Barbell Romanian Deadlifts - Lower Back Exercise Guide
Muscles Targeted: Although this exercise is mainly for developing
the hamstrings (muscle on the back of the leg), it's also an excellent
movement for the lower back. A big contributing muscle group when
barbell Romanian deadlifts are performed is the quadratus lumborum
or more often called the muscles of the mid to lower back. This
is because the key movement of the barbell Romanian deadlifts is
the flexion and extension of the hip joint that comes from the direct
contractions of the back region. Also involved and assisting the
quadratus lumborum throughout the exercise are the hamstrings (back
of the thighs) because these muscles integrate with the stability
of the hips as well as perform in coordination with the middle and
lower back muscles. These muscles in the middle and lower back are
used and targeted during the barbell Romanian deadlifts, aiding
in its ability to help increase strength, endurance and stability.
Assistance from the upper back, arms and forearms, this mid-lower
back exercise becomes more stable and controlled making it more
manageable while executed with several repetitions and sets.
Exercise Instructions: Grab a barbell
with both hands using an overhand grip about shoulder width
apart and let the barbell hang down in front of your body.
Begin this movement by bending at the waist and slowly lowering
the barbell to the floor. Be sure to keep a slight bend in
your knees and really let the weight of the barbell bring
you down. Keeping the knees completely straight will turn
this exercise into the stiff-legged deadlift and bending too
much with the knees will turn it into a regular deadlift so
make sure you use a moderate amount of knee bend so you feel
maximum tension on your hamstrings and lower back. On the
way up, really focus on a nice smooth tempo. It is very important
to keep your back flat with your shoulders back and avoid
rounding or hunching your back throughout this exercise.
Why This Exercise is Important: Proper technique and execution
of the barbell Romanian deadlifts is an important contribution to
gaining flexibility, strength, endurance and stability of the quadratus
lumborum, especially since it acts as a valuable prime mover of
the torso. Another important point to consider when the barbell
Romanian deadlifts are concerned is its ability to increase the
middle and lower back muscles' capacity to cope with stress. This
importance extends to the fact that a stronger back facilitates
and translates to a better adaptation to any type of activity that
can be encountered in daily living. Also of notable importance is
the current issue in relation to lower back pain that many individuals
experience. Engaging not only in learning and performing the barbell
Romanian deadlifts but also in an actual exercise program improves
overall strength and stability.
Things To Avoid: The barbell Romanian deadlifts are performed
with the knees slightly bent. One thing to avoid is overly bending
the knees or straightening them since it directly misses the proper
form and technique that needs to be achieved. The entire back must
also be taken into consideration and must be kept at its most erect
and straight position. This means to avoid looking towards the floor
and eventually tucking the chin in towards the chest. Always assume
a position where the hips are pulled towards the back, the chest
is kept upright by looking towards the front and lifting the chin
up, which causes the rest of the back to maintain a neutral position
with the shoulders and hips along a straight line. Also avoid leaning
too far back when you reach the top of the exercise.
Reps and Sets: Improving muscular endurance with barbell
Romanian deadlifts means performing 15 to 20 repetitions of 2 to
3 sets. When muscular strength is the main goal for the exercise,
it is advised that 10 to 12 repetitions of 3 to 4 sets are done.
If the extra challenge of gaining power is needed, 6-8 repetitions
of 4-5 sets is the best program to use.
Other Exercises To Use: Creating a complete lower back program
that matches well with the barbell Romanian deadlifts can be done
in combination with dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts, hyperextensions
and lying back presses (Supermans). These exercises all contribute
to increasing strength, endurance and stability of the mid to lower
back region. View our extensive database
of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that
target the lower back.