T Nation

Difference Between SLDLs and RDLs?


I hope this isn't a first-day question, but is there a difference between Romanian Deadlifts and Stiff-Legged Deadlifts? They appear to be the same thing in my eyes.




This is not a complete answer but on RDL's the bar should stay in contact with your body the entire time. Also you should be "lowering" the weight by pushing your hips back and then reverse the motion . Start out by standing about 16 inches away from a wall and try to push your hips backward and touch the wall.

Mike Sullivan


RDL's keep bar close to leg's while sticking yer ass out. SDL's the bar should be out away from your legs an keep your ass in line with your feet


exactly .

romanians are all about the eccentric(lowering) action and reversing direction of the load.

a romaninan rep begins in the standing lockout postion, lowers maintaining load, and raises back to standing.
a sldl rep you start on the floor, raise to lockout, and drop.

also you can get greater range of motion from romanians if you do them off a box.

obviously lower weights are used for romanians than sldl's, which have enough load that lowering would not be a safe idea.


seeing that deadlift variations are being discussed here, I have a question myself. If there is no place dedicated or set up for deadlifts is it wrong to drop them from the lockout position? Or should I lower it back down?


Drop it, fuck anyone who tells you to set it down daintily.

Lowering it is when the following occurs:

You waste energy, it's hard enough on the way up.

You scrape the shit out of your knees, or at the very least bruise them.

You can even hurt yourself, letting it down is a little different than coming up.

Drop it, save yourself the anguish of getting hurt trying to listen to some pencil neck telling you to set it down quietly.


what you risk attempting to lower a deadlift is moving the weight further from your spine (fulcrum) thus multiplying the force applied to the fulcrum(spine) by god knows how much.

it's the same the weight but the leverage created will apply alot more force to your spine on the way down than the way up. how much depends on how forward the weight gets. not a game i'd like to play especially when fatigue is a factor. just half an inch could be the proverbial straw.


Before you start dropping your deadlifts from lockout start looking for a new gym. If you do this in a commercial gym your asking to get kicked out.

This is unless your using bumper plates on a lifting platform then thats what its designed for (I still don't think its a good idea but you shouldnt get any flack for doing it). If your not using the two above you also risk bending a perfectly good bar.

edit: wanted to add the eccentric portion of the lift has definate benifits for strength and muscle gains. Also your eccentric strength is greater then your concentric, meaning you can lower more weight then you can lift.

On the original topic:

Like has been said SL legs are kept in same position and you bend at the hips.

Romanian deadlifts you lower the weight by pushing your ass back


OK, I see. Thanks for the answers.

I'm lifting at home on hardwood floors (well, on a mat on a hardwood floor), so I'm not able to drop the weights, so should I lift off as normal, then bring it back down with a RDL? I assume that the weight on the RDL is going to be a lot lower than I could DL normally, so I wonder if this is an acceptable tradeoff considering that dropping the weights isn't an option.

Is it stnadard practice to drop DLs from lockout even when going for reps?

Still feeling like a n00b, but too embarrassed to head to a real gym,



I wouldn't lower it in RDL fashion - typically people are weaker in RDL form and it puts more emphasis on the erectors that are already fatigued from the regular DL portion.

Suggestion for a solution - get a couple of small tires (from a riding lawnmower or whatever) and stand on a block, wood or whatever you have handy that will support you. Then you can do the eccentric very quickly and not worry about the floor.

Or suck it up and go to a gym. We all started somewhere, no need to be embarrased. Hell, when I started I could barely deadlift 135.