This exercise secondarily works your core muscles, as your abdominal and obliques contract to stabilize your mid-section. In addition, your traps, forearms, and mid-lower back activate to control the weight during the exercise motion.
As a result, your individual muscle cells grow through a process called hypertrophy. With greater muscle mass, not only will your lower half look more defined, but you will be able to improve your performance in other lifts such as the barbell squat and the dead lift.
Walking, running, jumping, and other athletic movements all depend upon hip strength, endurance, and form. The kettle bell Romanian dead lift increases the strength and stability of your hips and core muscles.
Convenience Unlike other lower body exercises like the seated leg press or the glute ham raise, the kettlebellRDL doesn’t depend on any gym equipment to make major gains. Hinge at the waist and bend your knees so that your back is roughly parallel to the floor.
With a slight bend in your knees, hinge at the waist with a straight back and slowly lower the kettle bell towards the ground. You should feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings as your hips move backwards.
Pause for a moment at the bottom and reverse the motion as you return to the standing position. Re commendation: If you are new to the kettlebellRDL, choose a light weight to begin and complete 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
If you are more comfortable with the form, grab a heavier kettle bell and complete 6-8 reps for 3-4 sets. Rushing the Motion The kettlebellRDL emphasizes the eccentric portion of the exercise when the hamstrings are lengthening.
For that reason, it is crucial to do this exercise slowly to maximize the tension on your lower body. Completing Partial Reps When doing the kettlebellRDL, it is extremely important to lower the kettle bell as far as your hamstrings allow.
Truth be told, lowering the kettle bell to knee level is a partial rep. While you should always stop lifting if you feel significant pain or instability, push yourself to go as low as you can on each rep to maximize your gains!
Begin by grabbing one kettle bell with both hands and assuming a standing position with your feet close together. Now, reverse the motion as you return to the standing position and squeeze your glutes.
Begin by setting up a barbell on the ground with light to medium weight. Hinge at the waist and bend your knees so that your back is roughly parallel to the floor.
Grab the bar with your palms facing towards you and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. If you enjoyed the kettlebellRDL, check out these alternative leg and glute exercises to improve your lower body training:
Engage your core and step forward with your right leg and lunge down until your left knee touches the ground. Secure your ankles with a piece of equipment or have your partner hold them in place. Tighten your hamstrings, glutes, and abs.
Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward until you reach the floor. Squeeze your hamstrings to raise your body back to the starting position.
Squeeze hamstrings and glutes hard at the top to maximize the contraction. Step outwards with your lead foot so that your trail leg is slightly bent.
Pause for a moment at the bottom of the rep and drive upwards with your lead leg. This Anabolic Aliens membership will grant you access to work out classes, rehab programs, diet plans, and more exclusive content to help you achieve sustainable success!
Kettle bell Romanian dead lifts should be done slowly with your focus on feeling the tension on the hamstrings and glutes. Kettle bell Romanian dead lifts are an excellent exercise to use when learning the hip hinge movement before moving on to heavier and more advanced variations.
Grasp a kettle bell by the horns with a double overhand grip and assume a hip width stance. Begin the DL by pushing your hips back and hinging forward until the bar is just below knee height.
Range of motion in the lift will largely be determined by an individual’s mobility as well as their ability to maintain a neutral spine. Here're some factors to consider: If you’re someone who is more globally extended (i.e. athletic background), then you will likely be able to keep a neutral position more effectively by packing the chin.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you tend to be more flexion dominant (especially in your thoracic spine — upper back) then it would behoove you to look up slightly as this will drive more extension. Make sure you wrap your thumbs around the kettle bell and don’t utilize a false grip.
Don’t actively flex the triceps but make sure that your elbow doesn’t break neutral as this can potentially put you at risk for a bicep tear under maximal weights. In this video, Ryan Summers, DPT and co-owner of Pure Physio (Strongsville, Ohio), shares three unique kettle bell moves you can perform virtually anywhere:
This exercise has you hinge into a Single-Leg Romanian Dead lift before performing three rows at the top of the movement. But in that position, as you keep everything nice and tight, row up and down on that opposite arm,” says Summers.
This is another exercise that Frankensteins two common movements together for maximum muscle building and calorie burning in a short amount of time. Then, with the Kettle bell in a good front rack position, perform a Reverse Lunge.
“Looking at the Clean, we want to make sure that it's a nice good hinge back and not a squat,” says Summers. This is a cool variation that adds a unique challenge to the typical High Plank.
“Reach through with the opposite arm while keeping everything nice and tight and pull that kettle bell through. Notice the move is performed by grabbing the kettle bell with an underhand grip before pulling it across your body.
In this video, Ryan Summers, DPT and co-owner of Pure Physio (Strongsville, Ohio), shares three unique kettle bell moves you can perform virtually anywhere: Strengthening a handful of small, upper-back muscles through some deceptively hard exercises can pay big dividends.
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The Romanian dead lift hits the low back, glutes, and hamstrings. You can also use it as an ancillary movement to complement the dead lift, snatch, and clean pull.
Rack pulls, hang jump shrugs, and heavy kettle bell swings mimic the same movement. The Romanian dead lift (DL) works the muscles in the arch of the back, glutes, and hamstrings.
(Its emphasis on the hams is slightly muted because the knees remain bent throughout the movement.) Pick up a barbell with a pronated (palms down), shoulder-width grip and stand fully erect.
Inhale as you lower the bar by allowing the hips to sit back and the torso to drop. The knees will bend slightly but the shins should remain vertical.
When the bar reaches just below the knees, exhale as you reverse the motion using a hip hinge. Bring the torso to a full erect position and repeat for the prescribed number of reps.
Remember to keep the back arched and the knees slightly bent at all times. The DL variations differ depending on whether the focus is on strength or explosiveness.
Sets in low (1-5) rep ranges train both ends of the force-velocity curve. So training in the low rep range comes in two forms: a strength focus, which involves using heavy loads lifted at slower speeds, or a power focus, which involves using lighter loads and moving as explosively as possible.
Rack Pulls — Strength Emphasis The rack pull is basically a short range DL, which enables you to lift even heavier loads with less risk of injury. For lifters who are less experienced with using rack pulls, start with the barbell positioned just above the kneecaps.
Those who are more experienced should start with the bar positioned just below the kneecaps, which offers a greater range of motion (ROM). It's basically an explosive DL with a small jump and shrug at the top of each rep. Lower the weight to just above the kneecaps and explode upward as fast as possible.
Keep in mind we're talking about power training here and not power-endurance training, so the idea is to grab the heaviest kettle bell you can handle, or the two heaviest kettle bells that you're capable of swinging up, while also displaying good control on the way down. Basic Barbell DL Although there's no reason you can't do basic RDS for sets of 3-5 reps, it's better to do them in the middle rep range due to the fact this exercise demands a great deal of spinal control over a large range of motion, which can easily go to pot if you're going too heavy.
Remember: One great month of training can't make you, but it only takes one bad rep to break you! One Leg, One Arm Dumbbell DL The cross-body style — standing on the left leg with the dumbbell in your right hand or vice versa — creates a nice complement to more traditional RDS and variations.
There's a point at which you're still capable of carrying the weight, but the load is heavy enough to force you to lean so far in the opposite direction to counter-balance the uneven load that it defeats the purpose of the exercise, which is controlled motion. One Leg, One Arm Dumbbell DL Doing this movement with high reps forces you to move through a larger range of motion while controlling your body over a reduced base of support.
Sure, you can increase the ROM when using a barbell by either using smaller weight plates or by standing on top of a small platform. However, when extending the ROM while using a barbell, people tend to go deeper than they can control because they've been taught to target the floor.
This association seems to go out the window when performing RDS with dumbbells and the natural focus switches to maintaining alignment throughout the extended ROM. Super band DL Powerlifters often attach bands on each side of the barbell because as the bar rises, the load tension continues to increase (because the band is stretching out) as the lifter continues to gain a mechanical advantage.
With this in mind, the super band DL works very well in the high-rep range, in this case, usually sets of 20-40 reps. Grab the middle of the band with your hands roughly shoulder width apart and begin performing RDS in a fairly fast manner while demonstrating spinal control throughout.
Repeat the cycle 4-6 more times using the same exercises while progressively increasing the load demand each week. Below are three different versions of the same undulating framework, along with sample DL exercise suggestions for each rep range.
Note: For the contrast set, start with a set of heavy lift (3-5 reps), take a short 40-second rest period, and then follow it with an unloaded, explosive exercise using the same movement pattern and the same reps. Nick trains a select group of clients and athletes, and runs a mentorship program for fitness professionals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Better yet, the move can serve multiple purposes, according to trainer Nicolas Panebianco from Trooper Fitness in New York City. Drive your hips forward and then, in one swift motion, position the kettle bell underneath your chin, with elbows tucked in.
Ensure that your core is properly braced, squat down until your thighs break parallel with the floor, then drive back up. According to the American Council on Exercise, the stronger and more skilled an individual becomes at kettle bell routines, recovery time between sets should be reduced, and repetitions should be increased.
The bestkettlebell weight depends upon fitness level, goals and experience. Kettle bell training offers a highly effective cardiovascular workout that increases strength, balance and flexibility.
Hold the dumbbell straight up over your head for 10 seconds with your elbow slightly locked. Kettle bell instructor Adrian Burton notes that lighter weight is recommended to use at first so the individual can focus on developing the proper technique.
Many repetitions are used in kettle bell training, and for those who are unconditioned, using a heavier weight will cause you to tire easily and lose correct form. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
Weightlifting equipment comes in a multitude of shapes and sizes, and the types of exercises you can perform are equally numerous. Although it is considered a total-body exercise, it primarily recruits the erector spinal, gluteus and trapezium muscles.
The abdominal muscles also play a central role in stabilizing the torso during the movement to protect the lower back. Kettle bell swings are dynamic movements that recruit all the muscles of the body to build strength and encourage range of motion, especially in the shoulders.
The major muscle groups recruited in a kettle bell swing include the deltoid, glutes, hamstrings, quads and abdominal. Kettle bell swings build dynamic strength, shoulder flexibility, explosiveness and cardiovascular endurance.
Kettle bell swings are normally performed with lighter weights and at higher repetitions to build muscular endurance. Both dead lifts and kettle bell swings are advanced weightlifting techniques that should only be performed by those with a good foundation of strength.
A doctor's approval and the guidance of a fitness professional to advise on proper form should be secured before performing either of these exercises. For as much hype as squats and bench presses get, there are many other movements you can perform that will net you virtually the same results as these classic lifts.
Like these other dead lifts, the single-leg DL is a hinge movement— the main training effect occurs from the bending and extending of the hips. The single-leg DL can be done with a barbell, one or two dumbbells/ kettle bells, a steel mace, sandbag, or virtually any other training implement you like.
You stand on one leg, hold a load in one (or both) hands, and bend your hips back while keeping a long spine. The movement trains the whole back side of the body (called the posterior chain) while developing balance and improving mobility in the hips.
Old-fashioned, two-footed dead lifts train the hell out of the glutes and hamstrings and build overall muscle strength, size, and power. “I like it best for developing pelvic control while the legs are separate and moving independently of each other,” says Jim “Smitty” Smith, co-founder of the C.P.P.S.
On higher-rep sets, you may even find that the bottoms of your feet burn from single-leg DL ’s, as you struggle to maintain balance. The single-leg DL works all the same muscles as any other dead lift variant, so you know you’re getting a great workout for your glutes, hamstrings, lats, and spinal erectors (just to name a few).
Because you can move into greater ranges of motion, the single-leg DL is a great movement for improving the mobility of your hips and stretching out your hamstrings. Trainers often prescribe body weight single-leg RDS in a warm up routine to loosen the hips and mammies before doing squats or conventional dead lifts.
It’s also a great move to do on your off days as part of a mobility routine that helps you recover from workouts. If you practice yoga, you’ll notice that standing-split poses like warrior 3 are basically body weight single-leg Romanian dead lifts.
If you can’t hinge, your lower back will take on the brunt of any load you’re lifting, and that leads to injuries. If you start bending at the hips so that your torso moves toward the floor, it’s going to have a tendency to twist toward the side that isn’t supported with a leg underneath it.
When you develop the stability to resist rotation when it’s not wanted, you’ve taken a giant step toward preventing lower-back injuries. Many people avoid unilateral training because it’s challenging (and not as soothing to the ego, since you can’t go as heavy as when you lift with both arms or legs at the same time).
This is particularly common in the lower body, where you might see the hips shift to one side on a squat or dead lift movement, or you’re able to do 10 lunges on one leg but can only muster eight good reps on the other. The single-leg DL helps to expose these imbalances and correct them, so that both sides of the body get to (at least nearly) equal strength.
Glutes Hamstrings Lats Traps Spinal erectors Obliques (core) Forearm flexors Calves Perseus longs (outer shin) Posterior tibialis (in the foot) If using it in your warm up, Smitty recommends performing 2–3 sets of 5–10 reps per leg using only your body weight, or very light dumbbells.
Draw your shoulder blades down and together (think “proud chest”), and tuck your tailbone under slightly so that your pelvis is parallel to the floor. Take a deep breath into your belly and brace your core, pulling your ribs down and locking them in place.
Keep your head, spine, and pelvis aligned as you move, and allow your left knee to bend as needed. Maintain your proud chest position—the weight will try to pull your shoulders forward, so fight to keep them locked back and down.
Doing so may indicate tightness in your hips, so if you can’t perform the lift flat-footed, try an easier version (see Single-Leg Romanian Dead lift Alternatives below). If you need help feeling what it’s like to have your arch turn on, keep your heel on the ground and raise your toes up as high as you can.
“When you put your toes back down, try to pull them toward your heel.” Your foot should arch hard and you’ll feel stable. As you get more experienced and conditioned, you can perform higher reps to push your muscle endurance and cardiovascular capacity.
Of course, the single-leg DL is most often used as an assistance exercise to support performance on the barbell squat and dead lift, so it works well when done second, third, or fourth in a leg workout for moderate sets of moderate reps. “I’ll usually have clients do single-leg RDS as part of their assistance work for 3–4 sets of 8–12 reps per leg,” says Smitty. For an extreme balance challenge, you can hold the dumbbell on the same side as the leg you’re standing on, but we don’t suggest you start off learning the exercise that way.
Another option is to use a barbell but treat it like a dumbbell, by gripping the sleeve of the bar (where you load plates) and sliding the other end into a landmine unit. This can spare your lower back some stress versus the barbell version because the weight is held at your sides.
In this case, you simply keep the foot of the non-working leg on the floor as you perform the hip hinge movement. You’ll get a great stretch in your butt and hamstrings, and most of the benefits of unilateral training, but without having to worry about tipping over.
To gently progress to doing the move one-legged, you can hold on to the support beam of a power rack, or even a foam roller that’s held vertically and balanced on one end. To add more load to the movement, you can wrap a band around your hips and attach the other loop end to a power rack/sturdy object.
“As you come up from the bottom position, the band’s resistance will overload the hip extension portion of the exercise,” says Smitty. Of course, conventional bilateral RDS are a natural progression, as are good mornings, which are essentially the same movement but with the barbell held on the back of your shoulders for an additional posterior-chain challenge.
Smitty is a proud supporter of the Shawn Purine Memorial Fund, which benefits environmental and animal charities, as well as after-school programs for children.