rdl question

does it matter how much weight i actually do on rdl cuz no matter what i allways feel the same in my hamstrings juss when i go heaveir my lowerback is worked more

Hi Madjiik,

As a Olympic weightlifting coach you should not feel it on your back. The only time is when you start to round it once you get past horizontal.

Always on the hamstrings. Keep the back dead flat, and only lower the bar to mid shins. Keep it on the hamstrings by sticking the butt out and a slight bend in the knee.

As for weight it depends on if you are using a Snatch grip or a Clean grip and what you are looking for. eg. Hypertrophy, pure strength worketc.

By the way they are called Scottish Deadlifts were I come from.

Cheers Andy Merrylees. :slight_smile:

You’re going too heavy. When I do them or show others I keep strict form. You should feel a nice stretch in your hams before you pull the wieght up. You are going to feel your back working but your hams should be doing most of the work. Try to “activate” your hams and glutes before you pull…


Which grip premotes hypertrophy?

Hi nycjayo1,

Any grip would do. You have to keep the reps a little bit higher in hypertrophy training than if you are training for strength. You have to find what works for you in this range.

We in the olympic weightlifting circle never really go above six reps. But some atletes need to go above this range to get any stimulation.

One thing is for sure when it does come to grip width the snatch grip allows you to go a little lower in the end range. Which means more work done on the affected muscle groups.

Hope this helps.

Cheers Andy.


Ok thats what I thought! Im trying to get a little ham development on myself. I experimented the other night with snatch grip single leg deads with 3x8reps@77KG. I was nice and sore the next day. Luckly it was after my cleans!!!

One point to keep in mind is that “feel” is a relative term. Recruiting more or less muscle fiber will depend to a large extent on training age/experience. As the saying goes, " the body doesn’t know muscle, it knows movement"!

The following from the book series, “Physiology of the Joints” by I.A. Kapandji, Volume 3 The Trunk and Vertebral Column illustrates this “body knowing movement” concept:

“Electromyographic studies by Brugger show that during flexion of the trunk the paravertebral muscles are the first to contract powerfully, then the glutei, and finally the hamstrings and the soleus muscles. At the end of flexion the vertebral column is stabilized only by the passive action of vertebral ligaments fixed to the bony pelvis, which is tilted forward by the hamstrings. When the trunk is righted the order of muscle recruitment is the converse: first the hamstrings, then the glutei and finally the lumbar and thoracic muscles.”

No doubt, with good mental focus and the above tips/techniques one can “emphasize” regions of the body, yet the order of recruitment seems to happen automatically.

Something else not often mentioned but important to note is that when one lifts a weight, they will instinctively perform a Valsalva maneuver which consists of closing the glottis and all the abdominal orifices. This increases inter-abdominal and inter-thoracic pressure which in turn helps to protect the spinal structures, especially when performing lifts such as RDL’s (or Scottish Deadlifts :)), Snatches, Cleans, Squats, etc.

Hi formula,

Yes that what I was trying to bring to the thought process off my brain. :wink: I have been diagnosed with a blood clot on my left temporal side so I am having a hard time thinking. :slight_smile:

Regards Andy