Here’s a quick article about some common RDL mistakes that I see pretty often:
1) Not knowing the difference between an RDL and a stiff legged deadlift.
The cover photo of the article is a stiff leg deadlift and the picture above is a Romanian deadlift. Romanian deadlifts are the one where the hips are pushed more back with a slight knee bend. The stiff leg deadlift is the deadlift variation where the hips aren’t pushed back and the knees aren’t bent. I personally don’t do stiff leg deadlifts and find that RDL’s are safer and I also get more out of them.
2) Not keeping the bar close to your body.
For lifting heavy weight and lower back safety, you can’t let the bar be far away from you. Some deadlifters have blood on their shins because they keep the bar very close to their bodies simply because they know the dangers of barbell’s that are too far away from the body. You don’t have to scrape you shins, but keep the bar in contact with your legs throughout the set.
3) Bending forward instead of pushing the hips back.
This was a mistake that I have made for years and I had a lot of back pain because of this. The RDL isn’t a stiff leg deadlift, you have to push the hips back and keep your focus on that throughout the eccentric part of the lift.
4) Not keeping the chest up.
Keeping the chest up will help you arch your lower back which will also protect it from injuries. If your chest and shoulders are caving in then don’t be surprised if you experience lower back pain. You want to always think “beach body” when you are doing deadlift variations. Stand tall with your chest out like you are at the beach.
5) Not focusing on keeping tension on the hamstrings.
Many people do RDL’S and feel it in their lower back and not the hamstrings. Yes, the lower back is involved, but it shouldn’t be the only muscle that you feel working throughout the set. I like to think about the stretch in my hamstrings throughout the whole set. I also like to take 1-3 seconds on the eccentric part of the lift to make sure that my hamstrings are getting a good stretch.
6) Not using the lats when doing RDL’S.
This will improve the safety of the lift and also help you lift more weight. The lats are an extremely strong muscle and they could play a huge role in the deadlift. If you don’t feel your lats when you deadlift then try to pull the bar into your thighs, this will help your mind muscle connection.
I hope you enjoyed these tips, these 6 tips alone have helped my RDL in so many ways and my hamstrings are currently bigger and stronger than ever. Let me know what you think.