Instead of starting class with a pull-up block, or a handstand block, or even some other random skill block, we went for an entire class of Eastern Bloc!
The RDL is basically a “top down” deadlift; instead of picking the weight up off the floor, the weight starts at the waist and is lowered down as far as the hamstrings will allow before the lifter returns to standing.
“As far the hamstrings will allow” is the guiding principal to the RDL. Once the hamstrings have reached their maximum stretch point, and the hips stop moving backwards, that is the stopping position. Any extra distance – i.e., lowering the bar any farther – will be a result of hinging at the waist.
Exactly where the stopping point will be varies from athlete to athlete. If you have flexible hammies, and you can push your hips back far enough to allow the bar to reach your shins, fine. If you have tight hammies, and you can only manage to push your hips back enough to allow the bar to reach your knees, fine. If you have tight hamstrings, but are somehow managing to touch the floor with the bar, then you are (A) hinging at the waist for the sake of more depth, (B) probably letting the shoulders reach forward towards the ground (as opposed to keeping the shoulders blades pulled back), and/or (C) rounding the back to some degree.
Remember, the RDL is about lengthening and strengthening the hamstrings, not proving how deep you can get the weight to the floor. Keep that in mind next time RDLs (or their kin, Good Mornings) show up in a workout.
After working the hamstrings and back with the RDLs, we continued our tour of Eastern Europe with a mix of Bulgarian Split Squats and Russian Twists to hit the quads, glutes, and remaining core muscles. The BSS were done as 10 per side, and athletes could choose to add weight if desired, either by holding a single weight at the chest, or two weights held at the sides. The Russian twists were done as an over and back equaled a single rep (so 20 reps meant the weight touched the floor on either side of the body 20 times, or 40 times total).
Also, a big shout out to Ben and Sebastian for two days of solid effort put in over this past weekend at the Team Superfit DC competition. It was great to see them compete, even if only for two events on Saturday:
And speaking of competitions, a quick reminder about two up-coming events we posted about last week: