How To Perform A Straight Leg Deadlift Correctly – Stephanie Bauman

Stephanie Bauman – @TrainerSteph7

Straight leg deadlift or RDL (Romanian deadlift) is the exercise I see done incorrectly the most. Or it’s the hardest for people to understand exactly how to do it. Let’s break down this movement step by step. You can use a bar or dumbbells for this exercise.

Step 1: While standing tall, have your feet around shoulder width apart. Everyone’s stance will be different, but you just don’t want your feet too far apart. Slight bend in your knees. Don’t lock the knees and don’t do a squat.

Step 2: While holding the bar or dumbbells, close to shoulder width apart, push your chest out, keep your back straight (to help keep your back straight, make sure you pull your stomach in), and push your hips back (stick that butt out) as you lower the bar or dumbbells to below the knee (some may be able to go down farther, because they are more flexible while still keeping great form).

Step 3: When you come up make sure you squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

That is a breakdown of the straight leg deadlift. The most commons errors I see as a trainer are:

  1. People don’t push their hips back or stick their butts out. That movement is hard for people to understand and to perform.
  2. Another error is people don’t use the mind to muscle connection and when they perform this exercise they don’t concentrate on their glutes and hamstrings to pull themselves back up, so they feel it more in their lower backs.
  3. The last common error I see in this movement is people will either go too light or too heavy with this movement. Make sure you pick the right weight that you can perform this movement with proper form. Never compromise form for weight!

The last piece of advice I have for the straight leg deadlift is to start with very light until you get the form down perfectly. Then slowly increase the weight. Make sure you are pushing those hips back and keeping your back straight. This movement is one of the best for developing your glutes, hamstrings and lower back! To help keep your posterior chain strong!

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