RDL and Leg Curl

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JHS
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RDL and Leg Curl

Post by JHS » Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:36 pm

Hey guys,

In this site, they considered RDL auxiliary while leg curls basic. Does that mean I should do leg curls first and then supplement it later with RDL?

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: RDL and Leg Curl

Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:53 pm

JHS wrote:Hey guys,

In this site, they considered RDL auxiliary while leg curls basic. Does that mean I should do leg curls first and then supplement it later with RDL?
Exrx.net doesn't include the Romanian Deadlift among it's exercises, for some unexplained reason.

At any rate, the RDL is a compound exercise, involving both hip and knee extension. The leg curl is an isolation exercise involving knee flexion only. Compund exercises have the greater potential to produce growth, so they should be done first.

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Post by JHS » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:27 pm

Hmmmmm, but isn't the "straight-back stiff-leg deadlift" at the gluteus maximus section basically RDL? The animation really look like RDL to me at least.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:26 pm

There seems to be several variations of the Romanian DeadLift. The version that I use involves some knee extension at the top of the movement. Others are strictly a hip extension movement. In the latter case, you are correct when you say that the RDL is identical to the SBSL Deadlift.

Hereis an article that compares the RDL and SLDL.

From another article:
What Makes The RDL So Great?

Two words - intensity and functionality. First, the RDL allows a much higher intensity level (basically more weight can be used) than a leg curl does. Considering that hamstrings are made up of primarily fast twitch muscle fibers which are best trained with higher intensity levels, the RDL is one of the most effective hamstring exercises you can do.

Second, the RDL is also far more functional than leg curls. Sorry folks, but leg curls are not a functional exercise. Although it may seem like knee flexion is a big part of your every day activities like running and walking, a look at the true biomechanics of these activities shows that it is, in fact, hip extension that plays the major role in these activities.

Your knee simply flexes in order to reset the leg and start the locomotion movement again, and even there the momentum generated from the hip extension helps swing the lower leg back. Hip extension plays a huge role in several everyday activities, such as the above mentioned running and walking, not to mention jumping and biking. In addition, when you learn to bend over with a heavy weight in the gym while protecting your lower back, you have learned better body mechanics for use outside the gym as well.
Bottom line - hip extension is involved much more often in athletic activities as well as in everyday life than knee flexion. And hip extension allows you to use heavier weights than knee flexion, which leads to greater growth potential for the hamstrings. Knee flexion should be trained in a lifting routine to promote healthy functioning of the knee joint. But it should be trained after hip extension in most instances. People who are rehabbing their knees might switch the order, but that's the only exception that comes to mind.
Last edited by Stephen Johnson on Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ironman » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:57 pm

Do a google search for keystone deadlift. I've been doing those lately. They hit my hamstrings like nothing else. Great for abs and lower back too. I might thrown in legs curls if I am doing some kind of high volume program, but other then that I usually don't do leg curls.

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Post by Ryan A » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:28 am

I still find GHR to be superior for me overall as a hamstring exercise although I still do RDL and an occaional leg curl.

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Post by JHS » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:44 pm

Thanks alot everyone. I too think GHR is an excellent exercise but too bad my Y don't have the apparatus.

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Post by Ironman » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:57 pm

My gym doesn't have one either. Most of them don't. It is really a shame, it looks like a great exercise.

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Post by DeadFrog » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:36 am

GHR?

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Post by TimD » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:00 am

GHR-Glute Ham raise, usually done on a special bench, but you an improvise with different items around the house or most gyms
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Post by DeadFrog » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:05 am

Ah, those look yucky, lol

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:26 pm

In the current issue of Muscle and Fitness, the Romanian Deadlift is the featured exercise. I can see that what I've been doing is not a true Romanian Deadlift, since I bend my knees on the descent and straighten them on the ascent. Sorry 'bout that, Chief! ;-)

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