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Thread: Why SLDL over RDL?

  1. #1
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    Default Why SLDL over RDL?

    I searched around for this first. I notice that you often refer to SLDL/RDL together like they are interchangeable. I see that in your log, you usually do SLDL's, like maybe standing on 4 mats.

    Is there something about the SLDL that you prefer to the RDL, or do you just pretty much call them the same thing since they are so similar?

    I've done some other searching on the differences and have come to believe that the difference is that there is no knee bend at all in the SLDL and you start it from the floor instead of the top. Is this correct?

  2. #2
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    SLDL: Starts from floor or below (ie standing on mats, box, etc)

    RDL: Starts from the hang.

    I always thought of the RDL as a movment specifically designed to strengthen the second pull in an o-lift, so range of motion would stop somewhere around the knee or just below. Alot of the times I will start from the hang...BUT...I am standing on mats and take the bar down to the top of my feet....so that particular lift has traits of both the RDL and an SLDL.

    For overall strengthening of the posterior chain or to strengthen the deadlift, I like an SLDL pulled from the floor. If I start from the hang it is generally because I was being a lazy ass and a loaded bar was already sitting in a rack somewhere in the gym and I didn't feel like setting a new bar up on the floor.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I remember doing SLDL's back during the bodybuilding routine days...at least that's what I called them with the EZ-Curl bar, haha. I've been doing RDL's after volume squats and speed deadlifts on Tuesdays. They're doing a really good job of trashing my hamstrings, but I remembered that you like SLDL's, so I thought about giving them a shot. I've also now found some videos on your old youtube channel.

    What would be your opinion on switching out my RDL's for SLDL's? I notice at times you would stand on 2 plates. Would that be a good way to start?

  4. #4
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    I almost always like a longer range of motion so an SLDL will always get my vote over an RDL, which I consider to be more of a "partial" ROM. Whether you start on the floor, or from the hang, is less important to me than making the ROM very long. If you have the flexibility to keep your back arched and stand on a platform, then do it. Again, I am in favor of the longest ROM possible...within reason.

    I always think of SLDLs as "working the muscle" and not "training the lift." It is a nuanced difference, but still an important one I think.

  5. #5

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    So then the focus of SLDL's should still be to maintain a flat back? This seems like common sense, but I see a lot of people--even successful powerlifters--who intentionally do them with a rounded back, just to get that increased ROM.

    Also, building on that, so should every SLDL rep be reset on the ground if one can get that low?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domjo54 View Post
    So then the focus of SLDL's should still be to maintain a flat back? This seems like common sense, but I see a lot of people--even successful powerlifters--who intentionally do them with a rounded back, just to get that increased ROM.

    Also, building on that, so should every SLDL rep be reset on the ground if one can get that low?
    You could do them either way....if you really want to hit your hamstrings though, you need to keep a flat/arched back. You can reset or do touch n go. My style is kinda tweener. I mainly do touch n go, but I certainly don't bounce the bar. Sometimes the last few reps of a set are reset simply because I am tired and need to catch my breath.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSC View Post
    You could do them either way....if you really want to hit your hamstrings though, you need to keep a flat/arched back. You can reset or do touch n go. My style is kinda tweener. I mainly do touch n go, but I certainly don't bounce the bar. Sometimes the last few reps of a set are reset simply because I am tired and need to catch my breath.
    I tore my hamstring last week doing SLDL as an accessory to the Deadlift in 5/3/1. Would the Bill Starr type rehab with very light weight and high volume work to get me back on track? I was doing the bigger but boring 5x10 on the SLDL at 195. 195 was fairly light and I got sloppy just doing touch and go, almost a bounce.

  8. #8
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    Starr Rehab works well. I like a leg curl though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSC View Post
    Starr Rehab works well. I like a leg curl though.
    Thanks, today I started out with very light leg curls 5x20 and went ahead and threw in light SLDL 3x15. I think this will do the trick.

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