In my years as a personal trainer, and even more recently as a bodybuilding and powerlifting coach, I’ve consistently seen lifters at all levels struggle to properly hip hinge.
This is unfortunate, because the RDL, one of the most common hip-hinge lifts is actually quite useful. For hypertrophy, I would argue when compared head to head with a conventional deadlift, the RDL is probably a better movement (if performed correctly). Reason being, it starts with an eccentric (the lowering phase), while the conventional deadlift starts from the floor with the concentric phase (the lifting phase). Most people don’t often control the eccentric of a conventional deadlift, and thus, end up performing about half of the volume actually under muscular control (and thus not getting a full muscular stimulus throughout the full movement).
However, I recently gave an in depth instructional demonstration of the RDL at the SBS 2017 conference which was recorded where I talked about how to correctly, safely, and effectively perform the RDL which can be viewed below.
A few additional key points to consider after watching the video
- As the RDL emphasizes the eccentric phase of the lift, and trains the hamstrings and glutes at long muscle lengths, muscle damage tends to be quite high after its performance.
- Thus, it should be performed at lower RPEs (further from failure, 6-8 RPE, or 2-4 repetitions from failure) to minimize muscle damage so as not to interfere with subsequent days training.
Additionally, this will reduce injury risk. Furthermore, you probably shouldn’t perform heavy training using the same muscle groups in the following 24-72 hours to avoid muscle damage induced performance decrements