July 4, 2022

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Romanian Deadlifts: Do they focus on Lower Back or Hamstrings more?

6 min read

Asked by: Joyce Kong

Romanian and stiff-legged deadlifts target your hamstrings more than the standard form, making them ideal for people wishing to strengthen this area. They also put less pressure on your low back and are ideal for people with back pain. Traditional deadlifts may strengthen your lower back more.

Are RDLs for back or hamstrings?


Okay so with that RDL we're basically training pure hip extension. Where the glutes and hamstrings contract to straighten out the hips.

Should you feel Romanian deadlifts in lower back?

Note, that the lower back should not be the sole muscles one feels when performing Romanian deadlifts. If you find you are feeling your lower back muscles too much (more than you feel your hamstrings and glutes), it may be best to review the exercise how-to video to review the correct form and technique.

Are Romanian deadlifts enough for hamstrings?

Researchers investigated the muscle activity of the hamstrings during the leg curl, good morning, glute-ham raise, and Romanian deadlift (RDL) and found that hamstring activity was maximized in the RDL and glute-ham raise.

What do Romanian deadlifts focus on?

The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a traditional barbell lift used to develop the strength of the posterior chain muscles, including the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and adductors. When done correctly, the RDL is an effective exercise that helps strengthen both the core and the lower body with one move.

Does RDLs target lower back?

The main focus of the RDL is to maintain the natural curve of your lower back, under load, whilst lowering the bar down your thighs. You are lengthening the hamstrings and glutes at this point.

Why don’t I feel RDLs in my hamstrings?

To feel the hamstrings while performing the Romanian deadlift we need to ensure that the knees are not traveling too far forward, and instead are maintaining a slight bend in the knee with the shins mostly vertical.

Do RDLs lengthen hamstrings?

Yet the move isn’t just about strengthening your backside—it’s also great for stretching your hamstrings and alleviating tension in your low back. The eccentric part of the movement, or when you’re lowering the weight, is a great hamstring and low-back stretch.

Do deadlifts work hamstrings?

Some benefits of performing deadlifts include strengthening and gaining more definition in your upper and lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.

Which deadlift is better for glutes?

4. Romanian deadlift. Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) put a greater emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes so if you’re zeroing in on those areas, RDLs are a good choice.

What deadlift is best for back?

The conventional deadlift elicits roughly 8% more shear force on the lumbar spine when compared to the sumo deadlift. This is mainly because the starting position is more horizontal during the conventional deadlift.

What is the best exercise for hamstrings?

Best Hamstring Exercises

  • Lying Leg Curl.
  • Hamstring Slide.
  • Toes-Elevated Dumbbell RDL.
  • Dumbbell Good Morning.
  • Razor Curl.
  • Single-Leg Stability Ball Curl.
  • Nordic Hamstring Curl.
  • Eccentric Hip Extension Hamstring Curl With Sliders.

How do you target lower hamstrings?

Slowly push your hips all the way back with the weight gliding close to the front of your leg. Lower until you feel slight tension in your hamstrings, or until your torso is parallel to the ground, whichever comes first. Pull your hips forward and stand to return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps.

Do squats hit hamstrings?

Do Squats Train Hamstrings? Yes, squats do train the hamstring muscles, but not to a significant degree. During squats, the primary muscles used are the quads, glutes, and hip adductors. The hamstring only recruits near the top of the squat to assist the hips from extending up and forward.

How do you strengthen your lower hamstrings?

Forward bend your leg bring your heel behind you close to your hip. Continue to lean forward while you straighten your leg and tap the floor behind you repeat this twelve to fifteen times.

What are Romanian deadlifts?

Up you put it in a deadlift position first to get it up to the top position which is going to be your start. And then what you want to do is push your hips backwards with knees slightly bent.

How do you engage hamstrings in deadlifts?

So the starting position is an expansion and then when who does the deadlift is causing a contraction. The problem is if the hips are too low.

Are hip thrusts good for hamstrings?

The Hip Thrust has become a must in this work perspective. Several studies, conducted by Bret Contreras (aka “The Glute Guy”) have compared this exercise with different squat variants (back squat, front squat), demonstrating that the Hip Thrust allowed a better recruitment of hamstrings and gluteus maximus.

Why do I only feel hamstrings in hip thrusts?

Your foot placement is incorrect. If your feet are too far forward, you’ll feel the hip thrust more in your hamstrings. If they’re too far in toward your body, you’ll get more quad engagement. Like Goldilocks, you’ll need to find a foot positioning that’s “just right” to feel the hip thrust primarily in the glutes.

How do you strengthen your lower back?

Up off of the floor. Now as you lift up i want you to go as high as you can comfortably. Hold that contraction for about three to five seconds. And then slowly return back down to that starting.

Why are hamstrings dominant?

Individuals that preferentially activate their hamstrings prior to their gluts are called ‘hamstring dominant. ‘ This can be problematic because the gluteals are meant to act as a hip stabilizer and extensor. When they do not fire first, the gluteals do not stablize.

Are deadlifts more quads or hamstrings?

Do you even know the difference? Most leg exercises fall under the quad-dominant category. Squats, deadlifts, leg presses, and the like are all quad-dominant exercises. While the hip extensor muscle groups (hamstrings and glutes) are activated during these movements, the quads take most of the training stress.

How do I know if Im quad or hamstring dominant?

In general, when someone can squat with proper form, the demand is placed across all three muscle groups, providing less strain on any one particular part of the body. If, when you squat, your first movement is to bend at the knees or if your knees move excessively past your toes, you may be quad dominant.

How do I know if my hamstrings are dominant?

If you’ve noticed hamstring or back tightness, knee pain, feel your glutes don’t “turn on” during a leg workout, or lack that explosive kick you need to finish out a sprint, you could be “quad-dominant.” Here’s a simple way to tell: Sink down into your best squat position with your eyes closed.

Are quads or hamstrings more important?

It is believed that the quads are the most important “speed muscles” in the body, but the true speed muscles are actually the hamstrings and glutes. Both muscles play a much more important role in running stride, especially at high velocities.

How do I know if my hamstrings are weak?

To see if your hamstrings are weak or tight, bend over and touch your toes. If your toes and fingers do not meet, you may have tight or weak hamstrings. Your hamstring muscles are susceptible to both, overuse injuries and acute or sudden injury.

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