Aug 20, 2022
The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is one of the most popular exercises among weightlifters. This exercise is especially known among powerlifters, functional fitness athletes and bodybuilders. Let's find out how to properly perform this exercise and its history of origin.
Among professional athletes, the Romanian deadlift is one of the must-have exercises. Many young athletes are interested in where this exercise came from and why it got such a name.
Well, RDL is a popular exercise in weightlifting. It is also widely used in powerlifting, functional fitness and bodybuilding. In rehabilitation training, which is associated with the restoration of health, one-sided RDL (one-leg variant) is most often performed. This modification of the exercise allows you to use the stabilizing muscles, maintain balance and adjust coordination.
What does the RDL technique consist of?
To train in the RDL technique, grab a barbell with a clean grip for this exercise and perform a lifting motion. In this case, you do not need to straighten up completely, but you should maintain a slight bend in the knees and hip joints. Shoulders should be kept over the bar, chest open and back straight. Begin to slowly lower the bar almost to the platform, keeping your back straight and your knees bent. After that, you need to return to an almost vertical position.
When doing this exercise, be sure to remember 2 important details:
- The back should be kept straight at all times.
- There should be a slight bend in the knees.
By using this technique, you can actively engage your back muscles as well as your glutes and hamstrings.
The origin story of RDL may fascinate you as soon as you hear it. This technique appeared in 1990 in San Francisco. In one of the sports halls, the Olympic champion, world champion and world record holder Nicu Vlad from Romania and his coach Dragomir Choroslan trained. For those who are not familiar with the activities of Niku, Vlad is one of the few athletes who managed to lift 200 kg in the 100 kg weight category at international competitions.
The team was in the US in Seattle for the 1990 games. The US Weightlifting Federation sent out an invitation to Nick and Dragomir to host a small training tournament at several US gyms, including Jim's gym. During that workout, Nick was able to lift 220-230kg in the clean and snatch, and then proceeded to perform this exercise - a dynamic deadlift without full extension. He was able to complete a series of 250 kg for 3 reps.
One of the spectators asked him a question about what exercise he was doing. Niku could only shrug his shoulders in response and said that they were doing this exercise to train their back. This exercise attracted attention, so they asked the athlete to show the same exercise, but with a lighter weight. And then asked to explain how to do it step by step.
One person was able to take some notes and asked for the name of the exercise. When asked about the name of the exercise, only silence followed, since the athlete and his coach could not give a clear name to this thrust. After that, Jim Smits suggested that the exercise be called the "Romanian deadlift" or RDL for short. Everyone agreed and that is how RDL was born.
It is worth noting that this exercise was previously used among athletes, but then it did not have a name. So, for example, the Japanese athlete Yoshinobu Miyake constantly used the same deadlift.
Many trainers suggest including this exercise in your prep period and using 80%-100% of your best clean for this. During training, it is recommended to perform 3-5 repetitions.
This exercise is recommended to be performed from a higher platform and combined with scars. In this case, you should choose fairly light and comfortable weight tools for training the back line. For many athletes, RDL should be done during the prep period for extra effort, or during the transition period as a break from regular pull-ups. Also, this set of exercises can be used to improve the strength of the forearms and grip.
Also, athletes who plan training are advised to take into account all deadlifts with a load of more than 70% and include them in the calculations, in order to avoid imbalance and overtraining.