Health & FitnessWeight/Strength Training

What is a RDL and how do you do one


The literal term for RDL is a Romanian Dead Lift. These are exactly what they sound like, dead lifting a heavy amount of weight; usually done using a weight bar and dual weight set-up. Now that you know what an RDL is, here’s how and why to do them properly.

Romanian Dead Lifts for a Strong Back and Legs

Because of the form used when performing RDLs, you will get an intense back and leg workout when done correctly. However, beware if you feel too much strain or pull on your lower back, as this may be a sign that you are not in the correct posture for this lift. The beginning stance is to stand with your feet beneath the weight bar hip width apart. Slowly squat balancing your body weight onto your heels into an almost seated position; now bend at the hips leaning forward with a straight back and your body weight on the balls of your feet. Now, grab the weight bar and with shoulder blades positioned back and down, you are ready to lift. At this point you will roll your body weight back onto the heels of your feet and move into a standing position as you slide the bar up the front of your legs ending with the barbell resting against your thighs arms straight.

Time to Perform your First RDL Repetition

Once you have the barbell and weights lifted to the thigh level position, it is time to do a dead lift set. Begin by smoothly and slowly lowering the weights down the front of your leg to about mid shin level while bending at the waist and rolling your body weight onto the balls of your feet; then returning to a full standing position with arms straight and weights back at thigh level. To do this, you will need a minimal arch in your lower back to offset the amount of weight being balanced on the front of your body, as well as to illuminate any shoulder rolling that might occur. On the return you will roll your weight back onto the heels. This rocking motion between heel and ball of the foot allow the body to move in a smooth non-jerky flow for less chance of injury and better results.

Maintaining a strong lower back and legs is a key aspect to maintaining quality of life, with full functionality, mobility, and balance. One of the scariest and most harmful causes of injury as we age are falls, where broken bones, sprains, and tears can inhibit our mobility and take a great deal longer to heal than they did when we were younger.  That is why it is so important to keep fit throughout life warding off any of these potential injuries that occur due to the weakening of muscles as we get older. Performing two to three sets of six to eight repetitions of RDLs per week is one way to keep your lower body and lower back in strong shape as you age; giving you better balance, energy, stamina, and a fuller life overall.