The dumbbell RDL (Romanian Deadlift) is an excellent accessory movement that focuses on the muscles responsible for knee and hip extension from the posterior.
Performing the dumbbell RDL will strengthen the posterior chain muscles, including the hamstrings, adductors, erector spinae, and the gluteus maximus.
A strong posterior chain is essential for preventing injuries as well as strengthening the muscles and ligaments necessary for performing more compound movements.
To complete a dumbbell RDL, begin by holding a set of dumbbells in front of your thighs while standing in a hip to shoulder-width stance. From here, you want to think about pushing your butt back as far as you can.
Keeping a very slight bend in your knees for protection, the dumbbells will start to lower; once the dumbbells are at your knees, do not bend the knees any further. Continue to push your butt back until the dumbbells reach mid-shin.
As you do this, keep your shoulders pinched together and chest tall so that you maintain a flat back throughout the entire movement. To return to the top, simply drive through your heels, push the floor away from you, and stand, squeezing your glutes at the top.
This movement is very hamstring focused, so you should feel the stretch and burn in your hammies!
Photo source: Fitwirr.com
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