The Romanian deadlift with landmines (RDL) offers a lot. Done correctly, it can train your hamstrings harder than most other deadlifts and it protects your lower back. Here's how to get the best out of them and solve all the problems with the landmine grip.
There are a number of ways to do deadlifts with landmines. What they all have in common is where the weight is: closer to their center of gravity compared to conventional deadlifts.
When you have the load closer to your center of gravity, you are in a more efficient position with all your efforts, which can help build the strength of your entire rear chain.
Landmine RDLs can be used to affect either your hamstrings or glutes. This is how it should look if you want to build your hamstrings:
- Raise yourself (or the landmine) if you have to. This depends on the depth you can reach. You can also use smaller plates to bring it closer to the floor. If you want to restrict the range of motion (moody back?), You can alternatively raise the land mine yourself.
- Hold the handle in your shins depending on how you grip the bar (more on this below).
- Push your hips back, grab the handles, and get ready.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees, but focus mainly on pushing your hips back and creating as much tension in your hamstrings as possible. Usually an RDL does not start from the ground, but think of it as a start in the end position.
- Activate your lats and tighten your abs.
- Initiate by pinching your glutes and deliberately trying to pull your hamstrings as you stretch your hips.
- Stand up fully and hold the land mine as close as possible.
- For a glute-focused lift, add a butt squeeze at the top, which is linked to a more inclined pelvis. For a greater incline of the hamstring, focus on lowering the bar and the lower part of the exercise.
- Lower in 2-4 seconds. Concentrate on "showing your butt" to the person behind you.
- Adding a break at the bottom to further emphasize your hamstring stretching would also be a good idea.
The Only Problem
Once Once you've done a few sets to gain weight, you'll usually run into one problem: your grip strength (or tiny hands). There is a simple solution.
Instead of just grabbing the end of the bar with your hands, you have a few options. You can use a V-handle. I've seen people do this and it seems fine … but not ideal.
Another method is to use cable handles or Angles90 handles. Both options can work great. Admittedly, if you hit bigger weights, they can get uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there is a third option. A plate at the end of the pole is the strongest and easiest way to grab a heavy land mine while deadlifting. It also feels more natural. All you have to do is take a couple of collars ̵
If you have plates with holes, you can now do deadlifts as hard as you want without your handle letting you down.
Switching between landmine RDLs, rod RDLs, and regular RDLs are a great way to tweak your programming for a healthier back and stronger hamstrings. Generally, 8-15 sets work well with landmine RDLs.
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