the Romanian deadlift places greater focus on the hamstrings than the standard deadlift.”
A Romanian deadlift can be performed in the following manner:
It’s time to add Romanian deadlifts to your training programme once you’ve mastered the hip hinge movement pattern.
Here’s how to do it:
- With a barbell in front of you, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- As your torso reaches for the floor, hinge forwards from the hips, keeping your spine long and straight. Plug your shoulders back and down to secure your spine and brace your core while gripping the barbell with both hands at shoulder-distance apart. To avoid hyperextension, look down and slightly forwards.
- To stand up straight and elevate the weight to roughly your upper thighs, tighten your glutes, hamstrings, and core and drive your feet into the ground. At the apex, tighten your glutes and lock your hips.
- Lower the weight to anywhere between your knees and toes (depending on your flexibility), keeping your body parallel to the ground and your core engaged.
Three Romanian deadlift blunders to avoid
1. Failure to maintain a flat back.
Avoid over-hinging at the hips (or bending too far forwards): “Don’t exceed 90 degrees.” Jones recommends “stopping the action with a flat back and your body parallel to the floor.”
Over-hinging at the hips can cause the back to round and the knees to bow. “My favourite cue I use with clients and in group groups is to bend at the hips and feel your trousers pockets reach the other side of the room,” Ward adds.
2. Failure to maintain a neutral spine.
When performing the Romanian deadlift, remember to keep your attention focused roughly two feet in front of you throughout the action.
“Because the Romanian deadlift is also known as a stiff-leg deadlift, think stiff neck,” Ward explains. “Lead with a proud chest as you drop your body and shoulders, and rise with the barbell at the same time to keep your shoulders from rounding forwards.”
3. Excessive distance between the barbell and your body
Keep your glutes and core as tight as possible during the lift. “A lot of the time, I see folks let go of their back or abs, which causes the back to round out,” Jones explains.
Ward goes on to say that keeping the barbell close to the torso will assist prevent rounding. “The farther the barbell is from the body, the more likely you are to round your back throughout the lift,” Ward explains, “but keeping the barbell closer to you will stimulate the lats.”
Try these three Romanian deadlift variations:
Because the Romanian deadlift is a rather complex technique, practising many versions of it can help you develop the mobility, coordination, and strength necessary to master it. The following Romanian deadlift exercises develop the back of the body in novel ways by employing different grips and isolating specific muscles.
1. Deadlift (sumo)
According to Ward, the sumo deadlift has a broader stance, which allows you to lift more weight. “This specific lift is back-friendly, especially for those recovering from an injury or beginning a strength training programme for the first time.”
2. Romanian single-leg deadlift
This exercise isolates one side of the body with a heavy load, which can assist enhance body alignment while treating any asymmetries between the left and right sides.
3. Snatching (or wide) grip
You use the identical hip hinge mechanics in this Romanian deadlift variation, but you hold the barbell with a broader grip. According to Ward, this necessitates more lat and core activation.
F.A.Q what do romanian deadlifts work:
What do Romanian deadlifts mainly work?
The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a conventional barbell movement that targets the posterior chain muscles such as the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductors.
Do Romanian deadlifts build back?
Because the lifter must maintain a stiff torso and flat back throughout the full range of motion, the Romanian deadlift develops general back strength. When a lifter reduces the weight, the back has to work harder to prevent spinal flexion and shoulder rounding.
How many Romanian deadlifts should I do a day?
Depending on the overall training volume of the programme, repetitions should be kept between 8-12 with moderate to heavy weights for a total of 3-5 sets. Lifters must keep in mind that the metabolic demands on a muscle are influenced by duration under stress, loading, total training volume (sets and reps), and muscular stretch.
There are very few lower-body movements that do not need the use of your posterior chain. This muscle group is referred to as an athlete’s “engine room” because it is responsible for creating power for sprinting, jumping, kicking, and throwing.
You must work on your posterior chain if you want to improve your performance or look your best – period!
The RDL is perhaps one of the best exercises for working your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. To build the strongest, most muscular posterior chain possible, do the RDL and the modifications and alternatives described in this article.
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