Thread: RDL vs SLDL
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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Excerpt from Starting Strength Volume 3 by Marc Rippetoe:
Romanian Deadlifts

Once upon a time, as legend has it, the incredible Romanian weightlifter Nicu Vlad vistied teh U.S. Olypmic Training Center. Vlad was strong.....
word is on the street he front squated 700 pounds for a double. So when Vlad performed an exercise that no one had seen before, it quite naturally got a lot of attention...
The exercise involved taking the bar out of the rack from the hang position, stepping back to clear the rack, and then lowering the bar down to the mid-shins and raising it back to the hang position. This movement looked like a deadlift, but one that started at the tope instead of the bottom, so naturally it had to have a new name. The term "Romanian Deadlift" has been applied to it since....
The RDL has two important characteristics that distinguish it from it's parent exercise. The first is that it uses very little quardriceps because the knees start off nearly straight - unlocked, but not very - and pretty much stay that way, so the quads don't have an opportunity to actively extend the knees during the movement......
But more important is the difference in the fundamental nature of the two movements. The deadlift starts with a concentric contraction as the bar is pulled from the floor, and the eccentric phase is not really emphasized because the lift is essentially over after it is locked out at the top. In contrast, the RDL is like the squat in that the movement starts with eccentric contraction, the "negative," which precedes the concentric. The bar starts from a position of knee and hip extension, the bar is lowered down to into flexion, and a stretch reflex initiates the concentric contraction back into extension....
The RDL starts in the rack with the pins a little lower than the level of the hands in the hang postion.
Stiff-Legged deadlifts

The Stiff-legged deadlift (or SLDL) is possibly a more familiar exercise in most gyms, as a result of the fact that many people do the deadlift wrong and it ends up looking this way accidentally. The SLDL is essentially an RDL off of the floor -without the stretch reflex but with the higher hips, more horizontal back angel, and more vertical shins of the RDL. SInce the SLDL starts on the floor, it involves a longer range of motion than does the RDL, whis is supposed to stop at the point where the low back unlocks due to limitations in hamstring extensibility. Most people can't do a strict RDL all the way down to the floor with the bar loaded with 17-inch plates....

Take your regular deadlift stance, with the bar directly over mid foot.....
The SLDL is essentially a deadlift done according to the five steps (outlined for the regular deadlift earlier in the book) but without step 3, the dropping-the-shins-forward-to-the-bar-part.

Again, each rep is replaced on the floor,reset, and pulled from a stop; it is a deadlift, not an RDL, and each rep starts from a dead stop.
Zdravko Veselin Gaeta

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Last edited by BigJosh; 03-13-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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