RDL vs. Stiff Leg Hinge

Lu Xiaojun

RDL vs. Stiff Leg Hinge

Brandon Chien



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WARNING: FITNESS NERD POST ABOUT BARBELL TRAINING ⠀ TL;DR Powerlifters (Bench/Squat/Deadlift) will benefit from a Stiff-Leg Hinge. Weightlifters (Snatch/Clean/Jerk) will benefit from the Romanian Deadlift. But these two often get mixed up for each other. If you’re a regular person and don’t care about lifting maximal weights – then do both of them! Read further if you want some nuanced explanation of the movements. ⠀ Why is this a big deal? ⠀ I have to reteach this movement to 95% of my students who want to get good at Snatch/Clean. ⠀ The RDL is great to help you get SETUP for the explosion moment in Snatch/Clean. It’s a timing exercise to make sure you navigate the right positions AND a postural isolation exercise. ⠀ The Stiff-Leg hinge is a postural strengthener but does not help timing for the Snatch/Clean. Great for big Deadlifts though. ⠀ A Weightlifter is only about 1/3 done with the Snatch/Clean when the barbell is at their thigh level. Once the barbell is at thigh/hip, the lifter must be balanced and upright. So that’s why the movement only goes to just below the knees and then to an upright torso with bent knees. ⠀ An RDL looks like an unfinished/hitched Deadlift to a Powerlifter though, so they rarely do a true RDL. ⠀ A Powerlifter is about 2/3 done with a Deadlift when the barbell is at their thigh level. They are done when their knees and hips lockout at the same time. So the Stiff-leg hinge makes way more sense rhythm wise. ⠀ So here’s a little history about the RDL. ⠀ It was coined right here in San Francisco in Jim Schmitz’s gym in 1990, done by Romanian weightlifter Nicu Vlad. It was also done in the 60’s by Olympic champion Yoshinobu Miyake. ⠀ Not only are these great for strength training, but they get you flexible! If you know the difference, they can both benefit your Olympic lifts OR your SBD. Choose wisely – hammies get sore easily 😂 ⠀ 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐥𝐲 “𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐌𝐈𝐄𝐒” 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞!

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