How to execute the romanian deadlift properly

Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

How many of you do the dumbbell romanian deadlift exercise and feel it through your lower back?

This is very common, however it doesn't mean that you have a back issue. What it means is that you're failing to be able to hinge effectively through your hips. The white lines demonstrate the major pivot point (hinge) of the exercise. The black arrow indicates where most of you pivot from. The ache in your lower back often comes from flexing and extending the lower back and placing minimal tension through your hamstrings and glutes. Your lower back can only handle this level of tension for so long.

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A tip for you to try, is to make yourself as solid as you can from the floor up. This means gripping the floor with your feet as hard as you can. You then need to contract your hamstrings as hard as you can as you lower the weight. Don't try to wait until you feel a stretch, create the stretch by resisting the load with your hamstrings on the way down. When you're at the bottom of the lift, think of your hips as the pivot, contract your hamstrings and glutes, and extend up to the point just short of lock out. Always remembering to keep the dumbbells close to your hips.

Simply understanding that you're supposed to be pivoting from the hips and planting yourself firmly into the floor, can turn this exercise from a very painful one into an extremely productive movement.

I love this exercise, and especially the barbell version, but it's only effective if you can learn how to hinge and contract perfectly. Start with a lighter load, and develop a perfect contraction and hinge before adding more load.

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