RDL Variations – Garage Strength

RDL Variations


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RDL Variations

RDL variations can fix structural imbalances all while improving performance in various other exercises. These three movements can lead to a rapid change in athletic and fitness ability. 

The first RDL variation to use for posterior chain strengthening is the dumbbell single leg RDL. The DB single leg RDL is done holding lighter load dumbbells and doing this on one leg. Set the back as tight as possible and for the full set, avoid putting the opposite foot down on the ground. This slight instability from the single leg RDL will lead to greater recruitment in the hamstring and glutes.

The second RDL variation is the snatch grip RDL. This movement not only transfers directly to weightlifting but also to other sports. Due to the snatch grip being used, the range of motion of the snatch grip RDL becomes much longer and leads to considerable lengthening of the hamstrings. This can improve speed for sprinting as well as a better extension of the hips during technical coordination movements. 

The third RDL variation to use is the single leg chaos RDL. The single leg Chaos RDL is done with the back leg on an elevated banded. The band makes it challenging to use the non-exercises leg for a balance point. This leads to a heightened sense of awareness and better execution of the movement throughout the sets.

RDL Variations

When deciding how to use RDL variations, try to focus on which movement is more challenging and program the most challenging exercise first in the training cycle. Learn the more challenging RDL variation first and then in subsequent cycles use the easier RDL variations with a greater load. This will lead to improved strength in the posterior chain and less structural issues. 


Who benefits from this? Think about bigger or extremely strong athletes who struggle to be fast or explosive because they will benefit greatly from contrast training. Also, pay attention to athletes who struggle with a lockout on a bench, collapse their chest when squatting, or athletes who stutter-step when jumping. These are all factors based on rapid coordination.

Athletes should be doing this once a week for four to six weeks before breaking from the contrast-style of training for two to four weeks. Just make sure to use all three of these different solutions to increase overall power output, explosive strength, and sports performance. 


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