Most of us (men included) spend a lot of time and money on some, if not all of the following…hair products, cosmetics, colognes, spa treatments, plastic surgery, botox injections, salon services and moisturizers. The goal is to appear fresh faced, youthful, polished and put together from the front. But how much time do you spend thinking about what you look like to people as you walk away?
I’m going to give you one way to dramatically improve that posterior view and best of all, it won’t cost you a cent! Oh, it may hurt, in fact if you do it right it will be a bit uncomfortable, but in that ‘hurts so good’ way.
The Romanian deadlift is one of the big boy butt exercises that should be a staple in your routine along with exercises like barbell squats, Pull Ups, Tricep Dips and Bent Over Rows. The prime target with the Romanian deadlift is the entire posterior chain, everything from the back of your neck all the way down to the Achilles, with emphasis placed on the glutes and hamstrings. In my experience it is by far the best move to work and firm up that glute/ham tie in, the spot where your butt and legs meet that likes to droop. The trouble spot that made the inventor of Spanx a millionaire overnight!¬†If you don’t know what I’m referring to then you may be one of the lucky ones that has genetically escaped this problem area, but I doubt it.
Romanian deadlifts should be added to your leg and/or back routine, or if you are on a full body program, add them to a workout once a week. Every exercise we perform requires good form but with this one your form needs to be pristine. Although it’s one of the best moves out there, the potential for injury is sky high due to the intense load placed on the low back. If your form isn’t well practiced before adding weight, you run a high risk of doing some damage, so always make sure you perfect the technique and warm up for a few sets before loading the bar!
Stand with feet shoulder width or slightly narrower apart. Grasp a barbell with either an underhand or overhand grip with hands placed outside of legs. *Note* Even though you may see videos and/or photos of people using an alternate grip (one overhand with the opposite underhand) don’t do this. This grip is mainly used for powerlifitng purposes where a one rep max is performed using max weight.
While holding the barbell, take a step back from the rack and maintain position while reminding yourself of these kinetic¬†cues:
1) Keep legs straight but do not lock knees
2) Keep shoulders down and in a retracted (back) position
3) Keep back straight with core tight and solid
4) Keep head up and looking straight forward
With your back straight, lower the bar to the top of your feet by bending at the hips(or as low as your flexibility will allow while keeping your back straight). Keep the bar as close to your legs as possible. Concentrate on pushing your hips back as far as possible as opposed to lowering the bar with your torso. Let the hips control the movement of the bar while keeping your legs straight but knees unlocked. On the lifting phase focus on lifting the weight with your glutes. Squeeze the glutes together as you bring the bar back to the starting position. Bring the bar all the way up to where you started and extend the knees slightly while pausing at the top to contract the glutes before beginning the next rep.
Always use a weight that is challenging enough to allow you to reach your goals while still being in control. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells, a body bar, bands, kettlebells or a medicine ball and once you get really good at it, you may want to try a one legged version for some extra core recruitment!Found this post useful and want more? Subscribe to our Blog feed
About TravisTravis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!
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