Tip: How to Engage Your Lats During the RDL
- DAN NORTH
- Deadlift Exercise Technique Strength Training Tips
Romanian deadlifts (aka RDL’s) are funny. On paper, they’re about as simple as an exercise gets.
- Step 1: Pick up weight
- Step 2: Put down weight
- Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2
In practice, they come with a myriad of mistakes.
- Rounded backs
- Rounded shoulders
- Cranked necks
- Overly bent knees
- Overly extended knees
…It’s a chiropractor’s wet dream. And while I have many chiro friends, let’s reduce your amount of visits by fixing this one common issue.
The Most Common RDL Mistake: Not Keeping the Bar Close
Not keeping the bar close to your body can have a domino effect on your lifting technique.
- Your upper back rounds excessively (slight rounding in the upper back isn’t as harmful as most people think since the spine has a natural curvature…but you still want to aim to have a “neutral” alignment in your upper back)
- Your lower back rounds (this is NOT good…if your lumbar spine is rounding, it means you have no support from your core or glutes to stabilize the spine…which is common when not keeping the bar close to your body)
- Your lats aren’t engaged (those big V-shaped muscles in your back are super important during any deadlift variation)
When fixing your lifting technique during any lift, pick the lowest hanging fruit first and tackle the issue that can offer almost immediate benefit.
In order words, learn how to engage your lats!
How to Engage Your Lats During the RDL
Think about it for a second. Your lats are big. Big muscles mean stronger muscles.
So, why wouldn’t you want to use them during the RDL?
Answer: You do. And here’s how:
- Make orange juice
- Use a resistance band (props to Tony Gentilcore for this little nugget)
Watch the vid below to know wtf I’m talking about (it’s short and sweet).
Any questions? Let me know in the comments!